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Richard Uruchurtu III (first name pronounced “RICH-urd” for those who are confused) took a strange path to get to this AMA. Originally a film school grad, he started out as a freelancer spending his time writing, shooting, and editing small projects. But eventually left the freelancer world to go get a stable “job.”

He left freelancing and joined a small media company as an editor. During his time there, he went from editor to manager, to training director, to sales director. And the company itself grew from a small shop to a 35+ employee, $2.2 million in revenue business that was eventually acquired. This quick growth path gave him some amazing experience in multiple disciples such as management, sales, marketing, and - above all - operations.

Wanting to expand his horizons, made the switch to the marketing agency world and haven’t looked back since. After managing sales at multiple agencies, finally found his true calling at KlientBoost.

Since joining KlientBoost he has used the entirety of his experience to work with the leadership team and their CEO, Johnathan Dane, to achieve some outrageous growth. Growth like doubling in size every year (and showing no signs of slowing down).

While a rapid growth agency is a lot of fun, it can also be chaotic. To handle their growth curve he's been the main “Integrator” of their operating system that KlientBoost now runs on. They’ve gotten so big now that Richard stepped out of his sales roles entirely to focus specifically on their systems. These systems include optimized management of quite a few things.

They’ve built out several systems that helped them achieve a few key things:

* Consistency in how we service clients and train team members.

* Clarity with employees so they understand how and why we do things.

* Accountability for assigned objectives and tasks.

* Visibility into our key metrics and performance at a granular level.

* Automating mundane and routine tasks to scale our activity. Now that they have these scalable systems in place, KlientBoost is set to keep growing every day. It’s blast off time! 

When he's not managing and automating () he loves to spend time with his wife and newborn baby. He's also a connoisseur of music videos and Basque culture (last name is Basque in case you were wondering - or awesome enough to catch it the first time ).

  • AO

    Aaron Orendorff

    28 days ago #

    How do you help lead a scaling organization away from a personality-driven, up-front "closer" toward a more sales-team-driven model? I have mad love for Johnathan, but I think a lot of companies that reach a tipping point struggle here.

    • RU

      Richard Uruchurtu

      1 day ago #

      Hey Aaron 😉
      I always told Johnathan the goal was to build a robot version of him that could sell the same way he does. After 2 years, I have to say we still can’t match his skills 100%, but 90% is close enough for us to grow. 🙂

      A big part of being able to emulate his style really comes down to three things:

      #1 Defined Product
      Even though we are an agency that does a lot of different things for our clients, we try to keep our offering simple: PPC and CRO with a focus on achieving a goal within 3 months. There are a lot of details about how we do that under the hood, but by always selling the same service, we are able to be far more clear and effective when pitching the product because all of the reps know what the product is and --more importantly-- what it isn’t.

      #2 Consistent Communication
      We pay attention to the details. All of our calendar invites, proposals, email templates, pitch decks, and even hand written cards are written the same (down to the punctuation points). We want to make sure we all communicate in the same way so the experience is the same no matter who you are interfacing with.

      #3 Brand Style
      We are big believers in the brand. Luckily our brand is a lot of fun (we literally have a

    • RU

      Richard Uruchurtu

      about 24 hours ago #

      Hmm looks like the reply got cut off...

      #3 Brand Style
      We are big believers in the brand. Luckily our brand is a lot of fun (we literally have a poop emoji mural in our office 💩), and our fun casual style is part of our language we use with clients that keeps prospects entertained and engaged.

      Once we have all of Johnathan’s Mini Mes on the sales team set up, it then just comes back having an organized CRM and documented sales processes that keeps everyone on the same page. We don't have any “lone wolf” sales reps here where personality is king; all of our reps are collaborative and help each other move the needle for the whole organization.

      2 Share
  • GF

    George Featherstone

    28 days ago #

    I have been (as I'm sure many others are as well) very impressed with the rapid growth of KlientBoost. I am quite interested in how you are using automation to scale internal systems in particular.

    So here's the question: what tools or systems do you recommend for an agency scaling from it's core founders and first hires to it's first real world applicants? What problems and solutions are expected at this phase? Thanks!

    • RU

      Richard Uruchurtu

      about 24 hours ago #

      Project Management software is the first thing that comes to mind here. When I first started, we were using Basecamp which wasn’t my favorite for scalability and reporting factors. Now we are using Asana. A good project management tool is important so that you can do a few key things:

      #1 Consistent Servicing
      Before the switch to Asana, we had AMs using Basecamp plus their own tools to overcome its limitations. It’s really important that your entire team do all of their work in one place and that the work they are doing is consistent across of all of your clients. Inconsistent tools/platforms will create chaos in your organization at scale.

      #2 Create Accountability
      When we first adopted Asana, it was a pretty big eye opener to understand what work was truly getting done and what wasn’t. Having a system that created timestamps of all activity and clear assignment of “ownership” of tasks made accountability a pretty straight forward conversation with employees. Now that we are all on the same page about what is getting done… it all gets done!… Mostly. 🙂

      #3 "Templatize" the business
      Any good project management tool will support creating templates. Templates allow us to make checklist for everything we do so that no balls are dropped. We make templates for everything from how to onboard a new client to what steps you need to take when visiting a client. ✈️

      #4 Report and Communicate Activity/Status
      Good reporting and communication tools help to keep your team tracking towards what’s important. We track everything we do in Asana in a lot of detail. Check out this blog post about the “God View” dashboard we use.
      With these reports we can answer questions like “how many of our AMs hit their client goals this quarter?” or “which of our designers have the highest W/L ratio of landing page variants?” … It’s really valuable stuff.

      2 Share
  • TC

    Tad Chef

    25 days ago #

    Hey Richard!

    Thank you for answering our questions.

    My question is pretty straightforward - yet I often see people doing it wrong: can you tell us what to automate and what not to?

    So many people try to automate the wrong things (think human interaction - Aaargh!).

    Sincerely, tad

    • RU

      Richard Uruchurtu

      about 24 hours ago #

      Nice hat Tad 🙌

      As an automation lover, I want to automate as much as possible, but it’s true that you can have too much of a good thing. Automation can create efficiency, but it also creates complexity. I’m guilty of automating some things to the point where even I have a hard time remembering how everything is hooked up. Usually my logic is as follows: Will this take me more time to automate than it will save me time in the future?

      3 Share
    • RU

      Richard Uruchurtu

      about 24 hours ago #

      For example, if I have to run a report every week or every month that is time consuming, I’m going to automate that. If I have an issue that appears at random intervals and takes a small amount of time to resolve, then I’m not going to bother automating that. So at KlientBoost most of our reporting is automated and human interaction with the exception of some drip email sequences is done manually.

  • RF

    Ryan Farley

    28 days ago #

    Hi Richard - In the bio you mention some "scalable systems". What are some examples of something that was particularly challenging to turn into a scalable system or process?

    • RU

      Richard Uruchurtu

      about 24 hours ago #

      Pretty much anything that relies on humans. lol. The hardest things to turn into scalable systems are usually processes that are not machine- or computer-driven. For example, we have standardized ways of handling client communication, such as client kick-offs and QBRs (Quarterly Business Reviews).

      For these systems to be scalable, we had to create training materials, templates, accountability systems, and audit trails so we could make sure that 25+ employees are all following the same process every time. We found that when rolling out something like this to the entire team it takes several training meetings with a solid follow up plan to make sure the system is followed but more importantly that the system is getting the result we want.

      1 Share
  • RS

    Ross Simmonds

    26 days ago #

    Automation in the world of client service can be challenging for many companies. What are some of the most effective automated systems being run at Klient Boost that allows the team to operate at a high level?

    3 Share
    • RU

      Richard Uruchurtu

      about 24 hours ago #

      Depends if you are talking about internal automation vs. client automation. In the case of KlientBoost, we try to automate a lot of our internal processes to free us up to focus on more high level task. Most of our automation is for reporting purposes. We move data between different platforms into places likes Google Sheets, Slack, and Google Data Studio so we can understand the business KPIs. We are also big fans of running a lot of our accounting/admin through 3rd party platforms like Gusto and Stripe.

      2 Share
    • RU

      Richard Uruchurtu

      about 24 hours ago #

      For our clients we actually don’t automate much (which is pretty crazy to think). It’s a tricky balance with PPC, where we do some automation with routine tasks such as SKAG creation, keyword analysis, and statistical significance calculators. But in terms of ad creation, bidding, and targeting, we rely a lot on our strategic thinking and best practices to drive results. Our reporting system for clients uses templates to help us create dashboards and reports faster but that is about it.

      That being said, we do have some projects in R&D to free up our AMs to operate on just the high-level things 🤖

  • RK

    Robert Katai

    25 days ago #

    Can you give me some hacks on training your team member to do a better work every day?

    • RU

      Richard Uruchurtu

      about 23 hours ago #

      There are no hacks or automation for this. 😉

      I think the key thing you pointed out was training your team to continuously improve every day. To me, this comes down mostly to management and leadership. I’m going to give a shout out to "One Minute Manager" by Kenneth Blanchard as a resource that we use for creating feedback and coaching to keep our team on track and getting better all the time.

  • DK

    David Kosmayer

    23 days ago #

    I've heard that many agencies stop growing because they hit a plateau or have to put out constant fires. What has been the hardest thing for you guys to deal with around that, or are there other factors that have been the hardest for you?

    • RU

      Richard Uruchurtu

      about 23 hours ago #

      People: One of the biggest challenges when breaking through the plateau is having the right team on board and having everyone perform at peak levels. We worked with our team to develop new compensation plans that aligned employees with company MRR goals to give people bigger raises and upside on the growth of the company. We also do our best to take care of our team besides just money...after hitting 500k MRR, we took the staff to Hawaii and started doing catered lunches every Friday, and massages once a month. 💆‍♀️… You have to take care of your people and help them feel the love ❤️. All of these perks and bonuses make the team more engaged and more loyal to KB, and in turn, they make us more successful.

      See the video of us in Hawaii: https://youtu.be/VFvzKMQ3Qgk

    • RU

      Richard Uruchurtu

      about 23 hours ago #

      We hit a plateau a little while ago and managed to break through, but I’m sure the next challenge is around the corner. 🙂

      The main issues we ran into had to do with the ability for the organization to learn and then adapt in a scalable way. When we hit a lull, we focused on a few major things...

    • RU

      Richard Uruchurtu

      about 23 hours ago #

      Training: A big investment we made this year was creating the position “Director of Training." It was something we’ve known we needed for a while and we even had several account managers ask for one. Having someone dedicated to keeping our team up to date on the newest tactics plus managing our internal and external eCourses aka The KB Academy allowed us to create a training program that could not only make sure our AMs delivered great service to our clients, but could also help us build new AMs so we could keep expanding.

      Our training program is designed to designed to get experienced AMs up and running in about 3 weeks and to train Account Coordinators to be AMs in about 3 months. We cover a lot of information and do a lot of hands on work and coaching with them to make sure they are prepared to deliver KlientBoost level service.

      Here's the link for The KB Academy: https://academy.klientboost.com/p/klientboost-big-bundle-deal/?product_id=422371&coupon_code=BIGBUNDLEDISCOUNT&utm_medium=resource-page

    • RU

      Richard Uruchurtu

      about 23 hours ago #

      Client Communication: When we were working to plug our retention holes, we realized we were often losing clients simply because our communication was lacking, or we didn’t really understand how the client truly felt about working with us. We deployed several systems that keep a frequent pulse check on all of our clients to be able to act upon client concerns before they get out of hand and become a “fire”.

      These systems included: an NPS (Net Promoter Score) survey, check-in emails from the VP, AM, and the original sales rep, and we did in-depth QBRs that asked pointed questions about how they felt about working with us. We wanted to make it clear to clients if they have feedback, we want to hear it.

  • JS

    James Scherer

    16 days ago #

    At what stage did you guys determine your time could be better spent managing systems (as the main "integrator" at Klientboost) than sales? How do you measure value in that way?

    • RU

      Richard Uruchurtu

      about 23 hours ago #

      Since this is an Ask Me ANYTHING... I'll be honest

      There was never really a quick switch here; it was somewhat of an organic process. Part of the on-going internal discussion we had was about where we do our best work and what brings the most value to the company. I’m good at sales, but didn’t consider myself the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), and over the years at KlientBoost, I’ve typically been the biggest advocate of systems integration and thinking in the company.

      I would say we reached the right stage for this transition once we had directors we could put in each department (sales, marketing, HR/admin, operations), and when Johnathan was ready to be more focused on being the Visionary for the company and being less involved in the day to day tasks of the organization.

    • RU

      Richard Uruchurtu

      about 23 hours ago #

      As for how we measure value? This is a good question. I’m involved in every department so at the end of the day, my impact appears in the P&L, but it’s impossible to point to any line item as my own. However, I’m finding ways every day to make us grow faster and be more profitable by automating routine tasks, creating scalable systems, and making sure special projects get done the right way at the right time.

      2 Share
  • RU

    Richard Uruchurtu

    about 22 hours ago #

    Well everyone, thanks for all the questions! I have to get back to figuring out how to automate my role to the point where I can just spend my time doing AMAs 😃

    Thanks to GrowtHackers for setting this up!

    This was so much fun I'm happy to answer any additional questions later. Have a great day!

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