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Here’s a fun fact for you: most owners who try to scale a marketing agency don’t realize that a typical agency will often “break” at certain, predictable inflection points—3 team members, 10 team members, 30 team members, and so on. It’s something that Dev Basu, CEO of Powered by Search, Canada’s fastest-growing digital performance marketing agency, knows all too well. Dev has grown his agency through each stage, and he’s coached many other agency owners on their own journeys from early growth to seven-figure revenues. In this piece, Dev shares why agencies break at four key sizes—along with specific strategies and tactics to get past them and keep growing (like good hiring practices, when to hire managers, how to get out of stale profitability numbers, and what to look for in a client).

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    Olivia Seitz

    7 days ago #

    I loved his advice for interactions with employees/freelancers. Things like setting expectations, compensation structure, mentoring your top performers (instead of spending all your time on people who aren't a good fit for the company)... It's nice to see an actionable plan to ensure that everyone's interests are aligned.

    • NC

      Nathan Collier

      7 days ago #

      Agreed. Dev's interview gives agency owners a lot to think about and to be more prepared for those growing pains.

    • NC

      Nathan Collier

      7 days ago #

      Agreed. Dev's interview gives agency owners a lot to think about and to be more prepared for those growing pains.

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    Margo Pierce

    7 days ago #

    This approach is interesting. Obviously, the needs vary at different levels, but Dev breaks it down in a practical way. The breakout of staff numbers makes sense and the needs at each level provide a realistic context. Those things gained from experience can help anyone who hasn't reached that particular level before. Good stuff!

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    Benji Hyam

    6 days ago #

    This is super helpful. Our agency broke at the 3 and 10 person mark-- now going to use this advice to help us get past the 10 person challenges. Specifically we're working on systematizing and continuing to get the right people in the right roles.

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