The Focal Point Blog // Business Strategy // Tom O'Neill // November 22, 2021

Strategic Planning for Business Growth: Scaling Your Magic

When your digital services agency is small, it’s easy to stay focused on what’s most important. These early days are nothing short of magical as you build a dream team of heroes ready to tackle new business, capabilities, and rapidly changing priorities.

But how do you scale that “magic” to reach your business growth goals? While cloning your heroes is impossible, strategic planning for business growth isn’t.

In this strategic planning guide, I share insights I’ve gathered over the years as well as the steps you can take to develop an effective strategy.

Table of Contents

Cloning Your Heroes Isn’t Possible

Before Parallax, I helped grow Nerdery from a tiny little dev shop to an international consulting firm with nearly 500 people and $85M in annual sales. When I look back at the early days, I remember the magical feeling of being a part of a team that shared the vision of building something exceptional and working tirelessly to survive. 

It was awesome. We grew fast and evolved organically because every project was an experience to learn from, every pitch an opportunity to reinvent ourselves, and every new hire a chance to level up our craft. We didn’t have fancy offices or great branding, but we had brilliant and adaptable people who believed in each other and our mission.

My experience at Nerdery mirrors many of our customers’ experiences. When an agency is small and has just a handful of customers, it’s easy to stay focused on the end goal.

The team naturally builds acumen and habits for rapidly responding to the changing needs of the business. Employees learn to prioritize, focus, and adapt daily. They become experts in building amazing things in a world of chaos.

Eventually, leaders in the company find themselves working harder and harder with diminishing returns. Feeling reliant on the heroic effort of the people on their team, they joke about “cloning” their best people to support growth. 

Unfortunately, building a literal cloning machine can sometimes feel more straightforward than finding people who mirror the experience and capability of your heroes. However, cloning isn’t possible (yet).

Before we go forward, it’s worth noting I’m a firm believer that talent is the most critical part of any business. I’ve built my career on my ability to surround myself with people more intelligent, creative, and strategic than I am. The answer for effectively scaling a digital services firm will never be to lower standards for talent.

Strategic Planning for Business Growth: The Right Way to Scale Your Magic

So, what’s your agency to do when building a cloning machine is out of the question? As your organization scales, it must be thoughtful about what created the “magic” during its early growth and how the “heroes” you depend on became great.

As your business and your team grow, you must be more intentional about helping everyone understand your business strategy and goals and what to do to achieve them. 

Scaling your “magic” is as simple as engaging your team in the business vision and goals. Cloning the “heroes” is as simple as hiring great people and making sure they know what they need to do to succeed, and then measuring their success and holding them accountable.

For many digital services companies, the answer lies in strategic planning for business growth.

The Benefits of Strategic Planning

Building a strategic plan for your business is critical for scaling your magic. There are plenty of benefits you’ll experience when you take the time to develop a clear business roadmap, including:

  • Team alignment: A strategic plan enables your team to have a shared perspective. With that shared perspective, everyone will work to achieve the same goals, pushing your business forward toward success.
  • Less reactivity: Businesses must constantly evolve due to factors such as ever-changing customer demands and increased competition. Successful businesses don’t react to changes as they occur. Instead, they stay proactive by planning ahead. A strategic plan enables you to do just that.
  • Improved decision-making: With a strategic plan to guide your business activities, key decisions become easier to make. You and your team can focus on doing what aligns with your key business objectives.

Parallax’s Strategic Planning Guide

Building a strategy for business growth is a complex undertaking. That’s why we’ve developed a guide to help digital services companies like yours create an effective strategic plan.

Our guide walks you through five key strategic planning steps and provides you with a set of tools designed to help you develop your vision, goals, and objectives to improve your business. 

It encourages you to leverage your agency’s people, processes, tools, and data to inform your strategy and objectives for moving forward. It’s meant to be an impetus for change without being disruptive to what’s working.

The guide won’t help you create a more formal process using the “triage” habits your agency or consultancy has developed over the years. These ad hoc processes designed to manage the reactive nature of businesses can be antibodies to change. 

Rather, Parallax’s Strategic Planning Guide for Digital Services Companies will help you look forward, bet on your strategy, and set goals and objectives for improvement.

Good planning provides the time and space for key team members to look at the business from a lens of growth and with a shared perspective. A great strategic planning process helps us consider external components such as benchmarks and best practices rather than assuming we must invent everything.

Download our Strategic Planning Guide to access a project plan, business assessment survey, belief-purpose strategic framework, and so much more. Together, these tools will help you and your heroes realize the possibilities for growth in your business.

Strategic planning guide for digital services companies

Ready to put reactivity behind you?

Download Parallax’s Strategic Planning Guide.