The secret to scaling a profitable agency fast (without burning out)

There are certain things all businesses have always needed in order to grow big. But up until relatively recently, it was virtually impossible to do if you were a small to medium-sized business. Today though, things are very different. Here’s why.


If you were a small business back in the early noughties, and you had dreams of growing to 7 figures and beyond, you’d have needed not only a full finance team but also about £20,000 to custom-build your system. So most small businesses stayed small.


The tech revolution

But back when I first started de Jong Phillips in 2015, I realised that this just wasn’t true anymore. Small businesses could grow big without a huge budget. And the simple difference was tech. 


That’s why at de Jong Phillips we’ve always been early adopters. This means when our clients come to us with big dreams of where they want their business to be in the next 5 years, we can say, “Yes! Let’s go!” 


Growing your small business with big business strategies…

The reason tech is so revolutionary for agencies like yours is that for the first time ever it allows you to apply big business strategy to your small business. 


Coming from a corporate banking background I knew how powerful this could be. Because even the smallest agency could put in place the tech infrastructure they needed to scale for just £50 a month!


It’s time to ditch the spreadsheets

Unfortunately, most businesses (and a lot of old-school accountants) don’t realise this, which is why so many agencies are still trudging along.  


At the very least, if you have an old-fashioned desktop-based accounting system you’re probably only looking at your numbers when your bookkeeper comes in once a month. This means you never have up-to-date information on which to base your business decisions. 


We were one of the first accountants to move our clients off desktop-based systems, so these days that’s just a given. We’re on to the next thing and love helping our clients embrace the latest tech and software to scale profitably, predictably, and with speed.

If you’re not using tech, you’re getting left behind

Technology can totally transform your business. Here are just a few ways how:


  • Tech saves you money 
  • Tech makes your agency more profitable
  • Tech turns you into a more slick and attractive organisation to do business with.
  • Tech gets your agency running like clockwork


So how can you get started? Well, this is something I go into in much greater detail in my book The Prosperous Agency. But I’m constantly watching out for the best new tech to help my business grow. 


Here are 5 of our favourite business-boosting apps that we are currently using and recommending to our clients:

1. Xero


This accounting software is an absolute must-have app for any agency. It is the core of your financial system and has a bucket load of great features that will make the job of keeping your records up to date easier – and when your records are up-to-date you can make faster better-informed decisions.


2. Dext Prepare


This handy little tool will save you hours of bookkeeping time, and the agencies we work with love it because it means no more hunting down bits of paper for your bookkeeper. You simply snap a photo of your receipts through the app and they’re automatically processed into your accounting system. Genius.

3. Chaser


This is an easy way to take the pain out of chasing payment for overdue invoices because Chaser connects to your accounting system and does the leg work for you. This means you get paid faster without even having to pick up the phone.

4. Telleroo


Making payments to your suppliers and team is time-consuming and can be a tricky one to delegate, but Telleroo connects to your accounting system and helps manage the payments for you with a single transaction.

5. Harvest


As your people are likely to be one of your biggest expenses, tracking their time is critical if you want a thriving agency. We’ve found Harvest to be the perfect tool for doing this – it has great functionality and is simple to use. 


We use these exact apps day in and day out at de Jong Phillips and are constantly on the lookout for the latest software to help us and our clients to grow. But of course, tech is just one of the pieces of the puzzle to growing a successful agency. 


Over the last few years, I’ve realised that there are 6 key pillars that all successful agencies have in place. I’ve even written a book about what they are and how you can implement them inside your own agency.

You can grab your copy of The Prosperous Agency: How to scale your agency business profitably and sustainably here.