I am inherently skeptical of any new agency model.

John Sampogna, CEO

At the end of the day, there are only so many ways to structure a services company.

I’ve heard it all throughout the years:

- Work for equity or a split of equity/fee
- Split of client work and building your ownable products or IP
- Paid sprints or discovery before committing to a larger scope

Sure, these all sound great, and there will always be exceptions or unique moments when applying one of these tactics makes sense, but it’s not the norm, and I’d find it hard to believe it works consistently or at any real scale.

Predetermined client timelines and budgets largely determine how we operate, and there’s very little we can do to control this.

I assume the competition is generally OK with the proposed budget and timeline in every agency pitch process or search.

I’m not saying you want to accept bad business or wreckless timelines, but constantly focusing on rethinking the basis of the agency model is likely a waste of time.

The best agencies take pricing and timelines out of the daily focus.

Instead, they work backward from a situation and get moving on how to make the partnership successful.

The sexiest and most innovative work is usually the byproduct of the least sexy aspects of the agency operating model.

Things like:

- Efficient and well-run resourcing practice
- Always on recruiting and talent management
- Seamless client onboarding and kickoff processes
- Consistent and defined communication tools
- Buttoned up contracting and legal review/representation

The agency business is and will always be a people business. The key difference between agencies and talented freelancers is our ability to bring very talented individuals together and have them work seamlessly as a team to deliver great work.

As technology progresses and automation is built into standard tools, we will likely rethink the model again. Instead, prioritize collaboration and nailing the basics to allow people to work together effectively and create great work.

Read the original post here.

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