Measure twice, cut once

November 29, 2023

The proverb ‘measure twice, cut once’ typically means double checking you’ve got things right before you take an action. It’s commonly used by tradespeople and DIY enthusiasts talking about their latest project. And it makes sense. Nobody wants to end up with their brand new extension a metre short because their builder didn’t measure properly, or their new wardrobe door handles wonky because they didn’t check before they drilled!

But you may be wondering how this proverb applies to the world of creative agencies that I inhabit. As a creative agency operations expert, solving problems for these kinds of businesses is what I do. You may think that over the years, I’d have honed my skills so much that I can take one look at the challenges an agency comes to me with and provide them with a solution on the spot. If only it was so easy! 

In reality, the skill I’ve truly mastered is figuring out the root cause of an agency’s problems, rather than using my prior experience to suggest the same solution that worked for a different agency in the past. 

An example 

Two agencies could come to me, challenged with resource management issues. Both of these agencies are struggling to get their projects done with the allotted resources and need help fixing their processes. However, upon taking a closer look, I can see that the root cause of these issues isn’t resource management at all. They actually have issues with their team structure, which need to be rectified alongside some new, leaner processes if they want to improve resource management. 

But, my ‘deep dive’ method goes one step further. Both agencies have a similar problem with a similar root cause. Now I know this, I could provide them both with the same recommendations. But, my experience has shown me that what works for one agency won’t always work for another. So, it makes sense to instead provide a tailored solution to each. One agency may be struggling with having too many managers and not enough junior staff to carry out the work, while the other has issues with poor staff retention in one specific role. These are both problems with team structure, but require very different solutions! As such, they need to take a distinctively separate approach to get them where they need to go. 

The benefits of taking a deep dive into your agency’s problems

Now you know a bit more about my method, what are the actual benefits it can bring to your agency and its profitability?

Identifying the root cause

As an agency owner or director, you know the problems your business is facing on a day-to-day basis. You also know that they need to be fixed. However, what you may not be aware of is the true root cause of the problem. Agencies are often complex, especially if they’re scaling. Issues are often interlinked, and you need to address this if you want the best chance of success in meeting your goals. 

My method does just that. By talking to your team and looking at every aspect of your business in depth, I’ll help you uncover issues that you didn’t even know you had, but are crucial to fix the more surface-level stuff that you’re dealing with every day. 

Producing tailored solutions

As mentioned in the example above, no two agencies are the same. The solutions that work for one won’t always work for another, even if it looks like their problems are similar. My method leaves no stone unturned, and I enjoy truly getting to know your agency and the people in it. I can then use this knowledge to produce a plan of action that is entirely bespoke to your agency, its challenges, the root causes - helping you reach the goals you want to meet more effectively.

An increased chance of success 

Possibly the only benefit you truly care about as an agency owner or director! I like to provide tailored solutions because experience has shown me that they’re the ones that work the best. They’re the most cost-effective, are more likely to get buy-in from your team, and deliver the kind of results you’re looking for - and isn’t that what every creative agency wants and needs?

What does this have to do with ‘measure twice, cut once’?

Now, you may be wondering what all of this has to do with DIY. So, to bring it back to the proverb, it’s all about going deeper than a surface-level look.

Much as you should measure for your new blinds more than once before ordering them, I believe that I need to take a closer look into each agency I work with. I should be certain that I know enough about them to recommend a real solution before going ahead with a one-size-fits-all suggestion.

I take pride in taking the time to find out everything I can about an agency, its processes, how it works, and how it’s structured before recommending a way forward. I’d rather do this than guess, even if that guess is based on my previous experience, as this likely won’t go all the way to fix a different agency’s problems or help them reach their goals. 

If that sounds like the sort of consultant your agency could benefit from working with, then I am here to help! Simply click here to find out more about the bespoke services I offer, or click here to book a free initial call or here to take my five-minute assessment to learn more about how to improve your agency.

Let’s work together to grow your agency.

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Measure Twice, Cut Once

You may think you know what's causing your agency's problems, but often the root cause is completely different. Find out about my approach towards taking a deep dive into your agency and helping you reach your goals.

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