Intentional Growth

#205: Growing & Selling an 8-Figure Digital Agency: How to Create Freedom Before and After the Sale

Intentional Growth
#205: Growing & Selling an 8-Figure Digital Agency: How to Create Freedom Before and After the Sale
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​Jason shares how he became cash strapped and burnt out as the company grew and what he did to recalibrate his day-to-day role and grow value before he sold the company to a strategic buyer.

What You Will Learn in Today’s Podcast Interview:

  • How rapid growth can consume your capital and cash
  • Strategies for deciding what work you love and who you should hire to help with the rest
  • Why clearly conveying your mission and vision to your employees is valuable for success
  • Jason’s framework for helping clients, The Three I’s: Issue, Impact, Importance
  • Why you should delegate the outcomes rather than the tasks
  • How implementing strategic systems and processes within your organization can allow you to take a step back from the day-to-day tasks
  • The importance of having a plan on your own terms for life after the sale of your company
  • How building your company with a clear end goal in mind gives you choices
  • How being intentional about what you want as your goals should drive how you build your business
  • The importance of building a valuable business in order to have options
  • The different ways you can exit your (management) role in your company and your ownership. For example:
    • ESOPs
    • Private equity recapitalization

Podcast Summary:

In today’s episode, entrepreneur Jason Swenk shares with us how he grew and sold his 8-figure digital marketing agency.

Jason founded the business after freelancing for many years and describes himself as an
accidental agency owner.

After 12 years of growth, hiring over 100 full time employees, and working with clients like Hitachi, AT&T, Coke and Legal Zoom, Jason found himself exhausted by the business and with less freedom than he had BEFORE he became an entrepreneur.

He was strapped for cash, making less money than expected, and was working on the day-to-day things he disliked.

So Jason decided to recalibrate his relationship with the business.


Jason set up new systems and hired the necessary people in order to focus on the areas he enjoyed the most. By taking a step back to get clarity on what his vision for the company was, he shifted from an accidental business to a scalable AND sellable organization.

Ja
son shares with us how he worked himself out of the business, why he decided to sell and what life was like working for the buyer... and how to avoid some of the mistakes he made (emotionally and financially) in the sale.
 
I’m excited to share the conversation with you today because Jason clearly explains the value of growing your business in order to have choices, rather than just growing to sell.

About the Jason Swank:

Right out of college, Jason was able to work for one of the five big consulting agencies in the industry, Arthur Anderson. But it didn’t take him long to realize that it wasn’t in his nature to work for other people.

Jason always had an entrepreneurial spirit, so he decided to quit his day job start working freelance. He eventually met his business partner. After merging their businesses, they formed their own digital marketing agency where they worked up to building and marketing for companies like AT&T, Hitachi, and Lotus Cars.

He sold the company in 2012, learned some lessons, and grew from those lessons, eventually creating a unique consultancy helping marketing agency owners grow their own agencies the right way (and faster).

 Podcast Interview Quotes:

17:30 – “You gotta think about, like, I was accidental, like most people and I was just kind of going with the flow. I didn’t have that clarity to make decisions.” – Jason Swenk

19:57 – “If you would just tell the team where the f*** you’re going, you’d be good, right?” – Jason Swenk

20:05 – “If you hire people, delegate the outcomes, don’t delegate the tasks and they’ll actually do way better.” – Jason Swenk

34:18 – “That’s why I do what I do, because I wanted to be the resource I wish I had, right?” - Jason Swenk

02:20 - “Having that ass-backwards can lead to depression, anxiety, stress and unhappiness.” - Ryan Tansom, on the importance of building your business around your goals and not the other way around.

 

Links and Resources:

Jason Swenk Official Website

The Smart Agency Master Class Podcast

Swenk Today Show

Mastering Your Cash Flow Digital Course

ARKONA Boot Camp

Reach out to me if you have questions about the boot camp!

You can also reach out to me via email at rtansom@arkona.io, on my LinkedIn.


Brought to you by Ryan Tansom of Intentional Growth