Is it time for your inbound marketing agency to offer fewer services?

Growth is an amazing thing. It moves us forward, teaches us and gives us an incredible amount of satisfaction – especially when that growth is the growth of your agency and the people in it. Growth also poses challenges. By growing, you have to let go of some of the practices and processes you adopted when your inbound marketing agency was a fraction of its size.

It can be tough – especially for those who like to retain full control of their business. But there can’t be growth without change. I’m going to run through a few things to consider if you think it might be time to let go of some of the services your inbound marketing agency offers.

If you’re only getting requests for this service once a quarter, that’s too little

Consider how many times a new clients – or existing client – requests this service. You know, that service which – if someone asked – you’d have to go rifling through folders on your laptop to find the pricing scheme for. The kind of service where you have to pause a few seconds before remembering what the hell it actually is. If you’ve got services like these, it’s time to streamline your business. That said, if you’re getting requests several times a month, it might be worth keeping it as part of your core offering.

Every service you offer to clients must justify itself financially

For every service you offer, you’re the one who ends up out of pocket – especially when very few of your clients are buying them. You have to pay staff their salaries and invest time honing your skills in that area. Check out our previous blog on inbound marketing agency retainers for more information about the maths behind this. If you’re only getting business from a service once a quarter then it’s probably time to say goodbye. And if you really can’t bring yourself to let it go completely, it might be time to consider outsourcing it.

Your suite of services should complement each other, not clash

Image that you run a business making and selling artisanal ice-cream. And then you decide to expand into selling leather shoes. From the same premises. It would be a bit weird, and your customers will probably get confused – and maybe start buying from the ice-cream shop across town that only sells frozen milk products. The same applies for agencies operating in the digital marketing landscape. If you think one of your services doesn’t fit with the others, you’re probably ready to ship it out.

Focus on the services that your clients associate you with

What’s the first thing that pops into your customers’ heads when they hear your agency’s name? Is it ice-cream or leather shoes? (And if you have no idea what your customers are thinking about you, it’s probably time you found out.) Whatever services you’re best known for, and that reinforce your brand, you should keep. Any other service that no-one’s even heard of you can let go of.

By offering too many services, you risk diluting your core offering. Have you ever visited a company’s website and been overwhelmed – not to mention, confused – by just how many services it offers? You don’t know whether it’s an agency that specialises in branding or one that offers photographic services. This is where the adage ‘quality not quantity’ really applies.

One way to get around this is by outsourcing some of the services that you either don’t use a lot or that don’t fit with your core offering. For more information on marketing BPO and how outsourcing to another inbound marketing agency can benefit your agency, download our guide: Effectively Scale your Digital Agency - Outsourcing and Offshoring Your Digital Marketing.