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Considering your options

There's more than one way to approach your growth plans.

There are no simple answers.

Once you've decided that you're serious about growing your business, you need to find an approach.  You could do it yourself, after all nobody knows your business as well as you.  You could recruit a team and keep it in-house. Alternatively you could look at using a marketing agency or a growth agency like Wellmeadow. The table below highlights some of the areas to consider when making a decision.  You might even chose a hybrid option (we've seen this work in a number of places).

Do it yourself Recruit a team Use Marketing Agency Use Growth Agency
Estimated Monthly Cost Est.
£ 2.5k
Plus opportunity cost
Est.
£ 6k+
2 FTE, plus ENIC, Pension
Est.
£ 2.5k-5k+
Depends on scope
Est.
£ 5k+
Depends on scope
Definitions
Option definition
This is quite a broad definition by design but hopefully helps give some context.
As a business owner you take on all the growth tasks. Could be done but kiss goodbye to your evenings and weekends.
Recruit/employee a team to manage marketing/growth activities internally
Take on a marketing agency. Typically the focus will be on branding, website, social media presence.
Take on a growth agency. Still does the creative content but much more focus on the numbers and broader growth issues.
Things to consider
Time
Have you got enough time to think, plan, and do the work required?
For a new team, budget 6-12 months to find the right people, recruit them and get them up to speed.
Can get started fairly quickly (within 1 month)
Can get started fairly quickly (within 1 month)
Cost
Your time.
Depends on the skills and expertise you want. Start at £25k-£30k per FTE (plus ENIC, pension, holiday). You may need 2+ people depending on activities.
Depends on the scope. Can be £500/m for basic social management up to £5k+ for full marketing service.
Depends on the scope. Typical HubSpot agency fees are circa £5k/month for which you're getting marketing and HubSpot support.
Management
You have to manage yourself!
Time to manage a team (Agree/Review work, manage staff, etc.)
You outsource the day-to-day management of your marketing/growth activities.
You outsource the day-to-day management of your marketing/growth activities.
Expertise
You know your business better than anyone but do you have the marketing skills?
Greater expertise/skills cost more and can be harder to find and retain.
Access to greater levels of expertise and experience. Potentially access to a broader range of skills than an in-house solution.
Access to greater levels of expertise and experience. Potentially access to a broader range of skills than an in-house solution.
Think
Create a Vision
Knowing where you want to get to is a fundamental part of your growth journey. The role of the leader is to create a vision that others buy into and want to help achieve.
Have to find the time
Don't typically get involved at this level
Don't typically get involved at this level
Definitely, this is key to growth.
Board Support
High growth companies need insights when it comes to governance issues.
Can do it yourself but will/do you?
Can offer specialist support in this area.
Build a Team
You can't achieve the growth on your own, at some point you're going to need a team.  Learn how to attract, select, and retain the right talent to help you achieve your vision.
Have you got the time to build a team?
Can offer support here once systems set up
Culture Change
As your business grows you are going to have to deal with a changing culture. Understanding your values and purpose can help set the tone for the behaviours you want to see in your business.
Could be offered depending on the agency
Digital Transformation
The world is moving increasingly towards digital platforms.  How can you make sure that your business isn't left behind in an analogue world?
Might get round to it
Could be done internally but it's normally a big project
Can be part of a growth project.
Plan
Strategic Planning
Strategy involves gaining a deep understanding of what is going on today in your business (internally and externally), establishing some guiding principles of how you plan to move towards the vision, and then turning it all into an actionable plan. Simple!
If time permits
Depends on expertise in the team
HubSpot
HubSpot is market leading CRM software that is powerful and easy-to-use.  As an approved HubSpot partner, Wellmeadow can help you leverage the power of marketing automation to take your business growth to the next level
Marketing Plan
Having creative marketing ideas is all well and good. However, at some point they need to be bought to life. This is where marketing planning comes into its own.
Tech Stack
With so many options for utilising technology for your business processes where do you start.  From marketing to finance, inventory to sales pipelines, getting the right technology to do the right thing at the right time can be a challenge but also a huge opportunity.
Business Process Automation
If you're looking for business growth, chances are you're going to have automate some processes.  Sales and Marketing automation can significantly leverage your efforts and deliver more leads for your business.
Yes, if have time and knowledge
Could be done internally if skill-set exists.
Do
SEO
You can probably add greater value elsewhere
Depends on expertise available
PPC
You can probably add greater value elsewhere
Depends on expertise available
Social Media
Yes, if you're looking to build a personal brand
Depends on expertise available and type of content being pushed out
Can manage all aspects of content creation and social management
Can manage all aspects of content creation and social management
Podcasts
Yes, if you've got interesting content
Yes, if you've got interesting content
Might be able to leverage other platforms/have access to other podcasters
Might be able to leverage other platforms/have access to other podcasters
PR/Advertising
You can probably add greater value elsewhere
Usually outsource
Should have good connections for PR
Should have good connections for PR
Blogging
Yes, if you've got interesting content
Can be done inhouse but may not have creative/writing skills depending on mix of the team.
A good agency should be able to produce engaging blog content that drives SEO.
A good agency should be able to produce engaging blog content that drives SEO and lead generation
Landing Page Development
You can probably add greater value elsewhere
Possibly but there is an art to it.
Depends on level of involvement with lead gen activities
Definitely, it's a key element of capturing leads.
Data Capture (e.g. Forms)
You can probably add greater value elsewhere
Yes, level of form design may depend on internal knowledge
Depends on level of involvement with lead gen activities
Definitely, it's a key element of capturing leads.
Chatbots
You can probably add greater value elsewhere
Possibly depending on software/content available.
Wouldn't usually get involved.
Yes, if it's part of the way prospects/customers interact with the business.
Marketing workflows
You can probably add greater value elsewhere
Depends on software used and skills available
Probably won't get involved in this.
Will be actively involved in helping to automate marketing activities in order to leverage growth opportunities.
Email Marketing
You will likely ned to contribute to the content.
Should be able to manage this using software such as HubSpot, Mail Chimp, etc.
May get involved in this depending on the brief. It might be more setting up templates rather than managing the process.
Will be actively involved in helping to manage the email marketing, developing content and analysing results to gain insights for the next campaign.
Content Creation (e.g. ebooks, videos)
Regardless of the option, you'll need to be involved in content creation.
Need to ensure that internal team have skills to develop engaging content.
Content may be more visual-led, (e.g. branding) depending on brief
Content creation is a key part of growth strategy to attract, engage and nurture leads. Will have knowledge of what's worked elsewhere.
Review
Identify Key Performance Indicators
How do you know what are the right metrics to focus on for growth? How can you put systems in place to measure your progress? You manage what you measure so don't focus on vanity metrics.
Marketing Reporting
There are loads of different ways to report on your sales and marketing data.  The right format will depend on the audience and the story you're trying to tell. 
Data Analysis
With software such as HubSpot in place, the amount of data you can collect is enormous. Turning the data into actionable insights is key to being able to maximise your growth potential.
Depends on the skills available
Machine Learning/AI
The future is here! Leverage the power of machining learning to analyse your data and get deeper insights in a fraction of the time.  Understand what is happening with your prospects and customers using thousands of data points.
Next steps...
Want to learn more about doing your own marketing? Download our FREE "Intro to Inbound" ebook.
Looking to build your own marketing team? Download our FREE marketing recruitment ebook.
Want to know more about how a growth agency can help your business? Let's talk.
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