Attack Of The Clone

Several years back, I had an amazing idea.  If I could find a clone of myself, I could double the income coming into my business.  This was when my business suffered the attack of the clone.

How hard could it be ..

The Back Story

I was booked solid.  I had a full roster of stand alone projects.  I had about 50 maintenance clients demanding my attention.

I realised it was time for me to move from being a freelancer to running a firm.  If I could find someone with my skill set I could bring in even more projects, load up my maintenance plans and roll naked in pound notes.

Recruiting Locally

I started my search locally looking for a clone of myself to help in my business.

I’m not cheap (you need to buy me a beer and a steak dinner first) and I found recruiting a clone of me is even more expensive. On top of salary  I would have to incorporate (UK sole traders cannot employ staff), I would need to make pension contributions, national insurance employer payments and bring a whole pile of grief and accountant bullshit (sorry my accountancy clients but your forms and terms make my head spin) into my life, hell no!

The few people I know with my level of WordPress skills laughed when I tried to recruit them, why would they join a startup agency when they could work at big agencies or run their own very successful freelance businesses.

I Had To Go Offshore

I looked offshore to recruit remote contractors.

I tried India, Tim Ferris tells us India is the way, I’ll not go into details here, but there is a cultural norm with Indian techies that makes them hard to work with, in my experience.

I went to South East Asia and the Philippines. I very quickly had a team of three people working with me.

I was bringing in more money, more clients and more stress for myself with a full client workload and a new unexpected job managing a team and ensuring sales were at a level to cover my additional costs.

Then the sh1t hit the fan and cash flow dried up and I was not earning enough cash to pay my team and myself so they were all let go.

Time goes by, rinse and repeat I recruited another team.

Then the sh1t hit the fan and an unexpectedly large tax bill forced me to let go of my team.  I did not have the cash flow in place to cover this unexpected expense and pay their invoices.

Time goes by, rinse and repeat I recruited another team ….

I had three failed attempts at building an agency. The attack of the clone became the attack of the clone x3.

Back To the drawing board

I went back to being the solopreneur.

It was fine for a while but I had more maintenance clients and just as much project work. Very quickly I was full fit to bust with work again.

I knew I needed help but I also knew I could not clone myself and try to build an agency again.

I took myself off and had some deep thinking time, that’s where I formulated the idea of a µAgency.

I Now Run A µAgency

I wrote a post outlining my ideas about a µAgency last year I’ll wait while you check that post out.

I’ve built a micro agency where I concentrate on the one off projects and have a single team member to run my maintenance plan.

It works really well, I have a recurring income steam that takes very little of my personal time to run and I have a lot more time to take care of my one off projects.

I can take time off my business and still earn an income.

I have a µAgency business that is resilient because it has lots of small µRetainers bringing in income each month.

I’ve decided to share how to build a micro agency with other freelancers.

Who Is A µAgency For?

It’s for solo freelancers looking to make the leap from freelancer to firm.

It’s for freelancers taking the first step (or even their only step) to building a firm.

I want to show freelancers how to take baby steps and build an agency that will work and not break due to cash flow issue or other unexpected issues.

I want to show freelancers how to build a tiny agency that will not consume them with management time.

I want to show freelancers how to build a recurring income that does not take their time.

I want to show freelancers how that can take time off from work and still have money coming in.

From Freelancer To Firm

I’ve built a new site called MicroAgencySchool.com where there are courses to teach you how to build a µAgency.

There is a free introduction course which teaches you what a µAgency is and a premium course launching later this year to show you how to build that agency step by step.

From freelancer to firm is the tag line I’m using with my courses.  That’s the transformation I’m trying to help you make.  I want to show you how to move from being a solopreneur to a tiny agency owner without making the mistakes I did.

I’m Not A Guru

In the post I talk about not being a guru but I’m passionate about helping people grow their online business so I’ve created a these courses to help people understand what a µAgency is.

Wrap Up – Attack Of The Clone

Let me be Yoda to your Luke Skywalker and show you how to build a micro agency.  Check out my free course over at the MicroAgencySchool.com

If you like what you see, you can check out the premium course which will step you though building your own µAgency coming later this year.

Photo Credit: Zellaby Flickr via Compfight cc

doing the seo dance – attack of the clone

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