After having passed through the hardest transitions — the growth stages that feel like a caterpillar building a cocoon then emerging as a butterfly — the agency now enters a phase where growth is less about big-bang changes and more about embedding constant change and growth as a process.

Scaling up is about reliably, repeatedly, replicating what you do.

Characteristics of the scale-up stage

  • You pass 75(ish) people
  • You have a full leadership team including senior leaders of HR, finance, accounts/sales, delivery
  • You have solid processes that mean the agency runs smoothly
  • You're financially solid with a good pipeline
  • The agency can repeatedly do everything it does without any involvement from the CEO and other directors who can focus on improving the business and being ambassadors
  • The agency is highly proficient at recruiting, training, developing and progressing great people

Common mistakes at the scale-up stage