E1: Build a 70-person agency and then start over with Phil Lockwood
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Why Bigger Isn’t Always Better When it Comes to Building Your Agency
Our guest on today’s podcast is Phil Lockwood, the founder, and managing partner of Creation Chamber, a Denver-based web agency.
After getting laid off following the 2000 Dotcom bust, Phil began his rollercoaster journey of growing Creation Chamber to 70 employees before starting over with only 1. Today, Phil loves working with clients. That’s why he’s deeply involved in the majority of Creation Chamber’s client projects. This hands-on approach keeps him ahead of industry trends, helping him drive client marketing strategy and grow new areas the agency. He’s been in the industry for 20 years — 15 of those have been at Creation Chamber’s helm.
In his spare time, he reads 1 book per week, strives for 1 new industry certification per month, and enjoys traveling with his wife and 3 amazing children.
[2:10] – Resign > Taxi > Information Highway
[5:50] – Building a cool agency for my own legitimacy
[8:30] – On working from home
You have nothing to prove, just make money
[8:50] – Profit over ego
[9:55] – Murders and Acquisitions with agency merger
[12:30] – Choose your partners carefully
[13:30] – 65-70 people with 350k in payroll and 90k on personal AMEX
[14:15] – How to break up with partners
[15:30] – How to approach the future of uncertainty
[22:25] – How to present yourself as a soloist / virtual agency
[24:10] – How to be low cost, legit, and flexible with office space
[26:19] – Kept reputation, got back office redo
[27:15] – Setting up team and infrastructure (25k networking, 10k lease)
[30:35] – Building a family business with his girlfriend (now wife)
[32:30] – Unneeded team and benefits impact on profits
[33:50] – How market conditions impacted profits in 2008
[38:00] – How to manage outsourced teams
[41:45] – What’s going on right now at Creation Chamber
[43:20] – The industry is due for massive change
[47:50] – The Lightning Round:
Best advice: “Hire slowly, fire quickly.”
Which of your personal habits has contributed the most to your success: “Attention to detail. Understanding both the creative and technical side of the business.”
Favorite internet resource or tool: “Accelo: Incredible single platform that allows you to grow your professional services firm.”
What is one book that you recommend: “The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil. Great glimpse into what our industry might look like in 10-15 years.”
[51:00] – Ways to connect with Phil online