The 5 Stages of Agency Growth™

Understand the five stages of growth and why they’re vital for your success.

What's the pyramid all about?

After over a decade of coaching, consulting, and training, we’ve seen it all. And from scrappy startups to multimillion-dollar agencies, we noticed a pattern.

Businesses, no matter their size, go through distinct growth stages, each with its own set of goals, challenges, and common pitfalls.

That’s why we created The Five Stages of Agency Growth™. It’s our way of mapping out the growth journey and giving you exactly what you need to break into the next level.

Level 1

The Pathfinder

So, you’ve made the leap and started a business! This is exciting stuff—the world needs more go-getters like you. But you’re still finding your way.

Maybe it’s early days, or maybe you’ve been around a while but haven’t refined your audience and offer yet. Either way, you need to commit to a clear route if you want to grow.

If you...

🤔 Wonder how you’re going to deliver results and if your clients are even right for you

🎯 Aren’t sure about your clients’ exact needs or why they hire you instead of someone else

💭 Find yourself spending a lot of time designing, planning, or dreaming vs. actually doing

🫠 Let stress, self-doubt, and uncertainty rule your actions so you take any client that pays

You need to...

Are you a Pathfinder?

Get instant access to the program that will help you reach the next level of growth.

Level 2

The Voyager

Now that your offering, target audience, and business model are validated it’s time to ramp up marketing, sales, and delivery systems.

Congrats, not a lot of people make it to this stage. We often see companies doing $3-$10M that still haven’t mastered the level one fundamentals.

In this stage, you’re likely working longer hours and feel like you’re stuck in many parts of the business. You’ll experience peaks and valleys with your income. You’re wearing all the hats and feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders.

At the same time, you’re excited and building some confidence despite the tough hours. You have paying clients and are beginning to see what’s possible in the future.

You often ask yourself…

Common pitfalls include…

Don’t let the overwhelm kill your optimistic outlook. You have an actual business and it’s too early to throw in the towel. Try to avoid the below as it will only add complexity that you don’t need this early on in business:

Your growth plan

Your focus in this stage is to direct as much mental, creative and physical energy into marketing, sales and service delivery systems so you don’t stay in this stage for long.

Here you’re building your sales and marketing system, further refining your messaging and positioning to differentiate yourself in the market.

Focus areas

Go from Voyager to Navigator

We’ve designed a training and coaching program specifically for this growth stage.

Level 3

The Navigator

Now revenue is flowing, thanks to the sales and marketing systems you’ve installed. You have quality leads, prospects, and clients.

Consistent revenue has finally started to support the type of life you want financially. However, it’s hard to enjoy the fruits of your labor. You find yourself being ‘the labor’ for your clients.

At this stage, it’s common to feel like you’re on a hamster wheel. You don’t have the key parts of the business operationalized and haven’t had the mental capacity to think about it.

So, while you can finally afford stuff, somehow things still feel tight. This is partly due to low margins, making you hesitant to hire help.

You often ask yourself…

Common pitfalls include…

At this stage your revenue is likely tied to the work aka you are still too involved in delivery. Unless you plan on being the bottleneck forever, a business won’t run on your overworked pace for long so something has to change. A few things to pay attention to: 

Don’t make the most common mistake people make which is hiring for capacity. If you hire simply to get more clients, you didn’t change anything about how hard you’re working. Yes, revenue might go up but you’re still overworked. We always buy back our time first.

Your growth plan

Now it’s time to *really* install more operational systems within your business to remove yourself from wearing all the hats. 
Your key focus in this stage is having a solid operating system across all parts of your business that has reduced your working hours by at *least* 20% because you have some help and head space to level up. 

Here you’re removing things from your plate, focused more on the numbers, further harnessing technology and likely having a keep operations team member in place.

Focus areas

Are you a Navigator?

If you want help making all the right moves at this critical growth stage, join our coaching program.

Level 4

The Trailblazer

Hurrah! Revenue is stable and you’re no longer the bottleneck. You have key team members, automation, and systems that allow you more time to work on the business.

Because you’ve invested in your team, your profits may have taken a hit which is common at the stage. But your newfound time means you’ve focused on growth and have more sales coming in. Now, it’s about scaling without things breaking.

You often ask yourself…

Common pitfalls include…

Your growth plan

It’s time to scale via systems and intellectual property, rather than people.

Take the opportunity to bolt on new revenue streams by monetizing your expertise and packaging your knowledge into products and programs. Think things like training, group coaching and consulting, workshops, and memberships.
By going from one to multiple income streams, you can scale profits while staying lean and working less than 40 hours per week.

You should also work on your leadership skills, develop key team members to take on more decision-making responsibilities, build out more distribution and marketing channels, and further optimize business systems.

Focus areas

Are you a Trailblazer?

Then you’re invited to interview for our Trailblazer Mastermind Collective.

Level 5

The Pioneer

The fifth stage is the rarest position for founders, and it’s not easy to reach. The market gets to decide who the Pioneers are.

You’re looked at as a market leader and an authority in your space and are likely doing north of $3M in revenue. While revenue isn’t always the best indicator, if you’re a Pioneer, your numbers show it.

Now you’ve reached the top of the mountain, you have talent coming to you, a waitlist of clients, and decision-makers in place. You’re operating above the business.

You often ask yourself…

Common pitfalls include…

The worst thing you can do is resting on your laurels and getting too comfortable. Even though you’re removed you don’t want this asset to fail so keeping an eye on the leadership team and being a good mentor and support net for them is important.

Your growth plan

At this level, you’re considering acquiring other brands or companies and exploring new endeavors. At the same time, you need to protect what you’ve built while being a steward to those who came after you.

Plus, now you have the luxury of abundant time and money for other interests and hobbies.

You probably think of yourself more as an investor at this stage because you have leaders running the show. They’re making the key decisions while you’re focusing on furthering your market leadership.

Focus areas

Are you a Pioneer?

Meet others in your rare, coveted position in our exclusive mastermind group.

Book a call

For more information about our programs, schedule a quick 20-minute call.

Easily the best investment I made in my business.

Chris Baylis