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54 | [Rebroadcast] Dispelling Myths Around Growth: A Conversation with Spencer Gallagher and Pete Hoole

Spencer Gallagher and Pete Hoole work with the next generation of independent Agencies to help them scale as co-founders of Cactus. In the past eight years they’ve worked with more than 1,000 Agencies globally, all the while collecting notes about what was and was not working. They recently converted those notes into a book, Agencynomics, an Amazon five-star rated best selling book and Audiobook, aimed to help all types of Agencies scale from Start-up to the first £3-5M in revenue by setting the record straight on what KPIs should really look like.  

In our conversation we talk about some of the myths around what makes an Agency successful, where you should really focus your energy, and the four cornerstones that anchor business success. While the focus is on Agency growth, many of the areas they’ve identified are ubiquitous to the business world. 

In this episode we talk about:

  • Why work-life balance and a corporate culture of trust is essential to success
  • How personal relationships and networks to grow your business
  • What your eNPS score should look like, and how to grow it
  • Where you should be channeling your energy and qualifying your leads
  • What it means to take a client-centric approach in the way you structure your staff


Leveraging Your Greatest Asset: Your People

Spencer Gallagher and Pete Hoole, co-founders of Cactus, have spent the last eight years working with more than 1,000 independent Agencies to help them scale, with incredible results. In their professional journeys, the two have been involved at every stage of Agency growth and they’ve taken notes along the way. These notes ultimately became the source for their Amazon five-star rated book Agencynomics. 

Across this journey they have discovered that in many ways success comes down to people – how you treat them, how you leverage their talents, and empower them for success. From how you generate leads to how you benchmark your work, your people are at the core of your business. While this seems obvious, many don’t tap into the power of their people or recognise them for the potential they represent.  

Your People are Your Number One Source of Growth

When you step back and look at your top sources of business, what you will likely find is that your most reliable and steady clients are founded on personal relationships, trust, and the people in your sphere of influence.  

So instead of thinking and worrying about who the competition is going after, building up that network and the personal brand of your leaders will ultimately generates more reliable leads. 

Despite this truth, many are still chasing the myth. In their work with Agencies, Spencer and Pete discovered many are spending around 90 per cent of their time focusing on the area that brings about only ten per cent of their leads. Any guests what that might be? If you were thinking of outbound marketing you got it. The conversion rate on this is incredibly low (around 7-9 per cent of outbound efforts convert, and this total conversion only make up around 10 per cent of business, on average).  

Turn the focus to your people. Business owners in particular carry manifest trust through their authority as leaders. By channelling your energy on building your personal brand, and getting your leaders and subject matter experts into the speaking circuit, you start generating that trust and authority—and therefore more genuine leads. 

Work smarter on less opportunities and pitch to win rather than focusing so much of your talent and efforts bidding on business that drain a key asset—your time and energy. 

Start By Building a Strong Corporate Culture 

As we’ve seen so often with our guests on the show, trusting your people and establishing a healthy work-life balance is not only going to attract more talent, it is excellent for generating a strong eNPS. Earlier in their careers, Spencer and Pete both saw what hierarchies do to diminish talent and effort. People would drop more balls and there was a lack of ownership. 

To help their people find a way to get more ownership they introduced a pod structure. This shift improved results and led to a sense of empowerment amongst staff. It also allows people to work to their talents rather than wasting efforts reporting in on every step in their progress. 

A Client-Centric Approach to Structure 

Putting people at the centre the relationship with the client, rather than roles, is how the concept of these pods came about. They function as eco-teams, meeting the needs of the client throughout the lifecycle of a project. 

By decoupling the roles from the traditional model you can structure your organisation around deliverables and play to the strengths of your team, meet client expectations based on these strengths, and enhance the sense of ownership by each team member. 

So you are building your relationships with your clients and you are building up your teams sense of ownership all at the same time

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