Frequently Asked Questions
What does Sakas & Company do?
My work tends to involve agency strategy, operations, and leadership. This includes advice about agency strategy, client service, project management, recruiting, time management, team management, marketing, and sales/bizdev.
I work with clients anywhere in the world—30 countries so far, on six continents.
What’s your agency background?
Since then, I’ve run the business operations side of two digital marketing agencies. My titles included project manager, operations manager, director of client services, and director of operations.
In those roles, I oversaw project management, client service, recruiting, accounting, and the agencies’ own marketing. See my LinkedIn profile for more on my background.
As an agency consultant and executive coach, I’ve advised 300+ agencies on six continents.
Why do you do this?
Since then, I’ve vowed to help agency owners make better decisions about their agency—typically their biggest financial asset—and to help agency owners thrive rather than merely survive.
And I really like my clients—agency owners tend to be fun, thoughtful, interesting people. When it’s your own business, you should really like your clients—and if you don’t, let’s fix that.
What are the options for you to help me?
1) Want a comprehensive, strategic plan to help you propel your agency forward? You should do an in-depth consulting project. I dive in to analyze your data and make results-oriented recommendations. You get a strategy, plus an implementation plan and support going forward.
2) Want a mix of “DIY” plus ongoing structure? Do an Executive Coaching program. This includes monthly calls to keep you on track, plus virtually unlimited email support. Coaching is month-to-month; I recommend planning on 6-12 months to start.
3) Want quick advice? Do a by-the-minute call. You still have to implement the advice, but it’s often what you need to move forward to do it yourself (DIY).
If you’re considering consulting or coaching, I’m glad to do a free call to recommend the right match for you—or recommend a competitor if they’re a better fit for you. Contact me to set up that free, confidential call.
How much do you charge?
Most clients invest US$20,000+ annually. Engagements fit into two categories, focused on solving your six- and seven-figure problems:
- Agency Roadmap consulting project: $15,000 to $35,000 plus travel (2-4 months)
- Executive Coaching: $2,500 to $3,500 per month (6-12 months)
Most clients pay via credit card. I also accept PayPal, ACH bank draft, TransferWise, and U.S. checks. There’s a deposit and then ongoing installment payments.
Not in your budget, or trying to solve a smaller problem? Schedule permitting, we can do a one-off call for $750 to $1,000 via Clarity.fm.
How long have you been helping agencies?
I’ve focused specifically on agencies since 2010, and I launched Sakas & Company (previously known as Agency Firebox) in 2013.
Do we work directly with you?
My team helps me on admin and marketing, to give me more time to focus on taking care of you. Prospective clients often speak with my PM (Diane) as we sort out if there’s a mutual fit.
Can you recommend other consultants?
What forms of payment do you take?
Do you charge a surcharge for credit card payments?
Can I pay online?
If you’re outside the U.S., I’ll send an invoice via PayPal, to pay in U.S. dollars. They’ll automatically handle the currency conversion for you.
Can I pay over time?
For returning clients doing on-demand (Agile) consulting, I’ll share estimates beforehand and then email you an invoice once a week. Invoices are due Net 7.
Doing a by-the-minute Clarity call? Clarity has your credit card on file—they’ll charge a deposit when you schedule the call, and then adjust the difference at the end of the call.
How soon can we start?
By-the-minute help: If you need quick answers ASAP, request a by-the-minute Clarity call. I confirm most Clarity requests within 1 business day, and seek to do calls within 1-5 business days. Let me know if things are especially urgent.
Coaching: I can share an estimate during our exploratory call. If you’d like to do coaching, we can usually start email support within a week after I receive your first payment, with the first call after that. This allows time for you to complete the DiSC assessment and proprietary intake questionnaire, and for me to create your custom coaching curriculum.
Consulting projects: See the Contact page for my current backlog. We’d do an exploratory call, I’d share an estimated start date, and you’d pay a deposit to reserve the next spot on the calendar. To reduce scoping turnaround, I do on-demand (Agile) consulting instead of traditional milestones—this lets us start faster.
How long do things take?
Consulting projects are typically 2-4 months long. I can complete smaller projects in a couple weeks, and larger projects can take longer. A key driver is how fast you can share the data I’ll analyze. Agency owners see faster results when they delegate data-sharing to team members.
Coaching typically runs for at least six months, although you’ll see the best results over 12+ months.
State of Your Agency reports take 2-3 months, between the initial report and your first of three followup calls.
By-the-minute calls tend to run between 45 minutes and 60 minutes. The key driver is how much you’d like to cover, but I always focus on answering your top-priority questions first.
Do you work remotely or onsite at my office?
I do some on-site work as a part of large consulting projects, which will be a mix of remote and on-site. There’s value to my visiting your office and speaking with your team in-person, but you’ll need to weigh whether the travel costs are worth it. I’m glad to share an estimate on both approaches.
Do you have any free resources?
1. Start by signing up for my email newsletter. You’ll get free advice each week, plus an instant, free copy of my 20-page eBook: Don’t Just Make the Logo Bigger: Taking Clients from Painful to Profitable. It’s a quick read with some powerful advice to make your life easier.
2. See my roundup of top posts. Organized by topic, these are my top recommendations out of the 250+ articles on the site.
4. When I speak, I’m always glad to share free advice during Q&A and after my talk. See a list of upcoming events.
5. Want training you can share with your team? Visit the Sakas & Company online store for recorded trainings and other information products—not free, but a fraction of the cost of custom help.
Do you work with clients outside the U.S.?
How would we do calls if I’m outside the U.S.?
For clients in Australia, New Zealand, and southeast Asia, I’m glad to schedule morning calls your time (my late-afternoon).
For clients in Europe, I’m glad to schedule afternoon calls your time (my morning).
What times can we do calls?
For clients outside the U.S., I’ll typically adjust to do the call during your business hours (your morning or late afternoon).
If you’re already a client and you’re having an emergency, I’ll make time to help you ASAP. I’ve occasionally done emergency calls at 11pm—that’s not the norm, but if it’s critical and you need me, I will be there for you.
Can I text you?
Texting isn’t the right method for ongoing advice, but it helps if you need to get my attention in an emergency, or if you need to let me know you’re running a few minutes late for a call. I’ll do the same for you.
Is all of your work in English?
Do you guarantee the results I’ll get?
That said, you’ll always get the best advice I can give you. My approach focuses on sharing the advice I’d give myself if I were in your situation, with your values, goals, and resources (VGR).
How do you maintain confidentiality?
Have you worked with any of my competitors?
How do you handle conflicts of interest?
- In one case, Agency B reached out for help, and I knew they were Agency A’s biggest whitelabel client. I referred the new agency owners to one of my competitors.
- In the other case, Agency C recommended me to Agency D—so they both knew we were working together. But I didn’t share anything the other told me, and vice versa.
I don’t accept referral fees, commissions, or other payments for my recommendations—so if I recommend someone or something, you can be confident that there’s no conflict.
Can I speak with client references?
Once we get to that point, let me know what info you’re seeking and I can connect you to references who’d be a good match to answer your questions. It’s important for me to respect my clients’ time—so I expect the same from you if and when you reach out to them.
Are you available for speaking engagements?
What if I have a different question?
Looking forward to helping you take control of your agency!