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S4 E6: AJ Morris on small agency ownership

AJ Morris, Product Manager at Liquid Web, shares the lessons he learned from running his own boutique agency before joining the web hosting company.

There’s a lot of little lessons threaded throughout our conversation, but there’s one stand out point, every WordPress business owner should be thinking about.

Interview with AJ Morris of Liquid web

Know your limits

Limits in terms of customers you want to serve, and customers you can serve. I run into a lot of freelancers, or boutique agency owners, that don’t have a clear understanding of their own limits.

Here’s an example, a local colleague reached out and asked me if I knew of anyone that “did Visual Basic coding.”

I don’t.

He explained that it was how they managed their website internally, and they needed to make changes. Some convoluted system that someone built in-house, which hasn’t been touched in years, now needs repairs. The original creator? Not there anymore.

I briefly explained that it’s time to sell them on moving off of that platform, for obvious reasons. He said just wanted to get it fixed for them and move on, by either trying to get someone on his team to figure it out or hire someone.

If the problems aren’t obvious by now, I’ll highlight a few scenarios:

  1. He’s about to make promises, and get paid on them, of which he doesn’t have the slightest clue on how to deliver or support.
  2. If he doesn’t explain a better, more open, solution for the customer, he’s doing them a long-term disservice.

If you find yourself in this situation, I highly suggest that you know your limit, and don’t take a project like this. At the very least, don’t try and put your brand in front of it, and represent the work being done. Be transparent with your customer, and advise them that you’re probably not the best fit for this job.

Focus on your core competencies, and be great at them.

I hope you enjoy today’s episode with AJ Morris, and always, thank our sponsors, Pagely & Valet!

 

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