CASE STUDIES

The proof is in the profits

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FEATURED CLIENT

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1. THE CLIENT

An agency operating like a freelancer

A seasoned creative director, James started Atom Studio with a passion for design. But from day one, he ran his agency like a freelancer: Day to day, as the work filtered into his inbox. He wasn’t thinking strategically, like what his capacity was, who to hire when, how to onboard them, or what to pay them. So, when the work piled up and he outsourced to contractors, those projects didn’t always operate at a profit.

2. the problem

3. the solution

4. the results

5. the future

An agency
operating like a freelancer

case study one

case study two

Helping an agency owner become more profitable (and less stressed)

“It’s hard to find someone with Audrey’s level-headedness and breadth of knowledge. It’s like having a business partner—without giving her half your money.”

James Jensen


1. THE CLIENT

Losing money (and his mind) on projects

The thing about losing money on projects is knowing how to fix it—and James didn’t. Project to project, he couldn’t pin down what was happening that was preventing him from being profitable consistently. A chance encounter at a networking event, and James decided to hire us to find the fix.
 
Looking at his numbers, we could see Atom Studio’s profitability was down, even though its revenue was up, in large part because James was hiring contractors at rates he couldn’t afford. The result? He was losing money and his mental health, stressing about making ends meet for his business and his family. He needed to learn how to hire and manage a team in a way that wouldn’t eat into his profits. And, with a single client making up 50% of his revenue, he needed to diversify his client list for a more sustainable, future-proof business model.

2. the problem

3. the solution

4. the results

5. the future

Losing money
(and his mind) on projects

case study one

case study two

Helping an agency owner become more profitable (and less stressed)

“It’s hard to find someone with Audrey’s level-headedness and breadth of knowledge. It’s like having a business partner—without giving her half your money.”

James Jensen


1. THE CLIENT

Getting the agency owner out of freelance mode

First, we got James to start thinking about the future of Atom Studio and what he wanted for his agency. With a clear vision, we were able to identify a team structure that would support that vision. Of course, a structure is nothing without a plan, so we took his internalized knowledge of Atom Studio’s processes and started documenting the agency’s systems in a project management tool to streamline onboarding. And speaking of onboarding: No more overpriced contractors. James started searching for designers and developers whose rates reflected their abilities and experience.
 
Then there was the leadership training. We talked hiring, communications and sales to strengthen James’ confidence as owner of the agency and leader of his team. We covered everything from how to interview and hire, how to communicate with his team, and how to stop underselling himself and charge his value.

2. the problem

3. the solution

4. the results

5. the future

Getting the agency
owner out of freelance mode

case study one

case study two

Helping an agency owner become more profitable (and less stressed)

“It’s hard to find someone with Audrey’s level-headedness and breadth of knowledge. It’s like having a business partner—without giving her half your money.”

James Jensen


1. THE CLIENT

Triple the profit, none of the stress

First things first, James more than tripled his profit in a single year—on less than double the revenue! He grew his team from occasional contractors to four reliable full- and part-time employees. He says if someone had said a year ago he’d have four team members, he would have been freaking out—but when you go about things in the right order, you’re never in a place of risk.
 
Before hiring us, James never really thought of himself as a leader. Now? He has the confidence to own that title and make the decisions required of a leader. Most importantly, if you ask James, he’ll tell you he’s way less stressed. He works fewer hours and isn’t pulling his hair out about turning a profit because he’s buffered time (and money) into every project. Even if a project goes sideways, he knows he and his business will still be okay.

2. the problem

3. the solution

4. the results

5. the future

Triple the profit,
none of the stress

case study one

case study two

Helping an agency owner become more profitable (and less stressed)

“It’s hard to find someone with Audrey’s level-headedness and breadth of knowledge. It’s like having a business partner—without giving her half your money.”

James Jensen


1. THE CLIENT

Make dent in the world

With processes and people in place, and the agency at capacity, James has the privilege of hiring more full-time employees to scale his profitability and only saying yes to the work he wants—work that, in his words, will make a dent in the world. We’re with you, James.

2. the problem

3. the solution

4. the results

5. the future

Make dent in the world

case study one

case study two

Helping an agency owner become more profitable (and less stressed)

“It’s hard to find someone with Audrey’s level-headedness and breadth of knowledge. It’s like having a business partner—without giving her half your money.”

James Jensen


1. THE CLIENT

An agency mistaking itself as a studio

When Ben* started his business, he wasn’t even thinking about selling it. He just wanted a job that played to his passions and paid the bills. He hadn’t landed the dream job he’d applied for, so he created his own job: The founder / CEO / creative director of a branding and web design studio. Later, he layered in paid advertising and marketing-communications consultation and implementation, eventually zeroing in on a health care niche. With offerings that needed to be streamlined and three team members that needed to be coordinated, Ben was treating his business as a studio when he needed to be treating it like an agency.

2. the problem

3. the solution

4. the results

5. the future

*I take my clients’ confidentiality seriously. Ben is a pseudonym.

case study one

case study two

Helping an agency owner empower his team—and position his business for acquisition

1. THE CLIENT

Too little
direction for a
team to self-start

By the time we met, Ben had been in business for five years. He had a solid client base and steady revenue under his belt, but he wanted to refine his service offerings—and, with a baby on the way, he wanted to free up more time to spend with his growing family, too.
 
Trouble was: Ben’s team relied on him for all of the answers. They weren’t empowered with the clarity they needed to take initiative, so they were always waiting for instructions—his instructions. Ben was the bottleneck. Of course, Ben didn’t want to slow down his team. In fact, he didn’t want to manage his people or projects in the first place, but he didn’t want to be handcuffed to processes either. He felt like his hands were tied. But without documented processes and communications conventions, he would never be able to step back from managing the day-to-day of his business.

2. the problem

3. the solution

4. the results

5. the future

case study one

case study two

Helping an agency owner empower his team—and position his business for acquisition

Too little direction for a team to self-start

1. THE CLIENT

Systems that took the owner out of management mode

First things first, we got to work standardizing Ben’s service offering and defining consistent processes for delivering those services. We refined the processes to rely less on Ben and more on his team—including clear responsibilities and communications conventions for his team to follow. Ben stopped hiring less experienced people and started hiring more experienced people, including a hands-on management team, and we defined their roles with clear KPIs to set them up for success. We strategized a system for training people into the processes and, most notably, the systems we created for Ben’s seven-figure business were simple—the secret to successful uptake and long-term scalability.

2. the problem

3. the solution

4. the results

5. the future

Systems that
took the owner out of management mode

case study one

case study two

Helping an agency owner empower his team—and position his business for acquisition

1. THE CLIENT

The acquisition of a lifetime

In short, we made Ben’s service delivery scalable, creating capacity for him to triple his business, and we built a management team that enabled Ben to go on a month-long vacation to Europe with his family. What’s more, we created the systems and processes an acquiring company would need to see to have confidence the business could run without the owner—and see they did. An acquiring company bought Ben’s business in 2021. Thanks to his handsome payout, he doesn’t have to work another day in his life if he doesn’t want to.

2. the problem

3. the solution

4. the results

5. the future

case study one

case study two

Helping an agency owner empower his team—and position his business for acquisition

1. THE CLIENT

Freedom to exit and ideate

Now that the business is acquired, Ben will be exiting the company in 18 months. In the meantime, he’s overseeing the transition, which includes career-advancing potential for his team thanks to the size of the acquiring company. And when Monday comes around and his kids say, “Daddy, don’t go to work!”, he won’t. He’ll stay at home to spend the day with them—and work on his next business idea.

2. the problem

3. the solution

4. the results

5. the future

Freedom to
exit and ideate

case study one

case study two

Helping an agency owner empower his team—and position his business for acquisition

trusted by

IN THEIR WORDS

The ROI on Audrey's coaching has been significant

We would not be where we are today without Audrey. The ROI on her coaching has been significant, as I would not have been able to build the business, grow our client base, deliver on our promises, or grow our team without having the support to develop systems and processes we use today.

Tara Fitness
CEO, 27 LETTERS

Lucky to have her as part of the team

Audrey’s talents are limitless. Any individual, school, or organization would be lucky to have her as part of their team.

VANESSA VAN EDWARDS
CEO, SCIENCE OF PEOPLE

Skilled at laying out the direction forward

We've worked with business advisors and strategists before, and Audrey delivers. She is skilled at keeping things on track and laying out the direction forward… With us managing two businesses and a family, we have to keep a lot of balls in the air at all times, and we've benefitted from Audrey giving us very specific actionable steps and being flexible enough to pivot with us.

TOM PRILESKY
CO-FOUNDER, CARBON LIFE MEDIA

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