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Unified Theory of Studio Operations

7a6f8abf3af4af2ab8720782b06c9d77?s=47 Rob
February 25, 2021

Unified Theory of Studio Operations

"A company can seize extraordinary opportunities only if it is very good at the ordinary operations."

-Marcel Telles

Too often we can be distracted by the urgency of today, and not invest in preparing for the future. At Sparkbox, I have to spend a ton of time trying to solve for the ordinary—studio operations. I’ve found that understanding the relationship between business development, finance, and delivery has the potential to unlock a world of new possibilities.

Let's spend some time talking about taking operations to a higher level and being strategic with the information we already have available to pave the way for the extraordinary.

7a6f8abf3af4af2ab8720782b06c9d77?s=128

Rob

February 25, 2021
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  1. Rob Harr Unified Theory of Studio Operations February 24, 2021

  2. In the next 18 months work will be easy to

    find.
  3. Should we grow?

  4. Is your studio ready to grow?

  5. Let’s come back to this question.

  6. Forecasting is at the center of operations at Sparkbox.

  7. Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Weekly Breakfast TimeSheets due at

    9:30 am Projects Stand-up Prepare and Send Invoices MicroCash updated Future P&L updated $$ Meeting Humans Meeting Late Invoices Sales Report Director 1:1’s All-Team Demo Forecasting updated
  8. Month Close Client Strategy Meetings Director Team Meeting Monthly Coffee

    Hour Month
  9. Estimated Taxes Semi-Annual Tax planning Quarter

  10. Year End Close Staff Retreat Owner Retreat Year

  11. Repeatable & predictable systems are table stakes.

  12. “A company can seize extraordinary opportunities only if it is

    very good at the ordinary operations.” -Marcel Telles
  13. Good Operations is everyone’s job.

  14. Success is a designed output of well-designed systems and habits.

  15. YMMV!!!!

  16. None
  17. Business Development Delivery Finance

  18. People Business Development Delivery Finance

  19. Business Development ‣Sales Pipeline ‣New Opportunities ‣Qualifying Leads ‣Targeted Marketing

    ‣Proposals & Contracts ‣Tools: Pipedrive & Google Docs Uni fi ed Theory of Studio Operations
  20. Delivery ‣Forecasting of current work ‣Accurate reporting of time ‣Repeat

    Business ‣Managing givebacks ‣Estimates ‣Delivery Process ‣Tools: Harvest & Forecast Uni fi ed Theory of Studio Operations
  21. Finance ‣Financial Statements ‣Book Keeping ‣Reporting ‣Ensuring the company can

    be pro fi table ‣Invoices ‣Tools: Quickbooks & Excel Uni fi ed Theory of Studio Operations
  22. People Business Development Delivery Finance

  23. People Business Development Delivery Finance

  24. Capacity to sell.

  25. Opportunity with new clients.

  26. Start dates.

  27. Estimates.

  28. Estimates, but not pricing.

  29. None
  30. People Business Development Delivery Finance

  31. Forecasting data.

  32. Forecast vs actuals report.

  33. Project Profitability.

  34. Givebacks.

  35. People Business Development Delivery Finance

  36. Pricing Conversations.

  37. People Business Development Delivery Finance

  38. People Business Development Finance

  39. Opportunity with new clients.

  40. P&L Forecasting and Reporting

  41. Negotiation.

  42. Focused on the results.

  43. Power in data.

  44. Data points are cool, but trends are powerful.

  45. Biz Dev Analytics.

  46. Asking better questions.

  47. Business Retrospectives.

  48. You can’t change the past. All we can do is

    not repeat the same mistakes.
  49. Step 1: Measure Step 2: Predict Step 3: Adjust

  50. 5-Why's

  51. No wammies.

  52. Good periods and bad periods.

  53. Stop averaging zeros.

  54. How should we grow our studios?

  55. Winning in the studio business is when our capacity for

    sales is bigger than our capacity to do the work.
  56. We have to start by growing our business development capacity

    first.
  57. BIZ DEV FIRST!

  58. Simple math.

  59. Tracking New Opportunity Created ‣Goal: $10 Million in Revenue ‣Fact:

    75% of lasts years revenue will repeat from existing clients ‣Fact: We close 30% of Quali fi ed Leads Uni fi ed Theory of Studio Operations
  60. $2,500,000 30% = $8,333,000 $10,000,000 X (1 - .75) =

    $2,500,000 $10,000,000 New Opportunity Created Goal =
  61. This will be hard for you.

  62. Success is a designed output of well-designed systems and habits.

  63. When we give capable humans the data they need, we

    enable them to be amazing. Rob’s Unified Theory of Studio Operations
  64. Uni fi ed Theory of Studio Operations What we Learned

  65. Invest in the human relationships. #1

  66. Trust Commitment Healthy Con fl ict Accountability Results

  67. Beware someone wearing multiple hats.

  68. Intentional Coaching.

  69. None
  70. Humans need time together.

  71. Process and systems are for people.

  72. You have to fight for simplicity. #2

  73. Complexity is the natural direction of things.

  74. We have to choose simplicity.

  75. This is the work.

  76. “Don’t confuse simple with easy.” -Dan John

  77. Better focus on the right prospects. #3

  78. We are not order takers.

  79. You have to learn to say NO.

  80. We can define how we want our clients to engage

    with us.
  81. “We add the most value when our clients engage with

    us like ……”
  82. “It is not my job to convince you to hire

    us, but here is why others have”
  83. We have stopped selling scope and started selling availability.

  84. Common Language.

  85. 🦀 🐟 🐋

  86. Bait for the right clients.

  87. None
  88. None
  89. None
  90. None
  91. None
  92. None
  93. Let’s take a breath.

  94. What if we started again now?

  95. What if we could ditch our baggage?

  96. What would we change? ‣Business model ‣Positioning ‣Pricing ‣Mind Set

    ‣Goals ‣Something else? Uni fi ed Theory of Studio Operations
  97. What is stopping you?

  98. Is your studio ready to grow?

  99. In the next 18 months work will be easy to

    find.
  100. Is your studio ready for month 19?

  101. Uni fi ed Theory of Studio Operations Thanks! @robertharr rob@heysparkbox.com