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Unified Theory of Studio Operations

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.

Rob

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

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

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  3. Should we grow?

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  4. Is your studio ready
    to grow?

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  5. Let’s come back to
    this question.

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

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  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

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  8. Month Close


    Client Strategy Meetings


    Director Team Meeting


    Monthly Coffee Hour
    Month

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  9. Estimated Taxes


    Semi-Annual Tax planning
    Quarter

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  10. Year End Close


    Staff Retreat


    Owner Retreat
    Year

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  11. Repeatable & predictable
    systems are table stakes.

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


    -Marcel Telles

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  13. Good Operations is
    everyone’s job.

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

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  15. Business Development
    Delivery
    Finance

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  16. People
    Business Development
    Delivery
    Finance

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  17. Business Development
    ‣Sales Pipeline


    ‣New Opportunities


    ‣Qualifying Leads


    ‣Targeted Marketing


    ‣Proposals & Contracts


    ‣Tools: Pipedrive & Google Docs
    Uni
    fi
    ed Theory of Studio Operations

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  18. 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

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  19. 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

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  20. People
    Business Development
    Delivery
    Finance

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  21. People
    Business Development
    Delivery
    Finance

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  22. Capacity to sell.

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  23. Opportunity with
    new clients.

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  24. Start dates.

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  25. Estimates, but not
    pricing.

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  26. People
    Business Development
    Delivery
    Finance

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  27. Forecasting data.

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  28. Forecast vs actuals
    report.

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  29. Project Profitability.

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  30. People
    Business Development
    Delivery
    Finance

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  31. Pricing
    Conversations.

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  32. People
    Business Development
    Delivery
    Finance

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  33. People
    Business Development
    Finance

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  34. Opportunity with
    new clients.

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  35. P&L Forecasting
    and Reporting

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  36. Negotiation.

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  37. Focused on the
    results.

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  38. Power in data.

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

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  40. Biz Dev Analytics.

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  41. Asking better
    questions.

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  42. Business
    Retrospectives.

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  43. You can’t change
    the past.
    All we can do is not
    repeat the same
    mistakes.

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  44. Step 1:
    Measure
    Step 2:
    Predict
    Step 3:
    Adjust

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  45. Good periods and
    bad periods.

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  46. Stop averaging
    zeros.

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  47. How should we
    grow our studios?

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  48. Winning in the studio
    business is when our
    capacity for sales is bigger
    than our capacity to do the
    work.

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  49. We have to start by growing
    our business development
    capacity first.

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  50. BIZ DEV FIRST!

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  51. Simple math.

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  52. 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

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  53. $2,500,000
    30%
    = $8,333,000
    $10,000,000 X (1 - .75) = $2,500,000
    $10,000,000
    New Opportunity Created Goal =

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  54. This will be hard for
    you.

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

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  56. When we give capable humans the data they
    need, we enable them to be amazing.
    Rob’s Unified Theory of Studio Operations

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  57. Uni
    fi
    ed Theory of Studio Operations
    What we Learned

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  58. Invest in the human
    relationships.
    #1

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  59. Trust
    Commitment
    Healthy
    Con
    fl
    ict
    Accountability
    Results

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  60. Beware someone
    wearing multiple
    hats.

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  61. Intentional
    Coaching.

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  62. Humans need time
    together.

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  63. Process and
    systems are for
    people.

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  64. You have to fight for
    simplicity.
    #2

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  65. Complexity is the
    natural direction of
    things.

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  66. We have to choose
    simplicity.

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  67. This is the work.

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  68. “Don’t confuse
    simple with easy.”


    -Dan John

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  69. Better focus on the
    right prospects.
    #3

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  70. We are not order
    takers.

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  71. You have to learn to
    say NO.

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  72. We can define how
    we want our clients
    to engage with us.

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  73. “We add the most
    value when our
    clients engage with
    us like ……”

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  74. “It is not my job to
    convince you to
    hire us, but here is
    why others have”

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  75. We have stopped
    selling scope and
    started selling
    availability.

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  76. Common
    Language.

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  77. 🦀 🐟 🐋

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  78. Bait for the right
    clients.

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  79. Let’s take a breath.

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  80. What if we started
    again now?

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  81. What if we could
    ditch our baggage?

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  82. What would we change?
    ‣Business model


    ‣Positioning


    ‣Pricing


    ‣Mind Set


    ‣Goals


    ‣Something else?
    Uni
    fi
    ed Theory of Studio Operations

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  83. What is stopping
    you?

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  84. Is your studio ready
    to grow?

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  85. In the next 18
    months work will
    be easy to find.

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  86. Is your studio ready
    for month 19?

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  87. Uni
    fi
    ed Theory of Studio Operations
    Thanks!
    @robertharr


    [email protected]


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