For consultants / agency principals: How is the best way to scale your agency while your clients expect 'face time' from you - the owner?


I advised a local UX agency owner here in Austin to charge a lot more for her personal time. In this case, $500/hr. She balked, and I pointed out that if it didn't make sense for a certain meeting or certain customer, she could always just discount it on the invoice. That way the baseline is still established and now the customer believes they were given a gift! Even better.

But the larger customers -- or just the ones you don't want to spend that time with -- will have to pay for that.

The high price tag wards away a lot of time -- good! -- and the time that remains is extremely profitable and more likely to actually be needed.

Another thing you could do is have a true partner in the agency, so that you share that title and hopefully share the trust of your customers. Of course that's another can of worms.

If your customers are *wrong* that they need the face-time with you, it's incumbent on you to figure out why they're not trusting your own employees, and whether that mistrust is misplaced.

If they're *right*, you need to ask yourself why you're not employing people who are ask good -- or in fact better -- at their individual jobs than you are (including account management), so that your time can scale.

P.S. The UX consultant make an extra $250k in profit this past 12 months due to this technique.

Answered 11 years ago

If you are able to get projects which could be executed with resources outside the client premises that could be a good start. You can also try resource intensive transactional work This could bring some maturity to the client. We cannot sell time and earn money. It was vague when I started but there's a great improvement.

Answered 10 years ago


I will try to create an alternative training product (course, software) and slowly try to transition the business model to online training. I have a consulting company and "face time" is essential for us. Consultancies are hard to scale because of that. Thanks! Laura

Answered 9 years ago

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