Creating and growing a business is one thing, but running a business is something else. For digital agency MintTwist, business was up and to the right, at least from the outside. To everyone else, the company had a growing staff and a long list of clients.
Even while keeping margins high and growing the bottom line, there was a lot that outsiders never saw: spending Saturdays billing clients, waking up in the middle of the night worrying about whether something got done, and wasting time tying everything together in spreadsheets.
They soon realized that running the business was something they were unprepared for. At least, it was much harder than it needed to be, mainly because they were spending so much time doing things the hard way and operating with blind spots.
Alexis Pratsides, managing director at MintTwist, shares his story of how they overcame these obstacles and managed to truly run their growing business. By automating their operations, the team at MintTwist was able to start each day knowing what needed to be done, who was doing it, and enjoying their work.
With a scattered mess of records, projects, and client communications, Alexis was becoming quite the juggler. Trying to balance the day-to-day was becoming more effort than actually doing work for clients. “We were using a series of tools including Basecamp, Zoho and Salesforce, but the amount of time it took to tie all of those tools together was wearing on us.”
“One of the biggest problems was cross-agency scheduling - we didn’t know what everybody was doing in any one day,” he explains. “What we really wanted was a one-stop-shop for the business.” That was when the team at MintTwist implemented Accelo’s platform.
Rather than dealing with billing over multiple spreadsheets, MintTwist was able to tie everything together in one platform. “With Accelo, we relate all of the invoicing to our client accounts, pipeline, and sales channels,” says Alexis. “We know how much time we spend working, how much money we have coming in, and where it’s coming from.”
“The greatest thing about getting an overall picture of our business is that we spot problems before they happen. Everybody is logging what they’re doing and everybody can see what everybody else is doing.” Alexis shares that after just a few months of using Accelo, MintTwist has saved many long hours internally.
“The productivity of the different departments has been improved because the visibility of what everyone’s doing has improved,” explains Alexis.
But how exactly do they track their business? “We log every inquiry as an opportunity and track it through a custom Sales process. We have custom fields for measuring the likelihood of closing.”
That runs through until they either win or lose. The opportunity gets closed or converted into a live project-- at which point, the production teams pick it up and then run the project through the operation side of the business-- tasks get created, allocated to staff, and time is logged against that. “With Accelo, all of our work is integrated, from proposal all the way through to billing. It streamlines the details and enables us to focus on building better relationships with our clients.”
MintTwist is a digital agency based in the UK and founded in 2002. They are a full-service digital agency, specializing in web design, development, online marketing, and strategy. They’ve served over 600 websites, billions of impressions, and hundreds of happy clients.