Case Studies


How to Build a 5 Million Dollar Agency, with Michael Wark — Ep. 136




Last updated Apr 3, 2024


How to Build a 5 Million Dollar Agency, with Michael Wark — Ep. 136

Last updated Apr 3, 2024 | 0 comments



About this Episode

In this episode of the Agency Profit Podcast, Marcel Petitpas dives into the world of agency finance with Michael Wark, a seasoned expert from the financial services sector specializing in helping agencies enhance their profitability, cash flow, and business valuation. Michael brings over 19 years of experience to the table, sharing insights on the intersection of operations and accounting to drive agency growth. The duo discusses the importance of moving beyond tax-focused accounting to embrace management accounting, offering a clearer picture of a business’s operational health. Michael’s approach to dissecting financial challenges, his strategic outlook on agency growth, and his journey from corporate to entrepreneurial success in focusing on creative agencies underline a conversation rich with advice for navigating the complexities of scaling an agency. They emphasize understanding the business model, managing cash flow efficiently, and preparing for a potential exit as foundational steps toward building a sustainable and potentially sellable business.

This episode is not just a nerdy dive into agency finance but a roadmap for agency owners aiming to refine their financial strategies and scale their operations effectively.

Hop into the new episode below.

Watch this Episode


Points of Interest

  • 00:01 – 00:40 – Introduction to the Episode and Guest: Marcel introduces Michael Wark and his expertise in finance for agencies.
  • 00:40-01:00 – Michael’s Background and Passion for Agency Finance: Michael shares his excitement for the topic and his background in financial services.
  • 01:00-01:45 – The Role of a Virtual CFO for Agencies: Discussion on how Michael serves as a virtual CFO for agencies worldwide, blending operations with finance.
  • 02:10-03:18 – Why Michael Started Trimline: Michael’s journey from corporate to entrepreneurship, focusing on creative agencies.
  • 04:15-05:15 – The Importance of Management Accounting Over Tax Accounting: Insights on how focusing on management accounting can better support growth and strategic decision-making.
  • 05:15-06:41 – Stages of Agency Growth Towards $5 Million: Michael discusses the growth stages agencies face on their way to $5 million and beyond.
  • 06:59-08:00 – Common Financial Pitfalls for New Clients: Challenges new clients face, such as mixing personal and business finances.
  • 10:38-11:29 – Restructuring P&L for Operational Profit: Strategies to clean up the P&L for a true look at operational profit, separating out non-operational expenses.
  • 14:03-15:42 – Accrual Accounting in Agencies: The complexity of accrual accounting for agencies and the importance of accurate revenue recognition.
  • 19:19-22:08 – Investing for Growth and Understanding Unit Economics: The investment mindset required for sustainable growth and the significance of understanding unit economics.
  • 33:11-37:02 – Building Real Value and Preparing for Exit: Focusing on building a business that’s attractive to buyers by systemizing operations and documenting processes.

Show Notes

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