Three phases of crisis management - with Jonathan Leafe

Updated: May 6, 2020

As we all appreciate, there's been a massive impact on the digital agency sector due to the current crisis. However, there was also impact back in 2008's economic crash. Before that when the .com bubble burst. It might be that you find your agency or freelance business in crisis at the moment. It might be that you are OK now, but worried about the impact in a few months time. There's a lot of content out there at the moment. It can be overwhelming to know where to start when things are all over the place. Luckily for us, Jonathan Leafe has been through a crisis or too before, and come out the other side. In this video he kindly shares his approach to finding stability and focus when things go FUBAR. No matter what the event you are faced with in a time of crisis, there's a pattern for recovery. Things play out in 3 phases. In this video, Jonathan explains what these are, and how to move through them. Below the video are some extra links and additional resources to support this topic. I highly recommend watching, reading through his support notes (see below PDF link) and taking this sound advice forward into your own plan.

For any questions about the scoring method, and advice about your own business situation - you can reach Jonathan Leafe in the following ways:





Show notes:


1.25 - introduction to Jonathan’s background.

3.30 - Learning more about agencies through working as a consultant.

5.45 - Hunting over Farming - Why Farming is best.

6.25 - How Strawberry moved away from pitching - for two years.

8.40 - Client selection - why it’s key for retainer work.

9.20 - Two things to have in place for working with retainer clients

12.06 - Building the right ‘marriage’ for retainer growth.

14.20 - Is your agency an ‘All you can eat buffet’?

16.12 - Getting around the client ‘wall’ to moving to the retainer model.

17.00 - Banding your clients makes retainer models easier.

18.10 - Keeping contracts simple.

19.10 - It’s your job as an agency to make client’s live’s easier.

21.30 - Unless small agencies make these steps, they’ll always be small agencies.

22.30 - The ‘Fear of 13’, letting go in order to grow.

24.25 - Crisis budgeting and predictions to find a way through a crisis.

28.50 - It’s about protecting the mothership!

30.10 - The three types of revenue that any agency has, and the ‘gold standard’ you want.

31.52 - Build the things you can support for your clients. Hosting can be so much more.

34.33 - Steady the ship - then explore your opportunities.

35.40 - Redesign your business so when this is over you have the very best clients you want.

37.03 - In the 2007 crash he grew his team and business - what lessons can we take from this.

39.39 - What will the ‘new normal’ look like?

40.30 - Everyone will now want to be digital first.

43.30 - Recap of key points and 3 phases.

44.50 - If you farm your client’s well - then you don’t need to hunt.

45.35 - Jonathan’s genuine offer to help people who need help. :-)




Supporting resources:


The really great thing about this interview was how genuine Jonathan's offer of support is. So much so, that he also got in touch with me afterwards and shared his own client's support PDF that he created to help them walk through each phase.


In the PDF he outlines the tasks, questions to ask yourself and your business, and what steps to follow in order to manage these effectively.