“I have hat hair.”

How many hats do you wear on a daily basis?

I recently attended the Second Wind Network seminar, “Certified Account Executive College” in Chicago, IL. During one of the many informative sessions, Tony Mikes explained that there should be a clear delineation between the roles of traffic and account service, for example.

This notion led me to think further about how small- to medium-size agencies distribute responsibilities and manage workflow on a day-to-day basis.

Take, for example, the “Principal/COO/CFO/Account Supervisor” — not independently of one another, but all rolled up into the same person. Or, the “Account Supervisor/Media Buyer/Traffic Manager.” And, my personal favorite, the “Office Manager/Receptionist/Production Manager/Traffic Coordinator.”

With limited human resources, it’s often necessary to wear multiple hats within the agency. But, as your team (and workload) continue to grow, it’s going to become increasingly difficult to efficiently perform every function. How can I return the Client’s phone call when I’m chasing down the media rep? The main line is ringing, but I’m busy gathering print quotes…

Take a moment to assess the talents of each of your employees. Is he meant to be an account executive or would he be a better account planner? Would her attention to detail make her a great traffic coordinator or is she better suited for the front office?

It’s critically important to understand the strengths (and weaknesses) of your team members. And, to know when it’s time to hire. While investing in a dedicated media buyer, for example, may be an upfront cost, it’s going to yeild immeasurable results when those three new clients come on board. So, too, is your account executive being in front of the client versus chained to his desk –- right next to the hat rack.

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