No Plan B

Giovanni Zennaro · Mar 14, 2024

No Plan B

Hellotime is more than a Capacity Planning tool; it’s a strategy for running a creative studio. Let me share our experience to explain why.

I’m the CEO of Moze, a small team of 12 people who are perfectionists for quality, engaging directly with clients with no middlemen involved. Our idea of Capacity Planning now goes by the name Hellotime. Running our studio has always been a quest to strike the perfect balance between quality, growth, and fostering our team’s wellbeing. Getting planning right simplified everything.

How do we work around here?

Here at Moze, where Hellotime was born, we’ve always thought of our company as a provider of specialist consultancy.

We’re a tight-knit team of about a dozen people, and that size is by design: it allows us to engage with our clients in an exceptionally direct manner, without unnecessary intermediaries. There are no “middlemen” here: no one carries the title of Project Manager or Account Manager, and with at least one of us three partners involved in every project.

Our clients value this clear-cut operational model, which enables them to have ongoing conversations with those leading the studio, to know exactly who is working on their project and what tasks they’re tackling, to have control over the process, and, very often, to work hand in hand with us on their project.

This approach, along with the quality of the final deliverables, is precisely why our clients choose us and has become increasingly significant in our positioning over time.

It’s some sacrifice, for sure

But there are necessary sacrifices and trade-offs to offer clients such a tailor-made approach. Chiefly among these:

  • Intentionally limiting team growth to keep processes streamlined and hierarchical levels minimal.
  • Closing the door on using external suppliers, like freelancers or other agencies, to patch up in times of overload or to offer skills and services outside our repertoire.

From a business standpoint, this means embracing values and principles that diverge from an economic system hell-bent on growth at all costs, often prioritizing profit over the quality of the outcome.

From a sales perspective, this means only taking on projects we’re confident we can deliver with our own resources, ensuring top-notch quality and meeting the deadlines agreed upon with the client from the start. Because there’s no fallback option. No plan B.

Financially, this means focusing on progressively increasing our rates (as long as it’s possible and justified) and optimizing how the team’s time is used as the main levers for margin optimization.

It all comes down to Capacity Planning

Handling your team and, most importantly, their time – something every company needs to take seriously – is key to making it big in the agency or creative studio world.

For those of us set on delivering top-notch services and cool with taking on the challenges I’ve talked about, getting good at Capacity Planning is a must. If you’re leading the charge in this kind of business, you’ve got to nail Capacity Planning, and having the right tools for the job makes all the difference.

Careful Capacity Planning allows us to:

  • Meet project deadlines, boosting client trust and satisfaction;
  • Optimize team utilization while preventing burnout, keeping staff comfortable and thus lowering turnover;
  • Cut down on waste by offering short, unallocated time slots to clients in need of support for brief tasks (e.g., minor or progressive maintenance on completed projects);
  • Provide future clients with reliable project timelines;
  • Quickly spot resource shortages that could hinder the sale of a particular project and make well-informed decisions accordingly;
  • Develop a communication and business strategy that encourages demand matching the project turnover rate suggested by the team’s allocation status.

These points highlight that getting Capacity Planning right can do wonders for how things run day-to-day, and it doesn’t stop there. It’s also about making sure your team’s in a good place for the long haul and building stronger bonds with your clients.

That’s why we started building – and using! – Hellotime. And if all of this resonates with you, you should try it, too.


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