During an agency consulting project several years ago, I discovered the agency had been working for $5 an hour.
How did that happen? One of their clients cut their marketing retainer. The agency’s accountant updated the invoices… but no one told the PM. For two months, the agency continued delivering at the old level.
In my calculations, they averaged $5 an hour—less than minimum wage, and much less than the agency’s $150/hour target rate.
What went wrong? The digital agency had nearly 100 active clients—the retainer’s scope-change slipped through the cracks.