How to Improve Efficiency at Work, with Jessica Hughes

Episode 21:

How to improve efficiency at work? It’s about managing your time and focusing on your numbers and metrics, says agency owner Jessica Hughes. Hear insights about:

  • Why Jessica decided to run an agency, and how early childhood experiences pushed Jessica and her husband Randall to consider specializing in food and beverage
  • How Jessica and Randall’s passion has led to running their businesses differently and taught them how to improve efficiency at work
  • How focusing on their business allowed Jessica and Randall to have a “light at the end of the tunnel” through the pandemic
  • Why budgeting projects and understanding the financials behind them is a crucial part of Jessica’s work
  • Why focusing on developing a strong understanding of your metrics and numbers is crucial for growing your agency
  • How Jessica and Randall’s open efforts to manage their finances inspires their team to be budget conscious too
  • How Jessica structures her week to ensure that she’s managing everything, including setting meetings during her “business development Mondays”
  • How appearing on Good Morning America created a huge amount of work for Jessica’s spice business, and how her family pulled together to get through the challenge

How to Improve Efficiency at Work

Efficiency isn’t just about getting more done. Being efficient with your time can save you from headaches and blind spots in your agency. Being efficient with your finances allows you to stretch them further and can make your agency more profitable.

In this week’s episode of the Progressive Agency podcast, Jessica Hughes, Managing Director of food and beverage-focused content agency Viscul, shares how to improve efficiency at work by dividing up your time into focused “buckets”, by managing your expenses and tracking your metrics, and by instilling these values into your team.

How to Improve Efficiency at Work — Time Efficiency

As Jessica explained during our conversation, her life was already hectic as a wife and mom, through her work at Viscul, and running her family’s other business, Calicutts Spice Co. And that was before the pandemic shook everything up. With so many plates spinning in the air, Jessica hsa found it crucially important that she divides up her work week into “buckets” of time. For example, Jessica said that Mondays are designated as her business development days.

Carving up time to devote to every important aspect of the business is vital, and Jessica even tries to schedule meetings during appropriate time buckets. This way, she’s dedicating a portion of her time to all of the things that need her attention, without letting anything critical slip through the cracks.

Statistically speaking, women live an average of 6-8 years longer than men do. However, they typically retire with only ⅔ of the money men retire with. That’s precisely why Katie says it’s crucial for women to begin planning for their retirement with intentionality and clear goals in mind.

However, as Katie explained during the podcast episode, many women consider their finances to be extremely private information. In fact, Katie said that many women are more comfortable talking about their sexual health than their financial health. This stigma can be harmful, because “you don’t know what you don’t know”. You could be making serious financial mistakes without being aware of it. That’s why working with an experienced professional is so crucial.

How to Improve Efficiency at Work — Money Efficiency

One of the other key pieces of advice Jessica shared during our conversation is how important it is for agency owners to truly take the time to understand their financial situation, expenses and other metrics. When you know how much you’re spending on a project and you also know how much you’ll profit from the project, you can better manage the spread. It makes no sense to produce a widget for ten dollars and then sell it for eight dollars, for example. The more detailed and granular your view of your important metrics, the better decisions you can make for your agency.

To learn more about Viscul and Jessica Hughes, please visit their website at And, as always, please visit me at for more informative, money-saving podcast episodes like this one.

How to Improve Efficiency at Work

How to Connect with Jessica Hughes:

Additional Resources:

About Jessica Hughes:

Jessica Hughes is the Managing Director of Viscul, an award-winning creative content agency specializing in food and beverage as their bread and butter, located in the rural town of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. The Viscul team, including Randall, her husband and the agency’s Creative Director, serves retailers, growers and manufacturers up and down the east coast. In her spare time, she keeps things spicy with their other growing business – Calicutts Spice Co. Jessica has been named among Central Pennsylvania’s 40 under 40 and Women of Influence.