Is your agency the agency you dreamed of?
Making sure your agency is profitable is crucial, but is it what really makes you tick?
Did the prospect of making money get you through those early days when you worked late into the night, living on take-outs and risking your savings? Maybe it was.
But in our experience of working with many agency owners, it’s not. And in today’s increasingly-competitive marketplace, setting up an agency isn’t a get rich quick scheme by any stretch.
Entrepreneur magazine recently ran a feature titled ’50 reasons to start your own businesses.’ ‘Make more money’ came in at number 15, behind ‘pursue your passion’, ‘create something from scratch’, ‘more spare time (eventually)’ and ’create jobs.’ So money is number fifteen on the list, yet turning a profit is what most agency owners spend lots of their time thinking and worrying about.
Of course, profit doesn’t only mean bigger pay packets, it creates freedom. Freedom so you can ensure your agency is able to be what you set it out to be. The Drum identified that this a luxury rather than a given.
“Agencies often start with a clear purpose and direction but over time they bend to the will and desire of their clients and suddenly they wake up one day and the startup they once believed in is almost unrecognizable. Their own goals and ambitions tend to disappear into the background, while the brands they service go from strength to strength (if you’re any good). Or they take on so many different clients and wrong projects that they appear a ‘jack of all trades’ with no strong identity or service offering."
They went as far as to say
"We’ve gone from Mad Men to Yes Men.”
OK, this is partly due to bending to the desire of the client, but if you’re stuck in a financial rut you have very little choice but to do so. However if your finances are strong, you’re in a much more powerful position to pursue working with clients that inspire you, on the briefs that you and your team can get your teeth stuck into. And, with that sort of passion and freedom, you may even win an award or two.
So now imagine that you have complete faith that your overall agency's health, finance and profitability are being constantly monitored for you. That any long or short term glitches, or road blocks, will be identified quickly so you can fix them early. If all those concerns were taken off you, what would you have more time to achieve? And what could your team achieve?
Agencies have increasingly flat hierarchies and people are more engaged in work than ever before. Many great employees aren’t motivated by money either. Far more appetite-whetting is ambitious clients, the projects they’ll work on, the agency culture and the freedom they’ll have within their role to share their talent.
"You have to be optimistic - optimism gets you halfway there, and then of course, you have to work your ass off and be brave enough to have an opinion about what you are doing because the world isn't looking for another agency - it's looking for good ones."
If you want more time to drive your agency creatively, without taking your eye off the ball, Synergist can help.
Synergist is a single, in-depth system meaning all your agency's tracking and reporting is in one place. Allowing you to clearly see where jobs are up to and what’s profitable.
You’ll have faith that everything is running smoothly, leaving your team time to focus on their talents and you time to steer your agency to where you want to be.