How do I increase my agency revenue? It’s one questions that gets banded about a lot.
Often we hear that the goal of creative, communications or digital agencies is to power through the £1m revenue ceiling and that is a key reason that they are investing in new business to drive that growth. Once through that ceiling, confidence starts to flow. You can attract better talent, larger clients and procurement processes become less of a barrier.
However, how do you get there?
- Focus on long relationships and long-term work
Projects are the starting point with most clients to demonstrate the quality of your work and what you are like to work with. However, make sure they are with brands or companies that have real potential for future work and revenue. Short-term projects are time consuming and often demanding on time. They can fill a gap, but you have to focus on the longer-term and clients that can drive the business forwards. Sometimes you may have to take the hard decision to turn business away if it is the wrong kind of business.
A specialism allows you to define the agency, and provides direction. It enables you to focus and build credibility via content and potentially talks in your field. It may be a discipline, sector or even approach specialism, but it makes you easier to buy for the right audiences.
- Understand your client’s business
Yes, an obvious point, but everything is about relevance. The more you understand a business’s challenges, objectives and goals, the more relevant you can make your proposition. It also helps you deliver their individual stories to their prospective clients with more clarity and impact.
Offer a consistent client service. Ensure everyone in the agency understands the standards they are expected to hit. Put robust processes in place to ensure seamless client management and insist on regular, meaningful and purposeful communication. Always remember that you don’t want to talk products, but instead needs and how you can help to meet them
- Create success for your clients
This goes without saying, but make sure the work you are doing is absolutely right for your clients. Don’t say “yes” to anything you can’t deliver on. Understand and work with your clients to understand their objectives, agree KPI’s and measurement and benchmark your effort against this.
- Invest in sales and marketing
This is fundamental. The lifeblood of any agency is new business, but importantly, the right kind of new business that can drive the agency forward. You may get lucky and it will land on your lap, but that is a risky place to be. Allocate proper budget to proactive new business and lead generation, devise the right business development strategy for your agency based on your audience and give it time. Chopping and changing new business approaches will inevitably be costly and ineffectual. Set realistic benchmarks along the way, so you can then measure activity against this to give you confidence it is working.
- Aim high
High quality, independent, flexible and agile agencies are in demand. There is a frustration with large network agencies falling down on client service and delivery. More and more, smaller agencies are winning competitive pitches against some of the so called “big boys”. Aim high and be confident in your agency, the quality of the talent and the outputs as there are lots of opportunities out there.