It can be challenging to run an ad agency as you’re doing two things at once. Firstly, you run the ad agency and manage the client facing responsibilities and secondly, you run the business and operate the agency and manage the staff within it.
Here are some tips on separating out that work so that you can run your agency and run your business in the most efficient manner possible.
Running An Agency – A Bird’s Eye View
The key part of running an agency is client interaction. That means you have to sit down with each client and then hold transparent conversations that lead to better understanding on both sides.
Find “golden nuggets of information” during these interactions that can really help to guide the advertising process to allows us to achieve our clients’ goals.
At the same time, you’re there to help the client understand that there’s no “silver bullet” when it comes to marketing, ads aren’t enough by themselves, they need to be part of a bigger strategy.
And then, when there is a bigger strategy, the client needs to be able to share that strategy with their ad agency. The more informed we are, the better the results that we’re able to obtain, the bigger the return on investment for that client.
One of the best things about working with clients to understand their needs and expectations and to review the impact of campaigns is that you will often learn “transferable knowledge” that is you will come across an idea that succeeds in the context of one client, that is clearly transferable to a client working in a different domain but with a similar need.
You can then take these insights back to your team and they can apply the learning in their client accounts where appropriate.
Running Your Business – The View From The Ground
Conversely, when running the business, your focus needs to be more on the internal processes of your agency. When you have effective processes, they can be easily used by anyone within the team.
That ensures that you’re always providing a consistent standard to your clients even when you’re not directly involved with a particular campaign or decision-making process, you’ve set clear standards that can be easily adhered to.
This also involves a process of staff education, not just on the processes themselves, but also sharing all available information on any given client with the relevant people. They should know the key demographics of the intended audience and the pain points and goals of the client, so that they can focus on these things in their work.
In addition to educating your staff, you also need to spend some time ensuring that they’re managing their client workloads effectively. It can be very easy to overstretch your people, particularly when you’re growing your business, but clients need the full attention of individuals they’re paying for, not distracted folks.
Finally, it’s important to pay attention to communicating the standards of how your business communicates with the clients that it deals with. Your clients should be able to rely on the professionalism and approach of anyone they deal with in your agency.
Final Thoughts On Running An Agency AND A Business
Running an agency is sometimes running lots of other businesses, though with a smaller scope than your average business, but running the business of an agency is a different matter entirely.
Fortunately, you can align the two with a bit of practice so that the two competing sets of responsibility don’t overwhelm you and, in order to deliver better services to your clients and a more focused working environment for your staff and team.