Are you wondering how to run an agency and get more clients? Want to learn some tricks to grow your business?
Fifty-one percent asked “What’s the best way to learn more about entrepreneurship“ which is responded with “start a company.“ However, when new agency owners start their business, they find themselves wondering how to go about it shortly after they begin. Questions such as how they can sustain the business and where to look for more clients start to surface.
If you feel the same here are some tips for running an agency and getting more business!
1. Identify the ideal client
It’s a must that even before you start your business, you already identify your ideal client because your product and marketing plans will be designed for them. This information is crucial in creating targeted and relevant content, especially for your promotional and marketing efforts.
Your ideal customer is someone who needs the product or service you are offering. Start by acknowledging your specific target audience. Define your product or service from your customer’s point of view. What’s the pain point that you want to solve? How will your product benefit them?
You can also use a consumer profile to identify your ideal customer. A customer profile is a description of your customer based on their demographics, backgrounds, hobbies and interests.
With this in mind, you will know who to target for your products or services. You will not waste your effort on those persons who are unlikely to buy your product because they don’t need it.
Tip: Spy on your competitors and see who they are serving. You can also do a survey to get the details you need about your clients.
2. Maintain a healthy target account list
Once you have identified your ideal client profile, it’s time to do a list of your prospects. Research those who are perfectly fit for your service and keep them in your target account list.
Your list should be exhaustive because these are the clients that you really want to do business with. The business director should be reaching out to these potential clients or work towards making connections.
Tip: Utilize your network and encourage your current customers to refer your product or businesses to others because they will likely refer it to those who are similar to them.
3. Promote your brand
Promoting your brand is as important as marketing. Branding is the personality that you put into your business to identify it from the rest. Branding is your first impression your potential customers get, so you have to do this right by curating your design.
You can start building your brand by creating a logo and by using consistent color and message when promoting your business. Also, add a unique personality to your brand that will make customers remember you easily.
Tip: Curate your content and photos that it sends the same message even if you have different posts. If your posts are cohesive, it would be easier for customers to identify you in the market.
4. Set goals for the new business program
You’ve been dreaming to start a business for years and now you finally have it. Don’t stop there, continue by setting goals for a new business program.
Setting goals increases motivation and level of achievement. Center your goals around your clients, revenue, meetings, retention, proposal conversion rate and leads.
Over 80% of managers say that their goals are limited in number, specific and measurable.
When setting goals make sure that it is SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely). Make it challenging that you’ll have to think out of the box to achieve it but not too overwhelming that it discourages you.
Tip: Make sure your goals tie back to your mission and vision and make it as specific and as realistic as possible.
5. Manage prospects in CRM
CRM (customer relationship management) is very useful to businesses today because it keeps things organized. It’s also very helpful in improving sales and marketing efficiency by giving you the time and resources to focus on making more clients and conversions.
CRM offers tons of benefits including working from anywhere, collaboration, reduction in sales cycle and unfettered information of product and customer. It also increases sales.
According to a study by Innoppl Technologies, companies with mobile CRM achieved 65% of their sales quota while those without CRM only achieved 22%.
Seventy percent of businesses state that they plan to increase their spending on technology and the figure remains in 2019. Forty-seven percent of them said that they will prioritize help desk and customer service software.
Here are some of the best CRM tools that you can try on.
Tip: If you’re still not using a CRM, it’s high time to get one. Take the time to check its features and functionalities. Also, make sure that its system integrates with other applications.
6. Establish a business process
It is very important that you establish a business process for your agency. A business process is a set of steps or tasks that you and your team can use repeatedly to reach a specific goal, address a certain problem and provide value to your customer or supplier.
When your business process works well, it can significantly improve your operation’s efficiency, productivity and customer satisfaction. It is important that you take the time to implement a reliable business process because an ineffective business process can cause frustrations, delays and of course, financial loss.
Also, without an established process, everything you do will take longer and you may end up with more mistakes. A simple business process may include creating a project board template, so you don’t start from scratch whenever you need to do one. A standard procedure also saves you a lot of time from doing duplicate works.
When making a business process it’s important that you map it, analyze, redesign and review it. Consider your acquire resources and when you’re confident with it implement and communicate change. From time to time, you may need to improve the processes, which signifies progress because you are seeing an opportunity to better serve your customers or enhance your products and services.
To give you an overview, small business processes may include the following:
- Sales & Marketing
- Accounting & Technology
- Quality & Product/Service Delivery
- Management, HR & Finance
- Product Development
Tips: Create a business process model to have a visual and make it easier for the team to see the complexity of the processes.
7. Document everything
It may feel counterintuitive to put time aside and work on something that isn’t related to the project you’re working for a client. However, you should realize that standardizing a process is important for the success of a business.
There are three things that reduce the chaos in your business operations and this includes process, automation and documentation. The latter is very helpful especially in your business process because it’s more about the “how” of the implementation than the “what.”
Documentation is a roadmap for your organization because it helps identify the current state of a process to know how you can improve it.
Documentation is also very helpful to newly hired employees because it will help them understand their role and how they should fit within the overall organization. Documentation can facilitate formal training for a smoother onboarding.
“Documenting is more than staying organized or writing down what will be or was taught. Documenting is part of the learning process,” said Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, Co-Founder at ampeduca
Tip: Whenever something is new in the business process, always take the time to document it, so you don’t have to explain it to others repeatedly.
8. Employ a dedicated person for marketing
Marketing is very important for your agency’s growth. With this, you will get more valuable leads, more clients and more sales.
However, only a few recognize the fact that building demand for your agency is a full-time job. This is something that one has to take seriously.
Although you can start marketing through social media if you want to see consistent and guaranteed results you have to employ a dedicated person for marketing. This is also a good option for those who do not have enough time to market their product.
There are a number of marketing agencies that are great at promoting businesses, generating traffic and increasing sales but you have to pay their service. The good thing is, they are expert in marketing, has a high success rate and offers you more hands on deck because the agency has a whole team to market your agency.
Tip: When looking for a marketing agency consider your budget, their past results, and how responsive they are. Most importantly, find a marketing company that fits well to your business type.
9. Learn to delegate and hire replacements
In most agencies, the CEO or president takes multiple roles. He or she can start as the web designer, developer and project manager at the same time. It’s normal for the founder to take on several responsibilities.
If you are the agency owner, probably you are also filling more roles than you should. This may work in the first few months but you should learn to let go some of those roles by hiring someone to do it for you.
Some founders learned this the hard way when they realized that they couldn’t leave their business because it needs them. They find themselves still working when they’re supposed to enjoy their vacation.
If you are the CEO and founder and at the same time the designer or copywriter, you should hire someone to do the designing and copywriting tasks because your position as CEO may require you to do other responsibilities that will only leave the other jobs on the back burner. This also allows you to enjoy your personal and family time.
“You may still be doing web design, or development, project management, or managing adwords, whatever your operations are,” says Alex O’Byrne, Director at We Make Websites. “You are almost certainly still doing sales. You are working a job within your company, as well as being the CEO or President. That needs to change. For every position that you’ve appointed yourself to, you should write a job description for each role and hire to remove yourself.”
TIp: Hire someone you trust. Also, hire for attitude, not skills, because skills can be trained
10. Invest in your team and employees
After hiring the participants you trust, you have to continue investing in them. Invest in your team because this is the most effective way of reducing turnover. Also, investing in your people equates to investing in the future of your business.
Invest in their personal and professional development because these two have a positive correlation. When your employee is happy personally, he or she will make real growth as a professional and will contribute more to your company.
The ultimate goal for this is to show genuine care. Give your employees an amazing culture and environment to work on. Investment in your team can range from personal development to financial investment.
Some founders are hesitant to invest in their people for fear that they will leave the company. Ironically, employees leave due to lack of growth. They resigned when they feel disengaged at work due to lack of challenges and development.
Here are some ways to invest in your team:
- Set clear expectations for each role
- Prioritize work/life balance
- Host team building activities
- Compensate competitively
- Offer perks and benefits that matter to them
- Create a healthy work environment
- Set goals and monthly meetings to make continued improvements to achieve them
Tip: Build a good relationship with your team. Ensure that your employees are happy with what they do and help them improve professionally.
11. Prioritize how you handle and manage cash flow
Cash is the lifeblood of a business. You can’t keep going without it, so you have to handle and manage your cash flow very well.
Up to 60% of businesses that failed confessed that their failure was due to cash flow problems. You need to to be always on top of your cash flow. You have to monitor it monthly or even weekly. That’s not all, you have to prepare for the tough times.
John Sampogna, CEO and co-founder at Wondersauce, believes that you should not be afraid to take loans especially when things are going right.
“Even if you’ve been net positive for a year, two years or whatever, go down to the bank and get a loan,” John recommends. “Say your revenue is around 7 or 8,000 per month; don’t be afraid to get a loan of 200,000. There’s two reasons for this. First, if things are going well right now, it’s great that your business is ascending, but unfortunately you will hit a trough where there’s no new clients or new projects coming in. It’s better to get to the bank now and get that cash. This is especially true for when you don’t need it. Put it to the side and pay back those monthly installments. Second, you need to get used to making those consistent payments and building up that trust with the bank, because it will be a lot easier to have access to that money when you need it in the future.”
Here are some tips to manage your cash flow.
- Cash in on your assets
- Get a business line of credit before you need one
- Lease equipment instead of buying it
- Get business credit cards to cushion your cash flow
- Ask for deposits or partial payment on large orders or long-term contracts
These are the different tricks that you can do to run an agency and get more business. Start by identifying your ideal clients, promote your brand, market it, invest in your team and prioritize your cash flow.
If you know some other tips to run an agency smoother and get more business, feel free to share it with us below!
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