When you have been in the advertising industry or have been doing work in the same parallel field or probably doing freelance work and you have finally had the guts to step away from being employed to working on your own.
Starting an advertising agency is quite a profitable business although competition is quite stiff.
It shouldn’t be quite difficult for you to know how things work.
However, we know that setting up your own business could be quite daunting and there are times you would not know where to start.
Here are some simple facts that can help lead you to build your agency and be successful in it.
1. Business Plan
First off when setting up any business there always has to be a business plan. This will help guide you when setting up your agency.
Start smart and do it correctly, create a detailed business plan as well as operational plan. In this way, you will determine what you need to do and steps to get it.
Part of this process is getting the right license and knowing the right association to get involved with to be able to operate in your area.
Another important factor in setting this up is your expenses, how much capital should be invested in the business, setting up the whole operation and more.
If you were previously employed by an agency or have done freelance work for other agencies, then you have already created your own network of people that you have worked within the previous job.
3. Create a partnership
You might be wondering why you need to create a business partnership.
It is good practice in setting up partnership for setting up an agency for the main reason that if you are more inclined to the creative side of the business it would be advisable to have a partner that caters to the business side of your agency one that can handle the administrative, sales and marketing side of the business.
Choose the right location to set up your office. It may be the in thing these days to work from home this will definitely save you money on your capital and operational expense.
However, if you intend to get big clients they would often ask your office location, this way they would know your legitimate and not a fly by night agency.
For a start-up business like yours, this gives you a more professional and legitimate look to your future clients. You have a better chance of closing a deal when you invite future clients to see your office and how you operate.
5. Unique Value
In any kind of business, do you know for a fact that there will always be competition? Especially when talking about setting up an advertising agency, most often than not there are a lot of bigger agencies before you and have established themselves pretty well.
In order for you to compete or get a share of the marketing pie, you need to bring out something uniquely your own. You have to create your own niche, give them something that your company can excel in this way you can focus clearly on how you brand yourself as you open your agency.
You have more options these days especially with the arrival of the internet there are a lot more services that you can offer. According to Jan at omegaseo.co “we are getting into more heavily into SEO, website design, social media marketing, as well as many other services”.
Like most of the successful business, I am pretty sure you're aware that you need to brand yourself to be known and taken seriously.
A well-planned branding campaign at the start of your business will make your business grow and give you credibility and trust from your current clients as well as future ones.
Creating a strong brand for your agency gives you the advantage over your competitors. Always remember that your brand is the initial face of your agency, with that in mind initial perception of potential clients to your brand can carry a great deal of value for your company even if it is small.
7. The team
Remember the saying, no man is an island? Well, in any business you can’t run the whole thing on your own.
You need to choose or hire the right key people for the job who will help you on your day to day operations.
It is advisable to get the right mix of people with the right attitude for the job to help your agency grow and leave a lasting effect on your clients which will help in keeping your clientele happy and satisfied with the job you do for them.
Getting a well-balanced team is crucial to the success of your company with the right balance in terms of strength on their skills would be the best way to go.
Only hire the ones that you need, you don’t have to go full blast in getting a lot of manpower especially when you have just started, choose just less than a handful for a start then increase as your business demands it.
For start-up businesses or small agencies like yours, it would be advisable to initially outsource jobs that are just a one-off deal or those that you don’t always do this will save you on your operational cost than hiring one on a regular basis when the job is not often required as of the moment.
9. Systems and Processes
Make sure you set-up the right system and processes of how the workflows in your organization. This is the most important part of any business, most often this part of the organization is left out and would cause delays and problems from the beginning.
It is imperative that you start right by setting up a simple system and processes then you can modify it as you go along if it does not work or if it causes problems.
This also helps you from micromanaging your team and will greatly help you in concentrating on bigger issues.
10. Time Management
If you have worked with an advertising agency or in any parallel field, you are familiar with deadlines that most of our clients would say when the materials or job orders are needed.
Time is of the essence in this industry. However, this should not stop you from informing your clients the exact timetable of a project bearing in mind that you need to incorporate time for modifications or editing a material.
This way when it is passed or launched you are still within the time allotted for the project. This is also a great way to keep your team from burning out early on and this would make them be more productive and create quality work.
11. Sales and Marketing
Once you have planned and implemented everything on your business plan the next important thing to do is get clients. If you’re someone who is more into the creative aspect of the business then I suggest you let your partner do the marketing or get someone good in sales to do the job for you.
It pays to let them know you exist and what good is a business if no one knows you exist. So go out there and make some noise, this will help create interest in the services that you can offer.
These are pretty much the basics of what you need to get started and not lose track of your end goal. It shouldn’t be too difficult for you to make the first step in making it on your own and eventually be one of the big players in the advertising industry.
Most of these big agencies have started in one way or another like you on a small scale and eventually have grown and developed their own niche, and now so can you.