Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
The hardest type of change is stopping behaviors that have become habits. Here are Five Stops that will help you grow your agency and become more profitable and less stressful.
- Stop inefficiencies. Take an honest look at how you get work done. Find out where you are endlessly passing paper around, holding meaningless meetings or inviting those who really don’t need to be involved in a meeting. Ask yourself for each step, “Is this beneficial to our agency’s success? Or, is it inefficient?”
- Stop ignoring the numbers. Do you know what your financial standing is? Do you know what the numbers are telling you? Do you know what your break-even point is? What your profit margin is and what it should be? What does it cost you to get new clients? These are the questions that every agency owner needs to know to maximize profits.
If you don’t know what your financial numbers are and what they are telling you, you are literally flying blind in your business.
- Stop discounting. If you’re a discount agency, you will only get discount clients. Instead of discounting, add value. Start focusing on increasing your revenues through organic growth. Building a system for getting repeat business is where long-term profits really are.
Raise your profit margins by raising your billing rates. You may lose some clients initially. But I have found that these are usually the clients that take up most of your time and are never happy with your service or creative work.
- Stop blaming the uncontrollable. Ownership of your own agency means you are the ultimate responsibility. No one cares more for your agency than you. While the Ad Industry has been hit hard in recent years, we have been through tough times before and emerged healthy. Lead your agency and team the way you want them to be, even in your absence. A team that takes responsibility and accountability means that the business is not dependent on you.
- Stop running your agency as a sole proprietor. Become accountable to someone. You hold your staff accountable and you should have someone hold you accountable. Find a mentor, master mind group, or a consultant who will make sure you set realistic goals and follow the plan to achieve them.
Instead of focusing all of your time and effort on what you should be doing, take the extra effort and find the things you can start stopping. Your agency will become more efficient, less stressful, and more profitable. The net result is a sustainable business and a thriving agency.