2 Tips From An Expert On Stress-Free Creative Agencies
Running a profitable business can be stressful and demanding. There are many facets that need to be handled, like adapting to the changing needs of clients; managing projects, timelines, and retainers; continuously developing the sales funnel; proactively managing the agency’s cash flow; hiring and keeping great staff, and preventing the all-too-common creative burnout.Although, there is no magic bullet for perfect agency operations, Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, details some key advice that creative firms can use to help create a profitable, productive, and stress-free agency.
Since we know how you’re busy, you know, running an agency, here are 2 key highlights from the book that every agency principal should know.
1. Three’s Company
There are three essential ‘minds’ needed to succeed in running a productive and profitable business: ‘technician’, ‘entrepreneur’ and ‘manager’.
1. The ‘technician’ mindset is about being an expert in the field and being passionate about the work. Lots of creative agencies are started by excellent designers and brand managers – technicians or experts – that love the creative process and produce outstanding work for their clients.
2. An ‘entrepreneur’ mindset is about having an aspirational vision for the future and inspiring others to want to be a part of it.
3. The ‘manager’ mindset is oriented to the details, keeping things in working order to ensure the business runs smoothly.
Gerber points out that these aren’t necessarily three different people, but that these three mindsets need to be equally represented for the creative agency to be financially successful in the long-term. In other words, the agency principal needs to wear all three hats or ensure that each of the mindsets is represented and has a place at the business table.
2. A ‘Franchise’ Frame Of Mind
Running your business like a franchise does not mean actually franchising the organization, it just means having systems and manuals in place so that the business can continue the ease of operation independently of key people. If the systems and processes aren’t in place, then Gerber recommends taking some time to work ‘on the business’ – setting up the systems, processes, manuals, creative agency management software – rather than just ‘in the business’. Gerber recommends three systems to have in place:
- Hard systems – are the physical things that you adopt to solve issues so the creative team can concentrate on doing their creative work. This might include hardware like two computer screens, headphones to tune out distractions, or breakout rooms for creative discussions.
- Soft systems – the people systems that make it easy for everyone to do their jobs. It might be as simple as job descriptions with daily, weekly and monthly checklists.
- Information systems – these are the systems in which your agency gathers, stores and shares information.
Whether you’re the owner or senior director, The E-Myth provides a lot of insight into how to streamline your business and make it more productive, profitable and avoid burnout.
If you’re looking for a creative agency management software to help streamline processes, simplify collaboration, centralize information and delivering real-time business data, book a demo with Function Point. We are the leading all-in-one creative agency management software designed specifically for ad agencies, design studios, and internal marketing departments looking to streamline their business.
This article was contributed by former Function Point employee, Jehanne Burns.