3 Best Practices For Managing Creative Agency Retainers

3 Best Practices For Managing Creative Agency Retainers

A retainer relationship works best when both sides find value in it, and maintain an active role in its progress. This way you know how much time you’re spending on your client’s jobs. If you’re running over-time—or under—you’ll know that it’s time to talk to your client and adjust the agreement. Here are 3 ways to make sure your retainers are the most valuable for both sides:

1. Get a Jump on It

Retainers should be billed for the month in advance because your agency is reserving time for the client to produce the work in the upcoming month. It helps your cash flow immediately, and if you keep your billing schedule consistent and automated with an agency management software, the process should run very efficiently.

2. Have a Solid Agreement

Spending time to work out the details of solid retainer agreements will protect you from mistreatment. Be sure to educate your client about process and deliverables, and discover whether their expectations are reasonable. It’s important that you outline how much work is included in the retainer through your agency management software. You want your client to understand that you’re selling time, not a “we’ll do whatever it takes at all costs” approach to service.

3. Set Up a Six-Month Review

Clients who under-use their retainer are a risk because if they don’t see the value, the retainer agreement will be canceled. To reduce the chances of this happening, set up six-month reviews with the client to check in on the regular deliverables, and to remind them of the great work your agency is doing! Build this review into the contract with your agency management software so that it will allow both your client and agency to discuss the process openly, and possibly re-negotiate the remainder of the year if needed.
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