3 Ways Your Creative Agency Retainers Could Be Better

In the middle of a busy week, the last thing you want to think about is updating the statuses of your projects, but you know it’s a crucial step to keeping your team on the same page. That’s why having an easy way to update all your Jobs at one time is a great advantage. Use the Editable List View at your next project update meeting to view your current Jobs, and then quickly change their status, delivery date, or add notes to them.  

Retainer agreements foster positive ongoing relationships between agency and client, and more agencies are entering into these arrangements than ever before. One of the benefits of retainers is that they allow an agency to accurately forecast billing. Secondly, retainers can make your billing processes easier, if you keep them simple.

However, if your agency does have a large portion of your billing coming from a single retainer, you are at a higher risk, especially since retainers tend to be the first things cut when a client is reducing costs. A retainer agreement works best when both sides find value in it, and maintain an active role in its progress.

Not Tracking Your Time 

If you don’t track time on retainer projects, it’s like working in the dark; you won’t be able to see if they’re profitable. Also, when you set out to create a new retainer agreement, you won’t have any visibility from previous projects on which to base the new ones. You might want to look into a project resource management software that has a time tracking solution with project and business intelligence visualization.

Not Planning Properly 

Agreeing to a large retainer can seem like a big win, but it also means that your retainer client is at the front of the line every month. When considering a significant retainer agreement, think about how it will impact the availability of resources for non-retainer work. Track your resources and ensure you are delegating your time, materials and personnel strategically and sustainably with a project resource management software.

Adjusting Rates 

Some clients will try to push you well past the boundaries of a project’s scope, which is essentially allowing them to dictate your rates. It’s also important to note in your agreement that expenses your agency incurs will not be included in the retainer, and to bill for those. Expenses should also be marked up in the same way you would for non-retainer work. To stay efficient and automated in your business, don’t adjust billing schedules or invoice methods due to client requests.

With Function Point’s project resource management software, show your retainered clients that you are bringing value into the relationship, and save more time and resources with our set of workflow management tools. To learn the best way to manage your creative agency retainers, read our new Profitability eBook:

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