6 Common Creative Agency Failures and How YOU Can Avoid Them

The business environment in the creative space is both dynamic and intense. If you look back 10 years you will notice that many companies either don’t exist anymore and others are struggling to stay alive. It is a difficult task to compete in the creativity industry where you need to stay ahead of industry trends and changes and effectively organize your internal processes to ensure your work remains profitable.

This blog post will list SIX crucial points for you to consider when managing your creative agency. Our goal is to help you not only “survive”, but to keep you growing!

SIX Common Failures:

  1. Failure to keep the best talent: Brilliant people are responsible for the incredible work that you want to be recognized for, therefore you must try your best to keep them. It is essential to ignite passion in people and make the work fun and challenging. People want to feel they are achieving something – intrinsic motivation is key for jobs in the creative industry. You should always ask your team if they are satisfied with their jobs and get some feedback from them before it is too late.  Finally, remember that a skilled employee who doesn’t fit the your culture is a problem, so it is just as important to keep the RIGHT talent as it is to keep good talent. If your employees are brilliant and share the same values you will find yourself on the road to success.
  2. Failure to structure an effective business workflow: Ok, you know that talented people are crucial, but a business based solely on talent will find itself in precarious position as the company grows. You need a very well structured business workflow so your staff know the steps, how to perform a task, where to find relevant information or contacts needed. It is important that everyone know how to establish goals and measure their results.  Everything will be clearer and more organized, which will allow people to be more productivity and able to focus on their creative output. Everything will run much more smoothly and, for sure, more profitably
  3. Failure to meet client expectations: Make sure to get into the habit of following-up with your existing clients with the same enthusiasm as you do with prospects.  Meeting client expectations is as much about communication as it is about your deliverable. In another words: give your client relationships the time they need so these clients keep coming back and ultimately generate revenue for you.
  4. Failure to make good decisions: To accept a new opportunity, hire someone, open a new office, make a investment…Yes or no? Managing is about making decisions, therefore you need to analyze all your options and use real data on which to base your conclusions. Don’t make important decisions based only on gut-instinct as you may end up with solutions that are not aligned with your ultimate goal. Be careful about the level of risk that you take and do not spend more than you can afford – cash flow is key.
  5. Failure to build realistic estimates: Some managers are over-optimistic and don’t leave a safety margin for the unpredictable things that my happen when planning the business or building an estimate (or proposal) for the client. To survive the ups and downs in the economy you cannot rely on one staff person, one client, or one vendor. Always have a plan B to help prevent you from going into the red.
  6. Failure to believe in a common mission: Whenever something is done with passion, it will get better results. You will produce better and sell better. Build a mission that you believe and that reflects your real passion and the reasons that you serve your clients. And be persistent when pursuing it. Challenges will come up, but you have to be focused on the work to realize your goals. Sometimes it takes longer than you expected, but keep going.

Hopefully these common agency failures will help you re-think your business. Ask yourself whether any of these cases may apply to you and plan to fix your weaknesses. Set yourself up for future success by acting now!

If you are also interested in learning more about why agencies lose accounts, check out a previous blog post here.

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