Economic headlines have been doom and gloom for months. Agency leaders like yourself may be getting nervous as you read about rounds of layoffs in multiple sectors. While you may worry about clients tightening budgets or canceling projects, there are a couple of bright points to focus on. First, GroupM estimates that advertising spend will actually grow by 5.9% in 2023 and will continue to grow by 6% in 2024. Second, beyond trying to survive, now is a time where you can actually help your agency to thrive. Read below for tips on how to recession-proof your boutique agency.
Keep Your Current Business
The first area of focus is on your current clients. Keep up regular communication and find ways to foster loyalty. This has a twofold effect of both encouraging your clients to stay and also inspiring word-of-mouth referrals. In communication with your existing clients, evaluate whether there are any value-added services you can offer in addition to your current projects. Also, don’t forget to keep your team motivated. Take a long view and do what you can to retain talent, so that you will be ready to take on any new business that comes your way.
Buffer Your Agency Finances
Now is an ideal time to review your agency’s finances. Build up cash reserves where you can, and strengthen your financial plan. Review your pricing structure and make sure you have a clear view of your agency’s revenue and cash flow. Take the opportunity to level up your income streams, and improve payment options or automate invoicing to reduce late payments.
Evaluate Your Agency’s Efficiency
With a solid foundation of happy clients and stronger finances, it’s time to take a look at your overall operational efficiency. You may need to improve your collections process with shorter payment terms or prune clients that are prone to scope creep or paying late. Work on your metrics and reporting to ensure you have end-to-end visibility of productivity and resource allocation. This is a great opportunity to invest in streamlining business operations with an agency management system.
Invest in Innovation
While it might seem counterintuitive, this is actually the best time to help your agency get ahead by investing in innovation. Identify your ideal client, and assess whether you have an opportunity to expand into new markets or diversify your services. Grow your pipeline by increasing your advertising: while other agencies are struggling, re-examine your messaging and discover new ways to reach prospects, like podcasts or on Threads. Get creative with your marketing and look for new collaboration possibilities. If business is still tight, look for clients in ‘recession-proof’ industries, like healthcare and government.
Position Your Agency for Growth with MAC Attack
If this all feels overwhelming, you don’t have to do it alone! The agency efficiency experts at PCI can help with our MAC Attack quick-start software package geared towards small marketing and communication agencies. We can help set up a complete agency management system to improve your project and resource management, time tracking, collaboration, CRM, and accounting processes. By establishing these updated operational processes, your agency will be positioned to not only survive a recession, but for future growth. Find out more about how MAC Attack can help – learn more and request a demo today!