6 tips for running your agency efficiently.

Get your notepad at the ready, these tips are groundbreaking.

Digital Agency Efficiency

Digital Agencies are in the business of efficiency.

It may sound like the go-to buzzword these days, but there’s no other way to describe how important it is to have a practical and systematic operational process for your company. This will allow you to scale, increase revenue and continue to serve the needs of your customers like a seasoned pro.

Regardless of the size or current position of your business, there are probably several areas you could look at to ensure that everything in your agency is optimised for a lot more high-fives, and fewer stressed emojis in the company group chat.

To help you, we’ve come up with a comprehensive list to guide you towards running your agency a little more, you know, efficiently.

Damage control is an expensive waste of company time, and something you want to avoid. You’re in the service industry, after all; so, above all else, service needs to be your priority.

Trying to troubleshoot or rectify something that could have been avoided with a little hindsight will have your entire team sweating bullets and reshuffling their diaries to accommodate the disgruntled customer.

To avoid chaos and keep everyone in your agency productive and super zen, make sure that all customer-facing team members are effective communicators with a strong penchant for public relations. Grumpy Gary might be a fantastic developer, but maybe he shouldn’t have a direct line to your most demanding customer. See where we’re going with this?

Welcome to the learning economy – the brainier you and your team are, the more efficient your operations will be. In the digital landscape, the only constant is change. So don’t get caught unawares by a gamechanging industry development that could give your competitors the extra torque they need to leave you in the dust.

Invest in your people and your technologies by dedicating regular training time for everyone on your team. Google encourages its workers to spend 20% of their billable time on developing projects that are of interest to them. This allows for more innovation to flourish within the organisation and enables employees to attain personal fulfilment from their jobs

Now, we can’t all be Google, but we can certainly take a page out of their book. Look into relevant courses, workshops and talks that your staff could attend. Are there online learning platforms that offer useful insights for your industry?

The software you use will also continuously be improving, so allow staff the necessary time to get proficient in using new and updated versions of any platforms which may have had an upgrade.

Staying on top of trends and discerning what is valuable for your business to know and implement will keep you savvy and progressive.

Agencies build up vast relationship networks. You have your clients, employees, suppliers, landlord, contributing freelancers – the list goes on. None of these relationships surpass each other in importance because each one could affect how your business performs.

Being on good terms with everyone who contributes to your company’s feedback loop means you can extract greater value from your interactions and advance your business where possible.

For example, if you pay your rent on time and have a good relationship with your landlord, he or she will, in turn, be responsive to your requests for improvements and repairs. Likewise, if the past few months have been leaner than a sugar-free skinny latte and you’re considering cutting some services from your suppliers to save your budget, why not call them up and explain the situation? In many cases, companies will be happy to negotiate, give you a discount or even a freebie just to retain you as a customer. There’s no shame in asking, especially while your company is scaling up.

A big selling point for your business is your budget’s transparency. Being able to show your clients where and how you are spending their money is foundational to establishing a positive interaction.

Pulling vague numbers out of thin air when trying to quote for a project is a sure-fire way to send the client running for the door. And even if they do decide to go along with your agency, you are only going to end up with complications further down the line when you try to come up with a final price.

How much time did Grumpy (but great) Gary spend on on coding? Did Content Catherine write copy for five landing pages or was the client suppose to supply that?

The proposal you make to your client should centre around a pricing formula that clearly illustrates how much time and resources you will dedicate to their account. This helps the customer gain a full understand of what to expect as a finished product, and it also means you’re not wasting time on revisions that weren’t budgeted for.

Some agencies create values or points that correlate with the tasks and content they promise to produce for an agreed price. Others have flat project fees which cover the points they have discussed with the client.

You need to find a way of costing that is suitable for your particular company and make sure your customer knows what you are charging for. This will also help your team members to budget their time accordingly and dedicate the necessary effort to project.

Key components of your budget:

  • Direct costs – The expenses you will incur that are directly related to the project, i.e., materials, equipment, salaries, any freelance workers or external consultants.
  • Indirect costs – Your agency’s overheads such as rent, administration, and utility.

Once you know what these costs are and have calculated how they fit into the price you quote for the project, you then need to set up the goals and milestones as well as how you will track the activities that are being performed towards these deliverables.

Your agency will handle a lot of data, often confidential. Not taking the necessary measures to protect your business from cybercriminals and other fraudsters could cost you clients and your reputation.

Unfortunately, it’s often smaller businesses that fall victim to security issues because many assume the “It won’t be us, we’re too small” mentality. The truth is, online criminals specifically target small and medium businesses precisely for this reason; they know that in many cases, the barriers are minimal, and the entry points are easily accessible.

Whether it’s falling victim to annoying malware or serious data protection breach, sorting through a sticky cybercrime scene can really pull the plug on your daily activities.

How to prevent cyber attacks:

  1. Have a data protection policy and ensure that your staff are fully clued up on how to enforce it.
  2. Update your systems regularly and run tests to make sure there are no sneaky worms in your network.
  3. Outsource a reliable I.T. company that will ensure all your assets are secure and optimised against attacks.
  4. Use a safe and secure hosting company that protects your content and keeps your projects and digital assets safe from threats.
  5. Create a best practices guide that is shareable throughout your entire organisation and can be used during the onboarding process for new employees.

If your bread and butter is website building, then hosting should never be a compromise. Gremlins may have been credible scapegoats in the 80s, but you may find that your clients are growing increasingly intolerant of downtime, inexplicable crashes and slow responses.

Shop around for someone with a proven track record – check those Google reviews, see what their customers are saying and find out what kind of clients they attract. You need a no-jobtoo-small kinda hosting partner who will offer the type of support a growing business needs and be consistently available to help you tackle any challenges that may arise.

We’ve all seen that bumper sticker worthy quote: Life’s about the journey, not the destination. Wait, don’t roll your eyes; we have a point here.

Optimising your creative agency’s efficiency is a perpetual journey. This is because technology is always improving, and with it, so are the challenges you will face. You need a solid infrastructure on which to build your projects, but you also need the flexibility to scale up.

The efforts you make to streamline each process within your organisation will be reflected in how seamlessly you can deliver each finished project to your clients. A trusted hosting partner is an excellent place to begin when reviewing the stumbling blocks to your efficiency.

Want more tips to speed up your Agency?

It may sound like the go-to buzzword these days, but there’s no other way to describe how important it is to have a practical and systematic operational process for your company. This will allow you to scale, increase revenue and continue to serve the needs of your customers like a seasoned pro.

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