Challenges of creative agencies - and how to deal with themProject Management
Creative agencies experience major and minor challenges just like any other type of business. Though some challenges are specific to creative agencies. Here, we’ll dig deeper and look into some of the main ones and how to avoid them.
Recruiting and keeping talented people
Probably the most important part of a creative agency is the people themselves. A creative agency is a service business, and the people you recruit ultimately defines the quality of your end product.
Finding the right people for your business can be a challenge, and likewise finding the right place to work as a person can be a challenge. Broadening your horizon can be a help, though you might need to adapt your business culture a bit. One way is to open your business for remote workers. This way you suddenly have the whole world as your playground. No borders, and significantly lower limit of potential workforce.
Meetings might have to move online, i.e. chat and video conferencing, timezones might take some time to get used to, and other minor issues.
Differentiation from competitors
Secondly, you need to find your competitive edge. There are many creative agencies out there, and they all need to appeal to their clients in a unique way. What are your unique qualities? Who are your main clients? Could you eventually combine these two, and find your niche in the market?
Only major agencies are really able to be all-round creatives. Smaller ones simply don’t have the scale to do so.
Business and project management
Plain project management can be boring. All the processes you need to set up, the structural things, cash flows, etc. It’s not exactly the most fun stuff to do, but it’s really important that you get organized.
Find a project management tool that works for you. There are plenty out there with all their unique feature sets, pros and cons. Some are even beginning to introduce artificial intelligence to ease the workload for you. One of them being Forecast. Forecast focuses on creative agencies, and strives to make the resource- and project management part of your daily work as easy and quick as possible. It’s like an assistant for your business, but still with the kanban board, tasks, scheduling, etc. as you’re used to.
Irregular cash flows
Probably one of the most nerve wracking uncertainties of running a creative agency is the irregular cash flows. You often don’t really know how much, in terms of funds, you have to deal with in the coming months. It all depends on the effectivity of your marketing, lead generation and sales efforts prior in time.
Here again, your project management efforts are paramount. That way you are at least a bit closer to knowing what’s available and what’s coming up. For instance, using a value-based pricing method can be beneficial for both agency and client. Instead of focusing on price and numbers, you focus on the actual value created. Customer Lifetime Value is one way to negotiate this with your client.
Additionally, having a long-term capacity plan is crucial to stay in business. Estimate your total capacity and utilization levels. This will help predict your financial future, and after some analysis of your current situation, you’ll be able to improve by focusing on main predictable revenue channels.
Marketing is important. You need to make your business discoverable and attractive for your potential clients. Doing so takes time and effort. Improve your SEO, be where your target groups are looking for inspiration and information, make useful content that those people are looking for and post it on the appropriate channels, etc.
Of course there are plenty of other everyday challenges in a creative agency, but these are at least some of the major ones. If you’re interested in getting to know Forecast; you can sign up for a live demo, and get a personal meeting with one from our success team.