When it comes to assessing the performance of your creative agency, knowing where to look (and what to look for) can be bewildering. As former agency owners we know how you feel – we’ve walked many, many miles in your shoes. In fact, “the why” behind our organization is to empower agency owners and principals with the knowledge necessary to sleep better at night.
As a rule of thumb, agency principals generally operate on gut and intuition…letting “the work” speak for itself and drive their agency’s growth. Then suddenly they’ve become a victim of their own success. What worked when you were a 20-person agency, suddenly doesn’t work when you’re a 50-person agency, and what worked when you were a 50-person agency no longer works when you’re at 150. Often, you can’t put your finger on what it is, but the symptoms are obvious:
- Unhealthy and unpredictable tension on the team
- No ownership mentality or accountability by anyone on the team
- Challenges attracting and retaining key-talent due to cultural problems
- Challenges keeping projects, programs and accounts profitable
- Business development is inconsistent and negatively impacting cash flow
- Team is working long hours, but billable hours remain low (utilization gap)
- Consistently unable to bill all billable hours to clients (realization gap)
Our Agency Performance Audit process begins by engaging with agency principals to better understand what made them start the agency in the first place – we want to understand “the why” as much as “the what and how”. We strive to learn what makes you tick, and what your vision and hopes for the future are.
With that base level of understanding, we can then engage key employees to find out what’s working and what’s not, identifying pain points and opportunities for improvement.
Once we’ve gained an understanding of what’s happening in your agency, we can more effectively pinpoint the areas for improvement and help you make fact-based decisions to ultimately improve agency morale, profitability and overall health.
Based on all we learn about what makes your creative agency unique, our Agency Performance Audit will include customized recommendations that may include:
- Establishing or re-establishing your niche
- Improving workflows and handoffs to improve utilization rates
- Redefining scoping methodology to improve realization rates
- Establishing write-off reasons by service, project, program, client, etc.
- Updating agency workflow processes (new business through billing)
- Updating project architecture to reflect new agency workflow
- Updating roles and responsibilities to reflect new agency workflow
- Updating accounting and finance processes to reflect new agency workflow
- Providing technology recommendations (Workamajig®, Oracle Agile, etc.)
We don’t deal in generalities; we begin where industry benchmarking ends. In the end, you’ll understand how healthy your agency really is, coupled with a detailed and customized set of recommendations on how to increase utilizations and realizations, operate more efficiently and ultimately improve culture and profit.