Most people who start agencies come from either a creative or client services background. They leave their full-time jobs to produce work they believe in and are passionate about. They leave for the lifestyle and they leave to say goodbye to all the frustrations and bullshit they’ve had to put up with their whole careers, although thankful for all the learnings and experiences. It is these experiences – good or bad – that will shape their future business.
So this is great - they’re passionate, driven and talented but they forget one thing - they don’t know how to run a business and they don’t know how to grow a business. Most start with some clients (or a little black book) who will be able to get them on their way and they’ve most likely met some influential people in their careers, who can chuck them a referral every now and again. But is that enough to sustainably grow a business?
The pipeline needs more than just a lucky referral turning up at the right time. What if they lose the one client who is their main source of income? How do they deal with the dips in cash flow? How do they ensure they have guaranteed retained client income to project growth?
Well the smart ones realise the areas they’re weak in and they surround themselves with people who they can trust and can deliver in these areas. One common weakness we see come up time and time again, is commercial savviness. Our industry tends to be scared of the word ‘sales’. Often people underestimate the competitiveness of our industry or having to be slightly more aggressive to be successful and this takes them out of their comfort zone. They thought the work would speak for itself and the phone would be ringing off the hook. Reality check. It’s dog eat dog and you’ve got competitors snapping at your heels.
We understand these pressures and challenges and it’s the main reason why the Kiwi Gray brand is all about ‘bravery’. We want to help agency owners be braver so that they can stand up for their beliefs and be the agency brand they always wanted to be. And along the way we can give them the strategy, tools and processes they need to grow and create a ‘new business’ culture. But in order to get there, you have to be brave enough to know your weaknesses and plug the gap before that agency dream becomes a distant memory.