Thursday, September 11, 2008

5 Things to Improve Business

I read an article in Ad Age, Five Things to Do Now to Improve Your Agency, and I think it's definitely worth a read. I think it applies and is relevant to people outside of agency life, who are their own small business or freelancers. In an earlier post I mentioned using the beginning of the Fall season to revamp marketing strategies and I think these are another few ideas to gear yourself up for a successful season.

In the article Marc Brownstein (AdAge Small Agency journal reporter and president of The Brownstein Group) lists the 5 things as:
Grow Organically
Grow with new clients
Grow through merger/acquisition
Grow by improving your talent
Grow your profits

My own take/ideas on each:
Grow organically - you are your own leadership team with your own client relations, how do you continue these relationships and keep them coming back? What else can you do to "up the ante" for your current client roster? Marc mentions capabilities presentation... I say for photographers and illustrators what about a test shoot or rough sketch?

Grow with new clients - this is the goal for most, get new clients and to keep them on your current roster. How do you approach new clients? Is there a new way to attract clients or to market yourself other than traditional approaches and email bombardment? Do you have a new business program?

Grow through merger/acquisition - this doesn't really apply but it can resonate. My post from yesterday discussed a creative gathering, networking in the creative community is the greatest tool. It may not be a merger but you can join forces through networking, photography seminars, rep partnerships, etc. Connecting with other artists to discuss the industry and talk shop can get ideas flowing and create a support system.

Grow by improving your talent - you are your own talent (along with your crew on shoots). To improve your own talent, keep up with the personal work, try out new things with lighting or post-production techniques, push yourself. As for your crew - you know how you work best and you want to have the best support team around you to make sure things move along seamlessly and the best work comes out.

Grow your profits - In this economy, agencies are tightening up and cutting costs, budgets are getting even smaller. Don't sacrifice your pay and undercut by bidding incredibly low (this approach can back fire when the economy is on an upswing). There are ways to make things happen without breaking the bank.
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