Despite the headlines, tough economies don’t always mean business decline. The best-run agencies do well against sluggish competition with their head in the sand.

Take a look at our first ever Waypointers podcast where I discuss this with friend and colleague, David Kean, at length.

However, even in strong economies agencies can struggle to keep their head above water. With a flimsy pipeline and reluctance to adapt to market changes, you’ll always be in trouble.

Read below my five vital steps to ensure your agency stays firmly on the path to growth. If you get these five right, you will thrive and not just survive.

1. Be ready for constant change.

For an agency to be stable it needs to evolve. That might sound like a paradox but change is the only constant agencies can count on.

Staying a constantly evolving unit can help keep you firmly on the path to growth.

What previously worked quickly becomes out of date and blocks progression. It’s best to tackle these trends and advancements head-on and unintimidated. Early adopters gain a competitive advantage. 

You also have to be braced for changing priorities as you grow. The potholes in front of you are different to the ones behind you. The actions and challenges that took your business to £3m turnover will inevitably be different to those needed to reach £10m.

At earlier stages of the Business Growth Lifecycle, it’s about building long-term relationships with clients and investing in employees that share your vision.

Plus you must surround yourself with people who have the relevant skills to solve future problems and challenges, rather than the ones you’ve already encountered and overcome.

It’s about creating value through transformation.

2. Work ‘on’ the business instead of ‘in’ the business.

This attitude shift to your leadership will be fundamental in unlocking growth. Getting bogged down with passing workplace issues that were habitual comfort zones in the past, takes away critical bandwith required to build plans for future success.

Being on the business forces you to focus where improvements can be made. Instead of bouncing from one issue to the other, that step back and elevation of thinking can separate the wood from the trees, giving a clearer view of what needs to be fixed.

The more your agency grows, the more you have to become comfortable in delegating to suitable people empowering them to execute the work. Your task is to chart a clear course to continued growth, encourage and enable your team to overcome the challenges the business is facing.

3. Sell solutions, not services.

This is a big one. Frankly, for a potential client your services won’t always appear to be that different from the competition also pitching.

Be crystal clear on what will set you apart is by understanding and obsessing about what they want to achieve, the issues they need to overcome and then demonstrate how your agency will provide the solutions they need illustrated beautifully by proofe points where you have done it before for another client.

Instead of solely sharing creds on the team of  PPC experts you have, show them how ‘your PPC expertise can help them outrank thier competitors, unlock the % growth their aiming for and trump it all with an example of where you have done that recently for someone else. This demonstrates you’re effort to understand their business and its objectives, and they can plainly see the value in your agency is bringing in supporting their mid to long term objectives and mission.

4. Deepen your working relationships.

Always show your client you’re invested and passionate about their work, clients love people who care about their agenda and outcomes as much as they do. When they feel your aligned on mutual achievement of goals then You can be looking to move from supplier (commoditised) to trusted partner (valued and retained) – becoming an essential long term part of their success.

Doing so won’t just bring longer lasting contracts, it also can boost client profitability as wastage and overhead is reduced and trust allows you to act as their consultant to maximise their outcome. They will know they can count on you when additional support is needed and will trust you in taking positive action in their best interest.

While identifying and progressing new logo business is always good, don’t take your eye away from existing clients, its many times easier to keep a client that win a new one and when you work well with them on a mutual respected partnership way underlying success and profit will always be stronger.

5. Seek advice from those who have done it all before.

You wouldn’t do a parachute jump without guidance and support from an experienced and trusted expert, right?

So in business when in uncharted territory, you won’t always know when you’re about to go off the deep end. Every stage in the business growth lifecycle has its own set of trap doors / potholes that are hard to spot and even harder to climb out of, so avoidance is always the best policy

When you don’t seek advice, you’re taking a risk, risks become problems, problems hold you back.

Waypoint advisors collectively have hundreds of years’ of experience successfully using all of these steps and more to build agency success. We have experienced the potholes and trapdoors and worked around them. If you’re needing guidance and support to avoid the fall and unlock further growth in your business, reach out here and talk to us…