The change from freelance or contractor to agency is a big move. Not just for your income, but the set-up of your business as well.
Perhaps you weren?t operating for profit but an income. Now that you want to get the growth that comes from an agency, how you treat your day-to-day activities will need to change, operations will need to be efficient and you to become focused on income generation and not all-the-things that running a business involves.
Getting solid foundations in place from the start will set your agency for success.
As an agency, your clients will have expectations about the service and delivery of the campaigns being handed to you to manage. To meet those expectations, an agency needs to be run as a smooth and tight operation. Here?s how to do this and why.
Document – As a lone worker, you may be used to doing all business tasks yourself. Being in this position can be a difficult habit to break free from. However, the initial step in making that move is to get HOW you work documented. No one else knows your processes and you might even be thinking that you DON?T have processes. You will do, they?re just not official and won?t be until they?re written down.
Initially, you could be thinking ?I work differently with every client, though. Documenting isn?t going to work for me?. That could be the case. However, getting the bare bones of your workflow written down can prompt some thoughts on what problems there are in how you work, where you can improve, and what you can stop or start doing to move towards getting your clients the results they want from their campaigns. Now we can move to the next point.
Improve – It can often be tempting to make improvements as you document. Don?t! The documenting step should be a quick, high-level draft for you to reflect on and adjust by asking yourself these 3 questions:
- Do I REALLY need to be doing this, is it important or essential for me to do?
- Could someone else do this task?
- Could it be removed altogether?
Here is where you can note the changes you need to make for your agency to improve how it works and become efficient in its operations.
Automate or Delegate – Now that your processes are documented and tidied up, here?s where you can make the change to WHO is doing the work. Where you can you ought to be automating, through setting up tech and tools that can automatically progress workflows for you, even in your sleep! Anything that you?re unable to automate as there isn?t a tool for it or it must be handled manually, then consider delegating it to a freelancer, agency or other business.
Knowing what you want, how the task is delivered and the outcome that is expected through your documentation will enable you to relinquish those tasks from your to-do list.
For the management of an ads agency, it is essential to have these tools in place.
Task management – An everyday go-to for my clients is a project management tool such as Asana. This allows team members to be included in a work space where projects and tasks are allocated and updated as they?re progressed.
As an agency owner, you can quickly review every aspect of your projects and client delivery. Updating as you need or communicating within the team, project or task for feedback on the current state-of-play if it?s been delegated.
Communication – In addition to the task management tool, communication with your clients and team in other ways is essential. Often this is by email, instant messenger or telephone.
When, how and who to contact in different circumstances is important at the start of a working relationship. Give flexibility but also set boundaries to maintain the focus of the roles in your agency.
The best practice is to be proactive rather than reactive. Regular feedback to the client and frequent contact with your team are the winners here.
Accounting – Now easier than ever, getting a digital accounting system makes life all the better. Less paper, less faff! Also, outsourcing to a bookkeeper is simple and will keep you on top of all that digital paperwork.
I use Quickbooks and love it?s desktop and mobile app. It?s easy to set-up and maintain accounts daily, weekly and monthly. Tracking invoices, payments and expenses can be done and dusted in a few clicks. Job done!
Leader – As the agency owner, this is you. Once your agency gets momentum and begins to see signs of growth, you will want to step back from managing and implementing day-to-day activities to maintain that growth. Your knowledge and expertise are needed elsewhere. Primarily for project planning, product and service development, and building business partnerships.
This means someone else managing and you handing over the operations, team and client campaigns to allow you time to focus on where you add the most value.
Manager – this role may take some time to fill. You want someone you can trust to understand your business, clients needs and expectations, and maintain the growth you?ve started.
It?s not an easy task, but there will be someone out there to take on the management to your standards.
Implementer – you may want several team members to become your implementers. These are the people that get your tasks done. They follow instructions but will actively feedback their thoughts and ideas on improvements and changes to make the operation more efficient.
With structure in place, your agency will thrive even when you aren?t there.
With documentation, you can systemise and streamline. Get processes automated or delegated to remove yourself from everyday activities that remove you from your value adding tasks.
Make best use of the tools widely available to you today. Including task management, communication and accounting. They will alleviate the tasks you don?t have to do yourself.
Finally, be a leader in your business. Structure the agency with management and implementer roles. Let those functions run the day-to-day operations and remove yourself from the overwhelm of being in it. Focus on growth generating activity.
What are your thoughts?
Take these steps to free yourself, maintain growth and build a profitable Facebook Ads agency.
Give it a try and share in the comments your thoughts on how the structure of an ads agency looks for you. I look forward to reading them.