Summer is officially here, so along with dusting off the shorts and flip flops now is a good time to see if your agency has developed a ‘spare tyre’ over the winter.
There are five consistent levers management can pull to drive growth – people, client service, marketing, sales and finances. It is these that the health check should investigate.
Let’s start with the people – every agency’s ‘biggest asset’. What’s your staff churn? Under 10% may cause problems with stagnation, but north of 15 percent and you can have continuity issues. Are your internal values current and communicated? Is the team rewarded for living them? Are the team six monthly reviews and objective setting being run on time? Are the personal objectives directly linked to what the business is trying to achieve? I could go on, but you get the picture.
On the client service side of things, have you developed and launched a service in the last 12 months? If so, what revenue has it generated? If you haven’t it is time to make sure that you get a structured and resourced R&D process in place. New services are critical to growth in a sector changing as quickly as ours. Is your client loyalty process providing you with actionable information rather than a list of scores from a multiple choice questionnaire? You want to be sure that your plans for growth are based on solid client relationships.
Marketing & sales
How is the marketing plan looking? Do you have a crystal clear sales and prospect policy? How many leads has it generated? And on the sales side, what is the conversion ratios for lead to pitch, pitch to client and what is the average client fee? If you know this then the business plan will have realistic, achievable and hopefully stretching targets – much more motivating than plucking a number from the air.
Finally, review the staff costs as a percentage of fee, overhead as percentage of fee and be honest about how much time you give away for free – sorry, your over servicing levels. How does the fee per head compare with the average for your sector or discipline?
Once you have a clear idea of where you are in these areas you can prioritise those to address by simply scoring them out of ten. Assign one of the management team to be responsible for driving the necessary change actions (with the support of the rest of the team) and methodically work through them. And of course enjoy the summer.
If you would like a copy of my health check framework please do get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org