There are a wide array of challenges that come up when working in any type of business.
As a marketing agency, there are specific agency challenges that are more unique to the type of organization that you have.
Managing different clients, finding ways to make your business stand out, and getting the right people are all examples of agency challenges that you might face.
Thankfully, you don’t have to suffer through these agency challenges alone.
There are several solutions that you can implement to solve your problems, help your business grow and create an agile mindset that helps you approach your agency challenges with a new perspective.
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1. Communicating Effectively
One of the biggest agency challenges that new and established agencies face is ineffective communication.
Communication covers a large number of different areas, from communication between managers and employees to communication between you and your clients.
When you can’t communicate effectively, it leads to unsolved issues, unspoken frustrations, and ultimately a lack of cooperation and cohesion in your agency.
Communication is key to building trust. If your agency is suffering from a lack of communication, think about ways you can make things more transparent.
Start holding short, casual conversations with clients and employees to begin building trust and make starting the more difficult conversations easier.
2. Improving Management Processes
Agencies tend to have less strict and formal methods of management than other types of businesses.
However, this can lead to problems when it comes to management styles.
Inconsistent management, unclear delineation between management and employees, and constantly changing management processes can derail a growing agency and even lead to higher levels of employee turnover.
Looking at books about management styles and picking a single course for moving forward can help you improve your management processes.
You can learn how to structure your management and create clear, effective processes that help you grow as a manager and lead your team to success.
3. Retaining Quality Talent
Another big agency challenge is retaining quality talent.
There are many talented digital marketers that you can find and hire in your agency, but keeping them there is another story.
All too often, agency employees find themselves working over hours, teetering on the edge of burnout, and taking over responsibilities outside of their job description.
The turnover rate of agencies is incredibly high. In order to retain the talent you collect, you need to take a step back and evaluate the workload and responsibilities of each member of your team.
Listen to the concerns that are brought up, and find real solutions for those issues rather than patchwork fixes that don’t address the root cause of employee dissatisfaction.
4. Setting Deadlines
As an agency, you always want to deliver your projects on time and make sure that you aren’t constantly running behind on deadlines.
However, it can be tricky to correctly estimate how long it will take to complete different tasks and hand deliverables over to the customer.
This can reflect poorly on your business and lead to dissatisfied and unhappy clients.
Data can be a huge help when it comes to setting accurate deadlines.
Examine how long it takes you on average to complete a specific task, and get the statistics and metrics on how it changes based on client size and the difficulty of the task itself.
This can help you make more accurate estimates of when things can be completed.
5. Generating New Business
Every business needs to grow. Agencies in particular can have difficulty expanding and bringing on more clients, as sales cycles can run long and there is a large amount of competition.
Getting new clients is essential, and doable, with the right approach.
Focus on increasing the excellence of your services and your customer service approach.
These areas are some of the major deciding factors that your potential clients will consider, so make sure that you have an easy process and workflow, effective communication, and great results.
6. Using Technology
As an agency, you are often meant to be the expert on digital technology for your clients. But many agencies aren’t even using the right technology in their own internal processes.
Technology is an important part of running an agency correctly, and investing in the right technology stack is essential.
Consider what areas of your business could benefit from the addition of new technology.
It’s also important to constantly evaluate the tools that you have so you are utilizing them to the fullest and ensuring that your investments are worthwhile.
7. Avoiding Micromanagement
Agencies, especially as they start out, tend to be small and managers tend to be all-hands-on-deck.
That means that they will jump in when needed and help out personally when situations call for it. It also means that it can be hard for owners or managers to step back and avoid micromanaging their employees.
Make sure that you clearly delegate tasks among your employees and communicate what your expectations are for the results.
Then step back and allow your employees to do their jobs without constantly shadowing them. This leads to more trust between managers and employees and creates a more confident workplace.
8. Working Efficiently
Agencies often have many moving parts. With so many different areas to focus on, it can be hard to know how to manage your time and work efficiently.
Managers and employees alike can find themselves stuck in meetings all day or trying to keep up with messages and emails, leading to not a lot of work getting done.
Creating an effective calendar and daily schedule is important to keeping the agency working efficiently.
Things like productive time blocks, standardized meetings, and daily and weekly goal setting can help you stay on track and make sure you are utilizing your time in the best way to work efficiently.
9. Creating a Company Culture
A company culture is the shared behaviors and attitudes of a business.
Fostering a healthy and effective company culture is an important part of running an agency, but can be difficult to accomplish with so many unique personalities and work styles among your employees.
Having clear and established company missions, values, and goals can help you create a company culture that can be shared among your existing and any new employees.
Make sure that you have positive company values and listen to feedback regarding company culture from your employees.
10. Handling Conflict
It goes without saying that every workplace will, from time to time, have different conflicts that need to be addressed.
However, when disagreements continually rise and start to become a major issue, you have a bigger problem on your hands.
When left unaddressed, internal conflicts can lead to a major lack of communication and cooperation within your agency.
You need to address conflicts head-on. Set up meetings between the conflicting parties and make sure you go in without a bias.
Listen to both sides, and make a fair decision on how to move forward so that business can return to normal.
11. Motivating Your Team
Agency challenges can also be shared among other industries.
One of the major responsibilities for managers is to inspire and motivate their team. While not every day at work will be exciting and fun, it is important that you don’t allow things to become monotonous and boring.
Think about different ways you can approach agency goals and how you can inspire your team to achieve them.
Taking an individual approach with each of your employees can sometimes be more effective than trying to come up with a one-size-fits-all solution to motivation.
Just make sure that you also have rewards and benefits in place that will encourage your employees and motivate them to work harder.
12. Making Your Agency Stand Out
One of the biggest agency challenges is standing out among the competition.
Your agency needs to have an identity of its own and stand out from all of the other agencies in your area or in your niche.
Consider avoiding some of the common buzzwords that agencies use, like “full service”, “all-in-one approach”, or “powerful results”.
Instead, focus on what makes you different from your competitors and center your messaging around that. Make sure you are engaging, approachable, and interesting.
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As an agency, you will undoubtedly have unique agency challenges that have the potential to hinder your growth and create tension and conflict within your organization.
When you approach these problems with a clear head and work to find solutions that will help you overcome agency challenges, you can help your business grow and become more successful.
Another way to help your agency grow and become more successful is to use different agency project management tools.
These types of solutions can make it much easier for you to manage the projects your agency has coming in. To learn more, check out our blog on the link!