With Brexit here to stay (unless Parliament gives us the best Christmas present ever), and with the full impact on the marketing and advertising industry still not clear, it’s hardly surprising that in the latest Bellwether survey the IPA has predicted 2017 to be “a more challenging year” than the current one, as businesses rein in costs ahead of the March 2017 deadline for Brexit negotiations to begin.
Beat from the heart of your business
With such an unpredictable forecast, it’s crucial that the kernel of your business is as strong as it can be to ensure you’re in the strongest position possible to take whatever 2017 throws at you.
It’s time to baton down the hatches, and turn your sales focus to optimising your existing revenue assets – namely your clients.
They are the lifeblood of your business
Understand who they are and what value they bring to you, and then throw everything at them so they know, and more importantly feel, how important they are to you and to your business.
If you have the following areas covered off already, then you’re pumping.
If not, I’d strongly recommend getting straight to it.
1. Evaluate your relationship
Understand what your clients think of your agency and the value they receive from you.
Setting up a regular client satisfaction mechanism should be your first port of call. By asking for feedback, you are showing you care and this is always appreciated by clients. And more importantly, if something isn’t right, you can’t fix it unless you know what it is. It can be much more costly if you don’t ask, and lose the business as a consequence.
It’s also a great forum to let clients know of other service areas you offer, which they may not be aware of, by showing a list of services and asking which ones they use your agency for. This creates a great opportunity for cross sell.
2. Make sure your love is worth it
Know why you are working with each client and the value they bring to your business.
There could be a range of reasons why you work with a client:
· Their business is in your sector of expertise
· There is great growth potential
· You may have chosen to work with a client who isn’t making you any money as it’s charitable or pro bono work or it will provide a great case study for sales and marketing
· It could be a good ongoing layer of revenue which you can easily service and helps to keep the lights on
The most important thing is you know why you work with this client and that they play a part in your business strategy.
Once you have identified these clients, I would strongly consider retiring the ones who sit outside of your strategy. This will keep you lean, focused and profitable.
3. Let your love grow
Optimise revenue growth through your existing business.
Agencies are already starting to feel the impact on new business, as cautiousness begins to creep in across marketing spend. The cost of chasing new business aside, it’s more important than ever to make the most of what you’ve got right in front of you. Capitalise on your existing relationships and knowledge.
Identify your key growth accounts and create a strategic account sales plan for each of these with time-lined actions and commercial goals. And use these plans as tools to unlock the revenue potential in your existing business.
When you have your foot in the door already, why wouldn’t you work as hard as possible to get inside, past the entrance hall, and start exploring to see what other goodies lie in the rest of the rooms?
I’d love to hear what action your business is taking to reinforce its core, so feel free to leave a comment.
And please do get in touch if you’d like to discuss further how you can maximise the value of your existing business.