managing the pandemic crisis in agencies

3 Keys to managing the crisis for your Agency

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Managing crisis in agencies is something that can be done with the right systems and tools in place. It’s been a few months since the coronavirus turned the world upside down and showed us that.

The pandemic has profoundly impacted the lives of billions of people worldwide. It’s also now clear that the impact on the economy will also be profound with millions of people being made redundant and companies struggling to manage. While it’s still possible that the recovery will be V-shaped, it’s beginning to look less likely as people with many industry sectors are likely to be affected for years to come.

In agencies, the impact has come both from clients and the fact that they now have to work remotely. Many clients are either canceling or postponing work and the agencies are not used to (and set up for) working from home. 

For those of you who haven’t already, it’s time to get your “house in order” and below are the key things we all help you manage this crisis in your agency. 

Cashflow

Obviously, the number 1 priority is managing cash, especially independent agencies that don’t have the big holding companies to support them. Unfortunately, many struggle because they don’t have an effective tool to manage cash flow on at least a week-by-week basis. All too many are not sure whether the cash in the bank is really theirs or committed to paying their liabilities. Others try and manage this in excel and inevitably miss something and get an unpleasant surprise. 

In an ideal world, the cashflow tool would be integrated as part of the business systems so that all the expected income and outgoings are integrated with payables, receivables, and other planned income and costs. Something like this! 

This information gives the business the information that they need to make key decisions continue to manage through the pandemic. 

Revenue Pipeline 

In every recession, there are always some businesses that thrive and others that are unimpacted. That means that there are businesses out there that still have marketing and advertising budgets. There are still opportunities out there for agencies to get new work but, even before the pandemic, most agencies struggle to gain new clients. Deltek did a study last year which found that 60% of agencies said that finding new clients was their biggest struggle. 

The agencies that will do survive and do well will be those that overcome this problem so I would argue that a good CRM tool that is specifically designed for agencies is a must. Once you have a handle on cash, you should be looking to fill the pipeline by speaking to new existing clients and aggressively marketing for new business. I see on social media that many agencies are doing this, and I hope that they have tools to track their leads and opportunities so that they can effectively forecast their pipeline. The screenshot below is taken from WorkBook. 

Web-based 

Finally, we need to accept that working from home is the new normal. Understanding that the debate for online vs in-house tools is over is key for managing crisis in agencies. At least for the small independent agencies that don’t have the budgets for expensive VPN solutions. They need to find cloud solutions like WorkBook and ConceptShare so that they can effectively manage their businesses from anywhere that has an internet connection. 

If you would like to speak to us about how WorkBook or ConceptShare can add value to your agency please feel free to contact us. 

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