Modern agencies tools

How modern is your agency?

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Have you ever asked yourself the question, how modern is my agency? In other words, how operationally mature is your agency?

If so, then take our modern agency test by clicking the button below

We have noted that agencies are in one of four categories as follows:

Level 1- Chaotic creative

Your agency is managed via email, spreadsheets, (and maybe Slack – as it’s free.) You find that your team uses lots of other software systems individually, none of which “talk” to each other. The agency has little or no visibility of what’s coming in so the team finds itself in reaction mode, constantly firefighting deadlines. Everything is urgent and the team is stressed and overworked.

The agency is successful despite itself, and you have no idea whether it is really making a decent profit or not until the end of the year.

As far as processes are concerned, the question is “what processes?”

We don’t speak to many agencies at this level, not because we don’t want to speak to them, but for a couple of good reasons:

1. They don't think that they need our tools

Implementing the right tools and processes has a cost so the agency needs to see the benefits. The owners are out delighting clients and still making money, so they don’t understand what’s being left ‘on the table’ and opportunities to make more profits. It is also difficult to take a step back and assess the situation when you’re in constant reaction mode.

2. They are not ready for us

We don’t just sell software; we want to have happy clients using our software products. The agency needs to be “ready” to implement a new system before they do it. We use the analogy of building a house because, in the same way, that a house needs solid foundations, an agency needs solid ‘foundations’ to successfully implement new software. It needs to have processes in place and a clear objective for implementing new software.

Level 2- Basics in place
Agency basics in place

The agency has the basics in place. The team includes some project managers (even if they are part-time/outsourced.) It has some processes in place.

Your agency probably has a collaboration tool, a CRM, and a project management tool. The problem is that they still don’t speak to each other, and the agency is using them inappropriately. For example, it may be using the collaboration tool as a proofing tool. Reporting is still reactive and mainly spreadsheet based.

Many of the agencies that come to us are at the level 2 stage. The management team is fed up of having reactive reporting. The staff is fed up with having to rekey the same data in multiple systems and they are not sure if the data is accurate as a result.

Level 3- Getting there

Nice job, you’re in the top 20% of agencies when it comes to operations. Your processes are written, and you have proper onboarding for hires. You have the systems in place to see how profitable your clients and projects are on a real-time basis. Maybe not all systems are integrated but enough are so that your team is getting some visibility of your sales pipelines and upcoming work.

The agency has defined KPIs and is able to track them on a weekly/monthly basis.

This is typically an agency immediately after it has implemented one of our systems and is benefiting from the real-time information that it’s getting. The agency is getting used to the online collaboration in the project management tool and can see project and client profitability, capacity, and changeability all in one place.

Level 4- All star modern agency

Congratulations, your agency is in excellent operational shape. You have an operations director and a project management team. (Not many agencies have a PMO so there is always room for improvement.)

The agency has a software strategy, so all systems are integrated, or everything is one system. Your agency is proactively developing business and resourcing for it when it comes in. Of course, there will be the odd emergency job but that will be the exception.

Staffing decisions are made based on data and not hunches. The agency has KPIs in place and business objectives that are tracked and measured. More importantly, the agency has stretched targets for improving the KPIs and is well placed to meet them.

This is typically an agency that has been using our tools effectively for some time. These agencies also understand that software is a continuous investment (and not a cost) to ensure that the staff is properly trained. These agencies are regularly making sure that they are getting the most out of their software while keeping an eye out for better alternatives.

What about you?

Most agencies that we speak to are in level 2, and a few are in level 3. That’s because they know the value of having the right systems in place and they are speaking to us because they want to move up to the next level.

If you’re curious as to where your agency is, then complete our test.

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