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Health check: Business is great and growing

Readying for growth in 2023? This scenario-specific advice looks at some key areas of the business to monitor and manage. 

2022 DBA Annual Survey Report

When the business is growing, agencies are faced with challenges which some might refer to as “good problems”. Your people are your greatest assets and retaining the right talent in the agency is key. The great exodus, inflation and a competitive market have made the recruiting process even more challenging. It is now even more important for agencies to ensure they have a rigorous recruitment process in place.

If your business is growing, great, but do you have the right structure/foundation to support that growth? Ensuring you have the right talent in the right places is key to delivering your strategic vision.

If you are growing, then you will inevitably be looking to recruit to ensure you are meeting your increasing client base. The search for talent should be an ongoing discipline, to ensure you are able to identify the best talent and not scrambling to meet resource needs. If this is not something you’re currently doing, speak to experts to get a talent acquisition process in place and formulate a network to fulfil any current or future needs. 

Onboarding is a vital element that is often overlooked or delivered poorly; it is more than simply having a laptop and email account set up. Are your brand values instilled in new starters to ensure they are able to truly reflect these in their interactions with current and potential clients? The faster people know how you operate as an agency, the faster people are able to integrate and add value.

Do you have the right relationships and access to financial products which can support your growth? Maintaining relationships with your business partners such as bank relationship managers ensures they can anticipate your needs and suggest the right product and tools. 

Word of warning, being in profit and/or having cash surplus can hide inefficiencies as your leadership team and management might be less concerned with it. Commercial KPIs should always be in place and reviewed regularly to identify any potential need to course correct. Are you underbilling or over servicing your clients? What are your internal processes for scheduling work and reviewing project profitability? Are your freelance requirements an accurate reflection of reality?

When you’re doing something new, whether it’s a new product or service, sector/market or methodology, have you done your due diligence? Do you understand local and global market conditions? Are the right subject matter experts in place to lead this growth? A robust plan should be in place with accountability assigned, scenario planning and a budget. Include early warning indicators and contingency plans. Know when to pull the plug and avoid throwing good money after bad, while understanding the risk appetite of the business and planning accordingly. 

About: Sim Thirunesan

Sim is Finance and Business Director at Management for Design Ltd. She provides dynamic financial insight and strategic business management support to creative professionals, allowing them to focus on excelling at what they do best. By providing clear insight, she can help you make the best decisions for your business and enable you to plan effectively, freeing up your time to focus on unlocking your maximum potential and produce the best work for your clients.

Sim is an accredited member of the DBA’s Register of Experts. 

Find out more about Sim.

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