Mastering the Art of Prioritization: A Guide for Creative Agency Owners
Take a look at your current weekly schedule.
Are you budgeting enough time to grow your agency?
Or are you so overrun with client work that you barely give the future a second thought?
Neglecting to invest enough time into growing your business is no different than forgetting to water your favorite house plant. It can survive despite neglect for a while… but the damage will eventually become irreversible.
If you’re struggling to find the time to take your creative agency to new heights because of your mountain of client work, it’s time for a priority overhaul. With only a finite amount of time in a day, you need to ensure that you find the balance between how you’re spending your two most valuable assets: your time and money.
You can’t afford to NOT invest in your business
Are you neglecting to invest inot your agency?
When you’re so busy keeping clients happy, it’s easy to turn a blind eye when things start to go wrong.
If you’re not sure how to tell if your agency is in trouble, take a temperature check with these warning signs:
You struggle to forecast future revenue more than a couple of weeks in advance, and your cash flow is an unpredictable rollercoaster.
You have a hard time maintaining strong profit margins thanks to unnecessary payroll hours and avoidable mistakes.
You’ve started to notice an increase in client delivery issues and team miscommunications.
It’s been weeks since you hit the gym or spent time developing your professional skills and you’re starting to feel burnt out.
If any of these warning signs resonate with your current reality, you need to take the time to reevaluate how you’re investing your money and time before it’s too late.
The 5 key elements every creative agency should prioritize
So you know you need to make some changes in your creative agency - but where do you begin?
The truth is, many agency owners face the challenge of subjectively deciding what should be at the top of their priority list. When a crucial team member is struggling, but your pipeline is running low on leads, which problem do you focus on first? Both seem equally impactful on the business.
But here's the good news: solving this problem is possible when you use the right formula to help you. But before you make any drastic changes to your calendar, consider these five categories you should be prioritizing to strike the right balance in your agency.
In order of importance:
Marketing: Unfortunately, the pipeline won’t remain full of prospective clients by itself. You need to invest effort into attracting new clients and nurturing existing relationships to stabilize your cash flow. This could include ramping up a LinkedIn or social media presence, performing cold email and phone outreach, or creating content.
Process: Unless your agency has proven, replicable processes, you will not be able to perform consistently for your clients. Track metrics like deadline and budget adherence for the team, and ask for feedback to identify areas efficiency could be improved.
Product: As you and your ideal client constantly evolve, it’s important to evaluate your current offer(s) and ensure they are meeting client demands. Collect client feedback or compare past project goals to actual results to identify areas of opportunity.
Team: Your agency can’t grow with a stagnant team. It’s important to support and develop your team members to maximize their potential and foster a positive work environment. Investing in skills development opportunities, checking in regularly, and providing feedback are essential to keeping your team engaged.
Yourself: Prioritizing self-care and professional growth is essential to becoming an effective leader and avoiding burnout. Exercising consistently, maintaining a healthy diet, and making time for your professional development are all ways you can show up for yourself so you can be the best leader possible.
Honestly evaluate what you are currently investing in each of these categories. Are you investing too much time in one category and not enough in another? Are you spending money you don't have?
The reality is, your agency will not scale until you find the right balance.
Implementing the Framework
Your time is precious, so now that you have your priorities in order, it’s time to block your schedule accordingly.
To maximize your time and money, block off the following time each week to ensure you stay on track:
Dedicate 2-3 hours per week to explore marketing strategies such as content creation, social media engagement, and networking.
Invest 1-2 hours per week in identifying weaknesses, streamlining workflows, and embracing automation where possible.
Spend 1 hour per week on enhancing your agency's offerings. Seek client feedback, research industry trends, and innovate to stay ahead.
Devote 1 hour each week to support and empower your team. Conduct regular check-ins, provide constructive feedback, and offer growth opportunities.
Nurture your personal growth for 1-2 hours each week. Engage in activities like reading industry literature, attending webinars, or seeking mentorship.
Remember, if financial resources are limited, invest your time instead. If time is scarce, revisit internal processes to uncover areas for improvement and gain back valuable time.
Lucky enough to have some budget left over? Prioritize reinvesting them into your sales to see a quicker return on your investment.
Don’t let the busyness of being a creative agency owner distract you from nourishing your own business. Investing your time and money in the right places at the right time will lead to sustained success and long-term growth.
Start reprioritizing today and nurture your agency for a thriving future.