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Maximizing Profitability For a Scalable Agency

June 10, 2020 by Emilie Toll

Scaling your agency is impossible if your marketing team is wasting time and money. Troubleshooting, client hand-holding, or the minutiae of other details do not add to your bottom line. They redirect time from billable activities, getting results, and growing your team. How can you trim waste and focus on helping your agency increase billing, margins, and growth? Let’s see.

Balance Service and Pricing

One of the most serious issues facing marketing agencies is providing work clients have not paid for. Your profit margins and team pay for the overages. And when your team becomes overworked, productivity and efficiency suffer. 

How To Prevent Overservicing

  • Prevent Scope Creep — Formal or inadvertent changes to the project affect the scope of the project and can make budgets confusing or even obsolete. Project costs can increase, and, if the changes aren’t billable, profits shrink. Safeguard your project margins by implementing a process to identify and handle scope creep.
  • Optimize Resource Utilization  — Use lower cost coordinators and specialists to help with short-range, repetitive tasks. It's expensive to have higher-paid directors or managers take on non-strategic tasks. Avoid delays in strategic work and save yourself money by ensuring traffic is routed to the appropriate resource. 
  • Fine Tune The System — Check your processes, then identify and cut time-consuming tasks. If the task is necessary, consider optimization or automation. For example, empower account and project managers to speak up if there is scope creep. Or, create a system that allows them to quote the change request.
  • Say "No" — It is important to understand when a client is not a good fit for your agency's capabilities and culture. Clients who aren't a good fit drain resources and cost your team time without reaping any profits. Learn how to say "no", and explain to incompatible prospects why your agency cannot take them on as a client.

Your agency's most precious resource and greatest financial investment is your team. Follow the above advice to balance your service and pricing, and have a happier, more productive team.

Increasing Productivity Leads to Higher Margins

To increase the productivity of your agency, bridge the gap between your team, clients, and technology with these recommendations:

  • Marketing Project Management Software — Disorganization is one of the biggest culprits of inefficiency. Look to project management software to begin organizing your work. Basic platforms include workflow automation, task management, and time-tracking. More robust systems include a CRM, A/P and A/R functions, and automated client proofing tools. Many PM systems include reporting to help you identify inefficient areas.
  • Social Media Management Platforms — Automate social media posts and receive alerts for mentions with tools like Hootsuite and Buffer. This saves time and allows your marketers to focus on more important tasks. 
  • Third-Party Integrations —  Automate repetitive and manual tasks with tools like Zapier.  Instead of kicking off email campaigns, registering users for webinars, migrating data, and much more, your marketing team can focus on results-oriented tasks.  
  • Productivity and Collaboration Apps — Keep your clients’ assets organized and secure while taking advantage of the collaborative nature of a cloud-based solution. If you opt for G Suite, stay connected with your team through Gmail, Meet, and Calendar.
  • Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) — Allow your marketers to work from anywhere in the world with a web-based telephone system. Your team can take and receive calls within a browser; enable call forwarding to another device or team member; and leverage the out-of-the-box conferencing feature for the same price as a wired phone system or cheaper than a business wireless plan.
  • Content Management System (CMS) — Your preferences come second to your clients’ website visitors. It’s also about the client’s ability or your willingness to support a website after go-live. If the maintenance agreement states the client is responsible for website updates and troubleshooting downtime, then it's essential to make sure the CMS is a good fit for them. If your team is responsible for support, consider features to keep the site secure, easy-to-manage, and up-to-date. Don’t keep using the CMS you’ve always used because it’s familiar; with every project, consider the features you may be missing and your bottom line.

Always Move Forward

As your agency scales, continue to analyze your team's workflow. Identifying inefficiencies prevents them from turning into much larger issues. Your optimized workflows allow your agency to focus on the future and do more than just keep the lights on.

Marketpath CMS: Built For Productivity

Don’t worry about hosting, uptime, or support with our fully-managed CMS. Need a campaign to go live at 12:00 AM? Schedule it the night or week before and let your team member sleep through the night. Centralized content management means you can create or edit call-to-actions, banners, and many other things within any page.

Ready to start the journey to being more efficient?

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Related Tags: Agencies, Marketing, CMS Features for Marketers, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing, Client Website, Website Maintenance, Zapier Integrations, Marketing Automation

Emilie Toll, Marketing Project Manager, Marketpath

Emilie Toll

Emilie serves as the Marketing Project Manager for Marketpath. She obtained an M.B.A. in Marketing and International Business from the University of Indianapolis. She enjoys every aspect of marketing, and finds the analytics just as fascinating. As a former restaurant owner, the entrepreneurial spirit lives on in her, and she wants to help others establish their ideal online presence.

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