5 Point Creative Business Growth Check
Coming out this side of the GFC and beyond the mindset of simply surviving, what’s next to grow your creative business?
There are so many factors affecting the advertising and other creative industries at the moment, but if pushed to name just five right now I’ll highlight those that I believe will grow the business in the most sustainable way in the fastest possible time. That’s not the same as simply growing the business in the fastest possible way, nor making the biggest profit in the short term either.
1. Get a niche
There’s so much to this, but firstly it’s about having differentiation from your competitors. It’s about serving a part of the business that’s got a specific need that you can serve in a particular way that’s unique to you. If you take out your corporate personality or the people from your business right now, what’s left? Is there anything unique about you? If not, then become differentiated in who you are and what you do for your clients.
2. It’s about them, not you
A lot of agency’s are great at working out what consumer’s want and delivering that for their clients, but when it comes down to the agency’s service they continue to think that it’s all about what they want to do and not about what the clients get. What’s the point of doing what you always have done when it’s no longer marketable? This is the central discovery that will then drive what your niche is and how your process supports it.
3. Add 5% more value
Now the cynics will be thinking ‘Yeah, who’s going to pay for that?’ and that’s fair enough for those that have been screwed on price lately. I’m not at all about giving away more than is necessary but there are ways to add value to clients that don’t cost you much at all and the gain is greater than the costs. By adding more value to what you do, what you can charge for it can be at least protected. In some cases the charge can be elevated because it’s of even more value and justifiable to your client (win/win). Understanding what your client really wants will help you drive the best possible value that’s meaningful.
4. Have a high performing team
It’s interesting that agencies often expect their clients to trust them and to invest in something intangible (like ideas) and can be quite judgmental about clients that don’t buy their ideas easily; yet at the same time when it comes to investing in the intangible by supporting their teams with training and improving their skills to serve the process, there’s a lack of bravery and likewise forethought. Like elite athletes that are all pretty much performing at the same level it’s what’s in their mind that tips the balance and provides the successes. Clients are leaps and bounds ahead of agencies in terms of training, self development and team performance skills these days so having your teams playing at their peak will improve your ROI in many ways.
5. Do the ‘drop dead’ test
I know that sounds gruesome, but if any one of your team dropped dead right now would your process sustain it? Would the client even be aware of the problem? Would the creative product be affected as a result? The answer should be that there is no change and that the idea and the process lives on, regardless. This also gives you a tangible value as a company that lives beyond the people, ensures the best possible productivity, keeps your current clients happy, sustains your profit and allows you to handle growth.
Annemiles - About Author:
Welcome to Anne Miles, helps creative businesses with their sales strategies, processes and understanding of people as the foundations of successful sales, all with sensitivity to your unique needs around the creative product.
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