All posts tagged: agency-tools

A Matrix for Qualifying New Business Opportunities

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At the start of this year, as we became more diligent at Barrel about tracking certain business development metrics, our Partner and Creative Director Lucas Ballasy wondered if it could be helpful to come up with a scoring rubric for new leads. The thinking was that, over time, a data set would emerge and offer some potential insights while making the exercise of qualifying leads less intuitive and more rigorous. Lucas and I quickly mocked […]

Exploring Client Concentration in an Agency Business

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Client concentration isn’t a topic that comes up much when I chat with other agency operators. The most common references to client concentration I’ve heard are usually concerns from folks who rely heavily on a single client for most of their revenue. Agency business experts and 2Bobs podcast hosts Blair Enns and David C. Baker recommend that creative firms should have a roster of around 8-15 clients. This doesn’t matter if you’re doing $1 million […]

Calculating Project Profits at a Creative Services Agency

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A digital marketing agency, design/branding studio, UX consultancy, web development firm and any other creative services business are all similar in that they are asset-light, people-intensive businesses that rely on successful delivery of work for clients. What constitutes a successful delivery? Client satisfaction, team satisfaction, and profits. I want to focus on the profits part in this piece and explore some examples of what a profitable engagement looks like and why the two biggest levers in […]

Small Agency Owner Compensation

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Can an owner of a small creative/marketing/digital agency make decent money? The answer is yes, but like anything worthwhile, it takes discipline, hard work, and some luck. The business model itself is really simple: be great at sales, control costs (especially labor), do excellent work, and have a good CPA. I built a really simple model on Google Sheets to show the inner workings of a small agency’s business from the owner’s perspective.  You can copy […]