Nothing worth doing in life comes without its challenges, and this is especially true for those whose life is running their own marketing agency. Facing these daily obstacles by no means should diminish the fulfillment of owning your own business, but sometimes it can feel discouraging.
Facing your own challenges? You’re not alone!
Here is a – by no means exhaustive - list of the perks and pitfalls of having a small(ish) marketing agency that may sound familiar to you.
Benefits of Having a Small Business
Arguably the greatest advantage to operating a privately owned marketing agency is the fact that you have full control over the operations and direction of your business. Owning a business means you can steer it in a direction that works for you; you’re free to amend your goals, rethink your approach, and even take on different roles within the company. A small company is much more flexible than a larger one.
There are no quotas, no quarterly expectations – no need to answer to someone else!
Flexibility is important not just for your business, but for your personal life as well. Working for yourself means having the ability to take on as much business as you want, leaving more time for family and other enriching aspects of your life.
Client satisfaction should be the goal of any marketing agency owner, and being able to give that personal touch is a major advantage of being a small-sized business. In an age where our interactions are becoming increasingly mediated by technology, people crave for that authentic human connection. Running a small agency means being that much closer to your clients, as you personally understand and handle their service needs.
Challenges a Small Business May Face
Learning Curve for Running a Business
Unless you’ve had prior experience running a business before, most start-up or small-scale marketing agencies are likely to face a stream of challenges that can have dire results. In fact, over 50% of start-ups end up going out of business after their first five years in the market, which is a dismal reality for the average entrepreneur. These are just some of the common issues that new business owners face:
- Poor financial literacy; unable to balance the books
- Lacking a properly structured business model
- Pricing your services, so they don’t turn people away
Without the proper know-how or guidance, small business owners are more likely to run into similar problems.
Lack of Resources
Even if you’ve got a sharp mind for business, a lack of resources can have a drastic effect on the growth of your agency: you don’t always have the money, time, or people power necessary to accomplish some of your goals. Let’s say you wanted to expand your marketing service offerings but don’t have the knowledge or background to do it yourself. What can you do?
Without having the money to hire qualified employees or having access to affordable suppliers, your agency runs the risk of limiting its capabilities, which can turn potential clients away.
Whether it’s generating new clients or retaining old ones, maintaining a good client pool is always a struggle for any agency owner. Often small agencies are client dependent and rely on word-of-mouth referrals to generate new business. Though your clients leaving positive online reviews is a reliable source for obtaining new leads, this process can often be slow and may backfire on you if they have a negative experience.
Even if you have established a reputable brand, it won’t do you well if that brand is only known to your current clients.
Competition is another major difficulty that you'll encounter as a small agency. Larger companies that have more resources can be louder, are more recognizable, can afford the best talent, and can offer a wider range of services, thereby appealing to a larger number of your potential clients.
Expanding Your Service Offering and Growing Your Business without Sacrificing Your Brand Identity
Running a business provides the owner with a comfortable profit, though not much more than that. This may not be a problem for most, but it’s unsuitable for someone who is ready to take the next step and expand their business. The problem then is how you can increase capabilities to the level of a full-service agency without sacrificing your brand?
The answer to this question is WSI’s Agency Accelerator Program.
WSI has helped many small marketing agencies to expand their services without letting go of their brand, and we’d love the opportunity to partner with you. We feel that each party maintaining their individual identity is one of the most important requirements in a business partnership, so we’ll complement the services you already offer without compromising your brand.
When you partner with WSI, you get to hold on to what makes you unique while also increasing your service offering and becoming a 360-degree agency that can grant any customer request for a comprehensive digital and traditional marketing strategy.