Planning for Ad Agency New Business

planning for ad agency new business

Those charged with new business often neglect to plan their work and work their plan.

Agencies are great at analyzing and planning for their clients. But, when it comes to planning for their own new business they balk. It is a strange, but often occurrence. When an agency starts focusing on themselves, it causes their marketing minds to shut down.

Agencies can temporarily get away with no planning.  When needed, they crank up their activities and beat the bushes for new business opportunities. They can pull it off but their efforts are not as strategic or effective as it should be. They’ll soon begin to struggle making new business much harder than it needs to be.

A life without planning, routines or processes will zap your energy, cause you to lose focus and bring in clients that aren’t the best match for your agency. 

I assure you that if you make planning a habit, you can capture its power to make your position happier and more productive. Here are some truths about planning that every new business person should embrace:

1. Planning is Painful

Like starting an new exercise routine, in the beginning, you’ll feel a lot of initial pain. But if you are committed to work through it, your routine will get easier.  The same is true as you develop the habit of planning your work. The more you do it, the easier it becomes and the positives increase significantly. You get better and better at developing your plan and processes if you stick to it.

Planning for new business can be frustrating, particularly within the agency environment. Having your plans analyzed and dissected isn’t an enjoyable experience, nor is the work of trying to build consensus and getting the agency’s leadership and staff onboard. The frustrations of planning are burned in our brains, but so are the great opportunities that are derived after executing the plan.

2. Planning Takes Longer Than Expected

Planning takes longer than expected, but makes the work less stressful and much more productive.

If it’s not on your calendar it doesn’t exist.

What are your plans for the year?

I encourage a new business retreat that will allow you to totally focus on creating an annual marketing plan for your agency. This will help the new business team to set annual goals and objectives, what you need to do, how to do it and when to do it. You’ll be able to create a marketing calendar, a month-by-month schedule of your new business activities for the upcoming year.

Repeating this process each year allows you to review and revise your plan. The process gets better and better. You’ll be able to “work smarter, not harder”.

What are you plans for the day?

“Don’t focus on being busy; focus on being productive. Allow what matters most to drive your day” – Gary Keller.

I recommend spending an hour to plan your work week. That’s not a lot of time when you understand how much an hour of planning makes your time so much more focused and productive.

How often do you reach the end of a work day with the feeling that you haven’t accomplished very much? One of the biggest benefits to planning is the productivity of knowing what to work on every day. It reduces the stress of falling behind and having to work evenings and weekends to catch up.

3. Planning Doesn’t Mean that Everything Goes According to Schedule

One of my favorite quotes is from the heavyweight champion boxer, Mike Tyson,

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

Having a plan to check against, lets you know when you’re off course so you can do something about it. I encourage clients to create a new business report and set a meeting at the end of each month with their team to review and make revisions.

Planning isn’t easy but the rewards are worth the time and effort. It will make new business easier.

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About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.

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