How to Start an Agency

Freelancers who have been in the game long enough know what it takes to make it. They often end up starting an agency because an agency means more business and more financial freedom. While an agency can be rewarding, it is also difficult to set up and maintain.

Business plan

My first advice is to work in an agency before you start one. Even if for a short while, it will teach you a lot. While having knowledge of how everything works can be enough, nothing compares to the practical knowledge. Now, that you have a general idea of how agencies run, who does what, how to pitch clients, how to generate invoices, etc., it can feel like it is easy to get started.

I will also tell you to wait a moment and think everything through before going all in. If you do not have complete knowledge, find a co-founder. While it can be tempting to be the only founder and keep 100% of the profits, it is also extremely difficult in the start. Having a partner lessens the burden significantly. You can partner with someone who has a stronger knowledge in the area you are weak in. Let’s say that you have great managerial qualities but lack the accounts management experience, then it is smart to partner with someone skilled in that field. You both get to put your expertise in the work and start something really good.

Set a value. Starting an agency is just the beginning. You need a whole business plan on what areas you will be focusing and what you will need for that. You will have to market yourself accordingly. Saying you have an agency, makes you come across as a novice. Having specialties makes you seem like someone who knows what they are talking about. Even if your agency offers a wide range of services, there should always be something that makes you stand out. Your prices may be low or certain services could have top experts working on them, etc.

Build your brand. It doesn’t matter if your services are the absolute best if your brand has a weak presence. More often than not, clients associate with brands. Your brand name is what is going to get more clients. Work on building your brand and establishing a strong profile. Public relation and customer support help a brand go a long way. Once people have worked with your brand, they should be able to pitch it to others as well. We all know the power of word of mouth.

Know what roles to hire for. It is said to start with the first three hires. These hires should free you up from whatever work is chewing you up the most. If both of you are neck deep in work, who is going to build the brand or pitch new clients? Knowing what role takes up most of your time, and hiring a full-time employee for it is a smart move.

There are a lot of things that have to be considered when starting an agency. These are just some basics that you need to consider and always keep in mind.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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