If you're looking to start an advertising agency business, the first thing that you are going to need is a business plan. Before starting on your own, it may be prudent to read through some examples of service-related business plans.
This will give you an idea of what others have done and also show you different sections and language used in writing about themselves and their businesses.
Who is it for?
Inexperienced business owners almost invariably ignore the basic and eternal truth of writing an advertising agency business plan – the audience matters.
It may seem inconsequential, but it is actually a distinction that will affect all subsequent decisions. The company's vision, mission statement, and values should all come into play when writing the introduction of the document.
The rest of it will depend on which of the above audiences you intend to address it to. What are your goals, how will they be achieved, etcetera?
The reason for creating a business plan is to map out what your goals are and how you intend on achieving them. But having these plans isn't enough – they have to be communicated as well.
1. Internal Purpose
An internally-oriented business plan is also a great way to understand where you stand realistically, which is often a problem for digital marketing agencies. For instance, let's say that your company has three designers and one developer.
You may be getting an idea of the staffing that would be required for a given project, but it's hard to know the number until you've taken on more work.
If your company is growing and hiring new people as they come in, then of course you will need more staff than when things are slow. But what about projects?
You may have produced one or two large projects this year, but what if you're expecting more in the future? If not for your business plan, you may be left scrambling without a firm idea of how to proceed.
For example, you may be coming up with a business plan that will be used mostly for internal purposes. You will be laying out your goals and means to achieve those goals to your employees.
You will let them know what is expected of them and what kind of performance will be considered satisfactory. It also lets them know how the company is doing and try to convince them to stay on board.
2. Investors and Partners
In order for a business plan to be successful, it needs to have an audience. You can't just write the document without considering who you are writing it for and what their goals are.
The most common audiences of these plans will be investors and partners, potential customers or your own employees. It's important not only that they know about how they will be addressed, but that they are aware of the plan's goals.
This kind of a business plan is intended to reinforce their trust and belief in your Advertising agency. It goes without saying that this kind of a business plan will be finances-heavy, dealing in cold, hard numbers.
3. Potential Customers
Your business plan may be aimed at your existing and potential customers. It will be a borderline marketing tactic where you will point out all of the amazing things you are planning to accomplish and tools that you intend to use.
It can also be a great way to advertise the wide array of your services and introduce new ones. For example, if you just started expanding and are now offering advertising strategy services, your customer-oriented business plan is the perfect “delivery mechanism” for this announcement.
This will give you an idea of what others have done and also show you different sections and language used in writing about the services.
4. Know Your Market
A big part of knowing whether your agency will be successful is understanding your audience. Make sure your plan is clear about the definition of your target market – who will you be selling to and how many other agencies are already selling similar services?
Your ads won't work if they don't appeal to what your potential customers want or need. Research and find out as much as possible about the people you want to sell to.
Many business owners fall into the trap of believing that their products or services are “for everyone” that is, anyone would be interested in or need what your agency has on offer.
But this isn't true! You have to know who will benefit from your product or service and who will not. You may have a customer-oriented business plan or one that is intended to be used for investors, partners, potential customers, and so on.
The purpose of the document changes depending on your target audience – but there are some elements that should always stay in place no matter what type you're writing.
5. The Importance of Numbers
Whether you like figures or not, having a thorough understanding of the numbers that impact your business is a crucial component in agency business plan when creating one for 2021 - so it is important that you are excruciatingly precise with your numbers.
A business plan is never about the words, it's about the numbers If you're not good with numbers, it might be best to ask someone else to do the number crunching for you.
You may also find that some social media sites or other agencies already offer similar services and if this is the case, it's important to point out any differences in your plan.
Having a strong understanding of these figures will help an advertising agency succeed in 2021 and beyond!
- How many clients do you have at the moment?
- What are you doing to keep your clients?
- How much are you paying your outside partners?
Do not write numbers or bullet points. Write content instead! Content is more interesting and readable than bullets or numbers.
6. Focus on People
The people from the subheading above are your people, your employees. The reason why they are making a feature in an article about an advertising agency business plan for 2021 is that this will hopefully be the year when advertising agencies finally realize how valuable their workers really are and start taking care of them more properly.
Nowadays, it seems as though there is a constant flux of people who are constantly leaving their jobs for different agencies.
This can be attributed to many things; one being that the job market has been in such turmoil since 2008 which has led to an increase in unemployment and or underemployment rates all around.
A second reason is that many people are realizing they can't afford to stay loyal and committed to their jobs as time goes on.
In an industry such as Advertising agency, where things change so rapidly due in large part because of the internet, this is even more pronounced than some other industries would be if they were experiencing the same changes at a similar rate.
Just like with the first point, this is due in large part to how unstable and volatile the job market has been since 2008- people are simply not willing to stay at a company for too long.
Because they know that even if it pays well now, there's no guarantee what things will look like a year from now when it comes time to re-negotiate their contracts and if the company is still a good fit for them then.
A third reason why people are constantly switching from one job to another has more to do with how competitive it can be.
With so many agencies vying for the same work, sometimes it feels like there's nothing fair or even about who gets which job - and the best way to avoid feeling like this is by moving onto something that feels better.
Finally, there are those people who just feel as though they need a change of pace in their lives and work environments.
These are the types of people who often have been working for years at one company because it was what felt safe or comfortable, but when they finally have the chance to explore new work environments they tend to falter.
What do you need to include?
An Advertising Agency Business Plan Template for 2021 includes:
- Agency’s mission statement.
- A brief history of the business and how it came to be.
- Information about products or services offered by the agency, including a list of clients and their contact information.
- An outline of any challenges that are anticipated in meeting client needs, as well as solutions for overcoming those challenges.
- A description of the company’s organizational structure and staffing needs.
- Revenue projections for the first five years.
- An estimate of expenses over that same timeframe, including both monthly costs and startup capital expenditures.
- A list of any patents or trademarks that are held by the company.
- An estimate of income and expenses for the first year, with a projected profit-loss statement over the next five years.
- Information on debt owed to lenders, including an assessment of current interest rates and minimum payments due per month.
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