Managing in a renewing economy (part two)

Agency management can be a challenge as the economy teeters back and forth between recovery and residual crud.  Things feel like they’re getting better and according to all the agencies we’re talking to — they are.  But it’s not all blue skies yet.

I’m not trying to go all Eyeore on you…but let’s stay careful.

We’ve developed 25 helpful agency management steps you should consider as you move your agency through these turbulent waters.  Last week, we posted the first 13 steps and here are the final 12.

  1. Demonstrate to clients and suppliers that you are thorough, organized and committed to best business practices.
  2. Know where the agency’s “breakeven” point is, and make sure you include the full salary and benefits of the owners. You’d best know where the worst case and best case scenarios are hidden.
  3. Continue to be aggressive and persistent in your Accounts Receivable. Call on all overdue invoices and let AEs help on collections that are coming up on 60 days old.
  4. If you have extra space created by a shrinking staff over the past year or so, think about renting the extra space out to a business partner, like your web coder or PR group.
  5. Tighten policies that were too casual, and don’t get too liberal with your budgets for supplies or services. Keep costs under control.
  6. Economic hardship taught you to institute tight financial control over costs. Don’t let up.
  7. If you are still going to pursue getting mark- ups on outside purchases, make sure they are spelled out in advance. If stated “up front” it rarely is a problem.
  8. Check your banking relationship. If you borrowed during these past tough times, go to the bank and review your performance, and ask for higher limits based on your past performance. Re-negotiate loans if you have them, but build on your banking relationship.
  9. You may feel the need to move to larger quarters if you land a large client. Just remember that all clients are not around for the long haul and leases and mortgages are there long after clients leave.
  10. Manage your growth opportunities carefully. Do your budgeting and make sure your process systems are working well. Change what needs to be changed, and then make sure everyone follows the systems and stays on budget.
  11. If you have a CFO make sure he/she knows what is going on with clients. Shee must be both a strategist and a bean counter.
  12. Now’s the time to do a detailed business and financial plan. Growth strains resources. Make sure that you are in a position to handle the growth when it arrives.

That’s it for our agency management tips.  Now is not the time to let down your guard.  You survived the recession. Don’t let the recovery period get you.

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