Planning

By |December 9th, 2018|

We preach to our clients that they need a marketing plan and budget.  We ask about their goals so that our efforts help them cross the right finish line. We understand that it’s pretty difficult to get to a destination when we have no idea what that destination is.

And yet most agency owners do a lousy job of planning for their own agency. We might set a gross billings or AGI goal but beyond that, we don’t:

  • Have a plan with SMART goals
  • Share out plan with our leadership team
  • Prioritize our goals so we can tackle then, one by one
  • Build an action plan to hold ourselves accountable
  • Allocate resources (time and/or money) to get it done

Or…a few (very few) of you go in the opposite direction.  Your business plan is a 3-ring binder that is laborious to complete and then it sits on a bookshelf because it’s so overwhelming.

I think there’s a better way and I am hoping you will approach the coming new year by giving it a try. That’s why I want to give you these agency annual planning templates.

First — it needs to start with the agency owner’s life plan.  You own your own business because it’s part of a bigger purpose/plan.  I want to make sure that your agency is actually serving you, your family and your life goals.

Agency Owner Life Plan — complete this plan every year.  Odds are much of it is pretty evergreen but you will notice subtle shifts over time.  And sometimes, a life event (birth, death, marriage, divorce, etc.) will cause it to shift pretty dramatically.  Do this first to make sure the agency you are building helps get you closer to your life’s goals.

Agency One Page Business Plan — This simple plan is powerful because it is simple! Identify the single most important goal/change you need to make in each category.  Identify what’s in the way of you getting it done and your first two action steps to moving towards completion.  Then (and this is critical) rank the goals in order of importance.

Do not complicate this.  Do not put more than one goal in each category.  Make sure each goal is specific, measurable, etc. The prioritization is vital.  One of the mistakes we make is trying to tackle all of our goals at once, which means none of them get done.

Then, assign responsibility for #1 and work together to get it done.  Once it’s wrestled to the ground, move onto #2 and so on.

You will be astonished at how different your agency (and life) look in 12 months if you do this now.  Don’t skip it.  Don’t over complicate it. Don’t smother it in committees.

Be one of the few who plan and actually execute on the plan!

 

 

About the Author:

For almost 30 years, Drew McLellan has been in the advertising industry. He started his career at Y&R, worked in boutique-sized agencies and then started his own (which he still owns and run) agency in 1995. Additionally, Drew owns and leads Agency Management Institute, which advises hundred of small to mid-sized agencies on how to grow their agency and its profitability through agency owner peer groups, consulting, coaching, workshops and more.