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Becoming lean: Eradicating Resource Waste in Your Creative Agency

By July 19, 2016 January 26th, 2017 No Comments

Is your creative agency running a lean business model? Or are you wasting valuable resources and ultimately making yourself unprofitable?

Lean business models have been popular since Toyota first coined the term in an effort to push production further, whilst reducing resources such as cost, time, space, energy and effort. In short, being lean means fewer wasted resources – but is it an idea your agency has embraced? And what benefits can you expect from a lean management system?

Focus on How You Use Your Resources

Managing the success of your agency is a constant process of balancing your creative innovation against the practical elements of running a business. And a key part of this is about maximising your resources (your time, your people, your creativity) and the subsequent impact on your profitability.

So, how would a lean business model help this challenge? To be lean you need to concentrate on specific areas of the agency and aim to improve them:

  • Look at your internal agency processes and how they work from a time and efficiency perspective
  • Review your operating expenses and intrinsic costs to encourage continual improvement and refinement of your margins
  • Measure the efficiency of your team and your equipment and where there are opportunities to enhance and improve the way you work

In essence, it’s about targeting those aspects of your business that may be making productivity sluggish and costing you money in the long term.

Get the Most From Your Marketing and Client Relationships

Becoming leaner isn’t just about how you use your own internal processes within the agency: it’s also about how you interact with clients, prospects and your chosen niche market.

Content creation, campaigns and marketing efforts are all areas that can become ineffective if you don’t stay focused. Putting time and effort into internal projects – whether that’s a new website for the agency or a blog post to raise your brand profile – requires you to make the most of that resource investment:

  • Make sure your marketing is targeted to a clearly defined audience and/or sector – and track and measure the success rates of your campaigns
  • Build your profile by blogging about topics that are actually relevant to your clients – make your advice practical and meaningful.
  • Use your social media presence to push our your brand, content and USP and demonstrate the value you can bring to client’s businesses.

As with any other resource in the business, your marketing and promotion has to maximise impact and minimise waste, so always bear in mind the return you’ll get from any client-facing campaigns and social activity.

Create a Lean, Agile Agency

Instilling a lean approach to the running of your agency isn’t just about cutting costs and increasing profit – it’s about efficiency and potential at a much more holistic level in the business.

If you can reduce the time-intensive processes inside the agency, just think what you could do with all that time you’ve freed up! You can take your focus away from admin and process and create far more time for client-facing work and innovation within the creative elements of the business.

It’s also incredibly important to get your team on side as you apply a lean model. Consult them at every stage and make them feel truly involved in the process – including listening to and incorporating their ideas, and understanding the ineffective processes and hurdles that are slowing down their progress.

Cutting out the flab means you have a more agile workforce, you’re more productive as an agency and, ultimately, you’re in a better position to scale and grow the whole business. It’s about learning the lessons, making the changes and prospering from these actions.

Talk to Us About Making Your Agency More Efficient

If your agency’s feeling a little flabby around the middle, come and talk to us about ways to make you leaner and more efficient. As specialist advisers to the creative and digital sectors, we know the big challenges you face as an agency, the resources where most waste occurs and the areas where you make the most effective improvements.

Drop us a line and let’s have a chat about getting your agency on the way to becoming slimmer, more agile and more productive!

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