Here’s a 4 stage strategy to enable small agencies to move forwards.
Do it now; because before you know it, this mayhem will end. Be ready for it on your own terms, for whenever the safety car pulls off.
#1 - Learn to Cope well
Establish your agency's baseline. That’s where we go forward from now.
Imagine you’re on a desert island.
Take an inventory of what have to stay alive with.
Check your supplies: you, your people, freelancers, suppliers - are they still at your disposal.
What’s your baseline outflow and cashflow for life as a stripped-down business
Anticipate there’s no extra work around to rescue you for 3-6 months
If a ship passes by with a brief, how will you get noticed
#2 Stay fit for purpose
Since you’ve been marooned, change won’t have happened so much that the world is unrecognisable.
And when the lockdown is lifted, things won’t go back to “normal” straight away. Prepare for the short to medium term.
There’ll be a period when the people you serve will be reacting to a new set of circumstances. Organise yourself to be as flexible and agile as possible to respond.
Uncertainty means less budget; everyone will be instructed to spend carefully, but they will still need your services to get things done.
Hang on to the best of "lockdown" operations and develop new ways in which you can work under the circumstances.
You’ll still need the support you have nurtured to do what you do. Make sure all of it is fit for purpose.
#3 Picture life in the New Normal
Look ahead to the time after the initial recovery period. It’ll be a while in transit before you’re home and dry.
How will things have changed for your clients?
Keep an eye on their industry’s commentary and the predictions being made.
Ring clients and chew the fat; ask if they agree with the predictions and what their take is.
Envision how you can thrive in the new normal THEY will be living in.
What you will do on the first day the lockdown is lifted and be doing 3 months later.
Take a blank canvas and adapt your approach according to what you anticipate and want to happen.
It’s like starting over, but with a bag of experience to give you a head start.
#4 Begin now – we’re already in the New Normal
The old plan doesn’t “coupe le moutard” as they never say in French.
You cannot change where we have ended up, but you can choose where you go from here. And that begins today.
Don’t wait till the dust has settled, the green light is on and everyone has come out onto the streets to go back to work.
We’ll be dealing with the hangover for months. Clear your own head, execute your own plan of action.
Be prepared for when everything takes off again.
I am a business coach specialising in the growth or development of Small Agencies and Project Driven Businesses. As such, I hold no preconceptions or judgments; you know your business and clients better than anyone.
I’ve come through 3 recessions with an agency or creative business. I know where you are coming from. I can support you with where you want to go.
With the playbook ripped up by Covid-19 Vrius, no one knows how things will turn out and I don’t profess to. Coaches believe that building and growing your business is best done on your terms – that approach is more relevant now, than ever.