I have been running Odd Dog since 2008 and we have been through just about everything the world can throw at us. I have made a separate service of SEO for remodelers, real estate and almost every sector with special teams leading each one of them to provide the best service.
For those of you considering starting your own Digital Marketing Agency, below are some tips that we have learned along the way in hopes that they help make you more successful.
Niche down. There are a ton of agencies out there who do everything. To stand out you need to pick a focus and get really good at it. This will make both marketing & sales much easier.
Stay focused. Once you choose your niche, stay focused on it and realize the power of saying “no” to anything outside of it. Entrepreneurs are great at identifying opportunities and building on them, know that you can only handle so many opportunities at any given time.
Get a bookkeeper. Even if it’s just a part-time bookkeeper, the financial stress this will alleviate will mean the world to you. They’ll keep you on top of your taxes, ensure bills are paid on time and help step you through any banking or line of credit items that you may need.
Get a line of credit. If you’re in an industry that is project based and you are paid after the work is performed, a Line of Credit is your lifeline to sanity as you start out. It’ll ensure you don’t go out of business while in the middle of a large project and give you the confidence to go for larger clients.
Sales drives everything. If you had to choose one area to be really good in, make it sales. Companies rarely worry about falling apart when their phones are ringing off the hook. The rest of it you can figure out on the fly.
Review your Income Statement Monthly. This is the lifeblood of your business so pay attention to where money is coming from and where it’s going. If you’re intimidated by it, just spend time looking at it and clicking into different areas of detail. Even if you have a bookkeeper, nobody knows your businesses transactions better than you and you may find items that need correcting. The pride you’ll take in seeing your first “in shape” Income Statement is incredibly satisfying.
Remember that the stress is no easier elsewhere. For you, stress may be trying to finish a project in time for you to get paid and make payroll, the end result of which would be you closing the company and essentially losing your job. This feels bigger than your regular job, but it really isn’t any different than if you worked for a larger company, missed a deadline and lost your job. Same end result. Don’t make the problem bigger than it is. Just do your job and get it done.
The most important thing I have learned is to do is to get my inbox down to zero at least once per week. I have a few tricks to do this, but essentially Monday morning is my “cleanse” session and anything that needs to get done goes on my calendar as a “To Do”. This alleviates a TON of anxiety around missed bills, forgotten invoices, lost sales, etc. It also forces me to put the tasks I really don’t want to do on my calendar so I’m forced to get them done. For me this is invoicing. The hardest part of a small agency is that you have to do things you don’t necessarily gravitate towards so you need a forcing function to get them done.