It seemed we all used to do long range plans. We’d forecast what we wanted to accomplish in multi-year increments and annually present our plans to colleagues seated around a large conference table. Some things got done, but more often we over-planned and the reality of client needs and unforeseen demands got in our way.
But what if you only selected one big issue to address? An item that’s been a thorn in your business’ side, and finding a solution would require the steady, consistent work that you never seem to have time for?
Like President Kennedy’s declaration in 1961 that we’d be on the moon by end of the decade, finding a solution to your issue would be your agency’s moon shot: something that won’t be solved overnight, that you can rally your team around and if accomplished, would create sustainable competitive advantage.
As we work with business leaders, we see a number of issues popping up consistently that impede agency potential. While these may not be your exact issue, they’ll give you a place to start from:
Business Development – it seems business development is often a haphazard affair with many agencies counting on hiring a great rainmaker with relationships to drive business growth. Getting serious about BD - professionalizing it so you’re as intentional about business development as you are delivering great solutions for your clients – is the moon shot nearly every agency should undertake. We have some thoughts about this that we’ll share in the coming weeks;
A New Client Category – if you want to expand the industries you work in, it’s going to take time to become credible. Name an aspirational client or sector you want to target. Develop a plan with your team and get started becoming smart on that business;
Talent – develop recruiting as something more than a “just in time” activity by creating a talent pipeline for your critical positions. The agency with the best talent – and team – wins, and during The Great Resignation that should be reason enough for you to always be recruiting;
Positioning – especially if your business has changed as a result of services you added in response to the pandemic, revisiting your positioning is a must-do. Even if everything is status quo, it’s always worth doing the work to make sure your value proposition is distinct and separates you from your competition;
Exit Plan - For owners, it’s never too early to build towards a successful transaction if that’s your goal. Knowing how your business looks to a potential suitor will take research, and any adjustments will take time. Maybe you’ll need to address some of the issues we’ve referenced, but the effort to prepare your business for sale could very well be your moon shot.
Since March 2020, we’ve been in a master class in turn-on-a-dime responsiveness, so it could be easy to ask “why bother planning” when so much remains in flux? But whether it’s one of the issues we’ve suggested or others, we’ll bet there’s an item that’s the brick wall blocking your agency’s path to greater success. Addressing it intentionally with a consistent effort will help you to barrel through on your way to becoming a business that clients, employees – and maybe even a new owner - want to be a part of.
Tonic Consulting Group works with live event agencies and related companies providing the insights, expertise and direction necessary to create enduring competitive advantage. We work with leaders to build new pathways to growth, create high-performing operations and develop companies people love working for.