What to do with that leap day?
Here’s an idea – help your production company or agency to take a leap forward.
In the daily hurly burly it’s easy to lose sight of your ambitions. You can spend years putting one foot in front of another in a competent way. The problem is that it’s easy to do that without making a tangible difference to anything – your clients, your own people, and the wider public – or to the scale, success or reputation of your business. Then one day you wake up to discover new competitors have passed you by, the market has moved on and you are, frankly, no longer relevant. So, this leap day, set aside the daily hygiene of running your business and consider how you can take a leap forward.
Take a leap 1
Imagine it is leap day 2020 (yes that day will come …) Look back at what you have achieved in the past 4 years. Write a list of everything your agency has achieved in the 4 years. Make the achievements as specific and tangible as possible. Now get your key team to do the same. Share the lists; agree the top 5 priorities and create a plan to achieve each one.
Take a leap 2
Are you clear about what you want to achieve? Think about the original ambition you had for your agency? To what extent have you delivered on that ambition? Are you happy to let that ambition go or would it be helpful to review that ambition and work out how you can still get there? Ask yourself and your team: ‘what do we want to be famous for?’ That’s a definition of a vision right there. If you have a vision of what you want to achieve then at least you have a fighting chance of making it happen.
Take a leap 3
Are you really important to your key clients and their success? Do you really add value? Do you know what the key challenges are in their business and how you could help solve them? Or are you just another dispensable supplier? Understanding how you really add value to your clients’ business is vital. Understanding what their future challenges are and how you might be able to help solve them is a crucial step further.
So do a thorough review of those key clients. Ask yourself the big questions about each. And then, more important, ask your clients. A qualitative survey is great way of finding out how you really add value to your clients’ business and what their challenges are (and yes we can help you with that.) Round tables, seminars and workshops where you help clients share peer to peer experiences or explore some blue sky thinking are other great ways to uncover those unmet needs. Helping your clients take a leap forward will help you do the same.
Take a leap 4
Make the development and ambition of your agency your number one priority. That is your job. Create a war room dedicated to setting out those ambitions and plans and delivering on them. Make it a visual, tactile, inspiring place. Set out the journey you want to make. Involve your team in co-creating that journey. Make this space the place where you work with your team to hit and review those priorities. Allow this space to be the place where people come to add their suggestions and ideas. You are creative people – unleash those collective creative brains on your own agency development.
Take a leap 5
Focus. Most creative agencies and production companies want to do work that really matters, work that really makes a difference; work that has not been done or seen before. What they don’t appreciate is that the best, most effective, most creative, most impactful work comes from insight – from really understanding the needs and challenges of a specific sector, a specific target audience, a specific business challenge. Research by, for example, Kingston Smith demonstrates that agencies which have a clear value proposition are more profitable and successful. So focus. Create a value proposition which makes it clear why your ideal client would choose you over the competition, and you will have a much better chance of taking that leap.