So You Want to Run an Agency?

A few months back I finally got round to writing an eBook about my views on running (and selling) agencies. It’s available as a free download on this site. I make it clear at the beginning that I don’t regard this as a seminal work. It’s just my views based on my experience from running The Added Value Group and working with many other agencies and consultancies over the years.

I always made it my business to quiz people in other businesses about all aspects of building and managing an agency, to see what I could learn. And some people have been kind enough to ask me. I have gladly offered my advice with the proviso that it’s just one point of view and that, like me, they should get lots of different perspectives and cherry pick what they think will work for them. For better or worse I have now written this all down and made it available, for FREE, to anyone who is interested. It covers all the important aspects, as I see them, from managing the people, winning and keeping clients, to the more prosaic stuff like what to call the agency and how to design the offices. There’s a chunky section on financial management and how/whether/when to sell the business.

A few heads of agencies I know have now read it and have recommended it to their colleagues – there are a few nice twitters floating around about it this week. So it can’t be complete rubbish. I stress it is a personal view, an input into a debate all good agencies should continually have – only the curious win. Stame’s eBook is funnier (and more profane) but if you run an agency, or aspire to, mine is perhaps more useful.

One Response

  1. Tom Farrand

    Hey Mark

    Thanks for getting this out there.

    It came at a great time earlier in the summer when amongst other things (like having my twins sleep through the night for the first time!), I decided to get out there and start my own agency, Pipeline. Now 1 month in, a partner team in place, 3 great clients and getting some momentum.

    Can definitely vouch for

    1. the quality of advice having done a good stint at AV and other agencies – AV is a great place to cut your teeth

    2. the need to be curious about how things are changing and what to do about it. Or risk irrelevance as client organisations constantly improve their skills and tools….

    There’s no handbook to starting an agency, but if anyone else is doing it, this is about as close as it comes. If it’s any consolation, I would have happily paid for it…..

    … beer on us next time you are in London!

    Cheers, Tom

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