5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Hire an Agency
If you own a business, you’ve at one point noticed a competitor during better than you because of brand awareness and a solid marketing strategy. You want to hire someone to help with marketing but you can’t afford a full time marketing professional let alone a marketing department. You want to hire an agency, but their price point is too high. You decide to find a marketing consultancy, a boutique agency with consultants who can help guide you in the correct direction while allowing your employees (or bringing in new hires) to take charge and support various marketing efforts.
As a marketing consultancy, we believe that marketing is a cornerstone for growing your business. That being said, we don’t believe it is a good fit for all businesses. After working with clients and businesses of all sizes, we put together 5 questions to help you decide if you are ready to work with a consultancy. We want your business to succeed and sometimes, that means being honest and turning down business. We truly believe that we rise together and sometimes that means supporting businesses from afar.
These questions are not meant to deter you from working with a marketing professional, we work with plenty of incredible marketing consultants, these are simply meant to help you understand if we are a good fit for your business right now.
Is your business thriving or failing?
Marketing should be used as an asset to help grow a brand and business, not save a shrinking one. A consultancy should not be brought in as a last-ditch effort to grow a struggling business.
A marketing agency can help grow your brand, but doesn’t look at the books and cannot save a struggling business. A solid marketing strategy takes time, effort and some additional funds.
If you are reading this frantically while brainstorming ways to boost your business, you may not be a good fit.
Do you have enough to cover their cost for at least 1 year?
Most agencies will require a minimum of 3-6 months so that there is time to understand the business and produce results. A lot of times, your grand ideas will take far more than the monthly allotted time. Even if the final product doesn’t produce the results you were hoping for, you still need to prepare to pay your agency for time worked.
Marketing isn’t an exact science (and anyone who tells you otherwise is ripping you off). Marketing is a theoretical approach to selling a product. Not everything will work, 100% of the time. You pay a consultancy based on their expertise and willingness to pivot and try new tactics. Those tactics, overtime should increase brand awareness, presence, and overall purchases.
If you are planning to bring on a consultancy and expect that there will be an immediate ROI that will cover their costs within the first month, you might not be a good fit.
Do you have clear expectations of what you want to accomplish with the agency?
The benefit of hiring a consultancy is that you aren’t on the hook for a marketing department (which can start at $600,000 a year). The downside is that you do not have 24/7 access to the consultancy. There are a set amount of hours in the negotiated contract.
One of the consultancy’s jobs will be to get involved in your company to understand it as intimately as possible. That being said, you still know your company better than anyone else. Do you understand your current customers, what their needs are, and where you want to put your marketing efforts?
A consultancy can come in and develop the strategies and information needed to put together a comprehensive marketing plan, but that takes time and money. Are you willing to make an investment? Since the consultancy acts like an outsourced marketing department, you are still considered the head. Are you prepared to lead the team? If not, a consultancy might not be a good fit.
Do you understand that outside your set amount of hours, they have other clients?
A consultancy gives you the opportunity to afford a highly experienced team, but that affordability comes at a cost. The consultancy is contracted to multiple clients at one given time, each with a set amount of hours.
Consultancy’s use a monthly retainer to smooth out months with more work vs. months with less work. but along with that comes other commitments from the agency.
If you are expecting to only pay for 20 hours a month and consistently get 40-50 hours worth of work, you are not a good fit.
Are you able to communicate effectively?
You will be in constant communication with your consultancy, but will you be able to voice any questions, concerns or direction changes? Agencies will always work to fix any perceived problems, but they cannot fix what they are not aware of. Nor, can they fix the problem months after it has presumably been fixed.
Consultancies will go above and beyond to make sure you are satisfied with the product you are receiving. They cannot fix what they don’t know is broken.
If you’ve ever found yourself arguing a bill month’s after it was sent to you, you are not a good fit.
As a consultancy, we pride ourselves in our work and the ability to bring strategies from ideas into reality. Our goal is to help all the businesses we encounter, succeed. If you feel as though are prepared to grow your business to the next stages, contact us here. We will be in touch within 12 hours.