How to Start an Agency That’s Set for Success


Here are three things you need to do if you want to build the type of agency that delivers results, maintains a great business standard, and survives changing market conditions in the long term.

1) Build a Great Team

First, build a great team. A company is only as strong as its team and the culture they create. When selecting a team determine whether you share the same values and have the same priorities. Just because a group of people have skills that are complementary with each other, doesn’t necessarily mean that the work well together if they have different agendas and priorities. Trust is everything, and great cultures come from trust understanding and experience. 

But on the flipside, having great complementary skill sets and gifts is absolutely essential as well. Build a team not just because you find people who are your buddies and want to join you in business; build a team of people who share your vision and genuinely work well with your skills.

2) Have a Unique Value Proposition

Second, focus on a unique value proposition. You can’t just be an “agency.” You need to have a specific value proposition you offer to create catchiness to your brand.

Even if you’re helping companies sell their products and services, remember that you are selling yourself first. And just like you’re helping your clients to bring out what’s unique about them to capture their markets, you have to do the same. In fact, this house to come before things like overhead, who you hire, where are you Office from, and so on. Define who you are, what you do, and how you do it for. If you can’t be clear about that or explain that in one paragraph, you need to start over and get that right. 

However, as you are positioning yourself and defining your brand, be careful not to make yourself out to be the hero and your own story. You are primarily an advisor to your clients, a trusted advocate and someone who’s working alongside them to deliver results for their marketing. Everything in your positioning should be about the client, for the client, and obsessive when it comes to the client’s best interest.

3) Don’t Obsess Over Costs

Third, hire smart, and don’t obsess over costs when it comes to great people. If you’re looking to spend as little as possible to hire a great designer, great developer, a great marketer, project manager, and so on, then you will most likely get what you pay for.

You need to get clients in the door at your stage more than you need to not spend money. Read that sentence again. Go for quality, go for skill, and go for experience, and most importantly, go for people who share your values and vision. It’s worth it to deliberate about your hires, but don’t let an obsession over costs shut you down. If you need to pay $5,000-$10,000 more in a year to hire the perfect marketer for your team, it will pay off.

More importantly, if you only hire cheap labor, you’ll end up getting too involved in the nitty-gritty aspects of your business each day, which will ultimately hurt your business by keeping you from leading effectively. 

4) Implement Systems

Fourth, implement clear and consistent systems and processes for your business. Help people understand their role, how they fit in, who should be doing what and when, and how one protocol gets executed. Without systems and processes, your business is at great risk for disorganization and lost revenue. Here are some of the main areas you need to have for clear processes in your organization:

  • Human resources
  • Proposals
  • Pricing and billing policies
  • Pitching and Sales
  • Onboarding new clients
  • Development 
  • Creative briefs
  • Presenting
  • Tracking time
  • Disputes 
  • Delivering work
  • Managing client expectations during a project
  • Attracting new talent and retaining your existing team
  • Generating and qualifying new leads

Once you’ve taken steps like these, you are in a much better position for success. In the highly competitive world of marketing agencies, you have to have things in place in order to survive changing market conditions and constantly evolving customer demands. Even for the most organized and self-sufficient leader, it’s important to set standards and practices in place to grow. Do these things above, and you’ll be well on your way.

If you want to learn how I built my million-dollar agency, visit and register for my free training.