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[creative workflow management blog]

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Working within the realm of creativity, one should have a fair bit of leg room to come up with innovative ways to stay ahead of the pack. With an ever growing number of Creative, Branding & Communications Agencies, what can you do to differentiate yourself? Well..You can do plenty! 

 

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Last September, Karen O’Mahony and I attended the Second Wind Agency Financial Management seminar in Chicago. It was a fantastic learning and networking opportunity to meet with agency owners, CFOs and key decision makers. Tony Mikes did an excellent job of explaining in detail how to increase margins, markups, and cash flow in your ad agency.

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When running a business in any industry, we all strive to attain as many clients as possible and reach out to as many prospects as possible. However, the very controversial underlying question is, “Is it ok to say no to a new prospect?”, in other words, is it ok to turn away new business? If so, why would you want to turn away a new prospect? What benefits, if any, would you get out of this?

In this blog, I will go over these points and outline what I feel is the best solution when approaching a new prospect or business opportunity.

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In all businesses lead generation is a very important tool to grow your organization, especially when you are first starting out. Lead generation can be done by a few different ways:

  1. Cold calls
  2. Cold emails
  3. Referrals from current clients
  4. Social Media Networks
  5. Utilizing the internet i.e. Google, Jigsaw, Salesgenie etc.
     
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In the technology business running an SaaS means that you support many different kinds of clientele. At creative agencies it's very similar - not all clients you deal with are positive and easy (shock! but hey, ALL our fp. clients are fabulous! We love them. Enormously. And they love us too. Enormously.- they paid me to say that).

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The role of the Account Managers is largely responsible for the profitability of an account at your advertising agency or design firm. They are responsible for being the first point of contact with potential and future clients, and make the initial first impression of your firm on the client – an impression that can be permanent. They concentrate on all information regarding sales, costs and expenses and also can capture information between lines (e.g. interpreting the client’s goals, needs and concerns). It is through service that new business is created because they are the door to all projects and represent the whole agency to the client. 

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We all know when a well-known agency loses an important account: news comes out in the media with numbers of the lost revenue (millions and millions of dollars), the possible reasons for the loss, and what it means for the companies and agencies involved. 

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Every creative agency will, at one point or another, find itself in some sort of a delicate situation with a client. We all know that it's unavoidable, but we still need to be prepared for it to happen to ensure that you both mitigate the issue hand and take advantage of the situation. Keep in mind that clients and prospects alike will notice how you deal with a negative situation, and in the world of social media this cannot be ignored.

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Small and medium sized ad agencies quite often receive so many new sales leads that it can't be difficult to properly manage all these opportunities without a software in place. Having said that, the first question comes to mind: "Do we need to buy another software in addition to our traffic and workflow management we already have? or "Do we need to use a specific CRM system to help us manage new opportunities?".

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We have been contacted by many smaller agencies over the past month or so about Intuit's discontinuation of QuickBooks Time Tracker and QuickBooks Time & Billing. If you have been using either of these solutions, there has never been a better time to look at upgrading your agency time-tracking software then now.

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