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Why Your Agency Vision Matters
If you asked me about my vision when I started my agency, I might well have looked at you rather blankly. I may even have remarked that I have twenty twenty vision, thank you very much.
I had read about the importance of a mission and vision statement, a purpose, ‘starting with the why’. But it mostly felt irrelevant when I started my agency business.
I’d been operating as a consultant for a while and was comfortable with my short-term goals. They mainly were servicing my clients, getting cash in the till, and building my pipeline.
But that changed when I started hiring.
Suddenly, I needed to take my team on the same journey as me.
And the best way to do that was to articulate my destination, a.k.a. where the hell I was trying to get to.
That’s what your vision is all about.
It’s supposed to inspire and motivate. To give people a reason to support you in building your agency, show them what’s important.
Because if your team doesn’t know where you’re going, how can they properly buy into the idea and help you get there?
This lack of vision sunk in when a young chap in my team decided to quit.
At his exit interview, my lack of vision was the primary driver for him leaving…“I don’t know what you are trying to achieve”.
This person had worked with me for two years.
In that time, I had failed to clearly articulate my vision for the agency beyond the interview that attracted him in the first place. He really didn’t know what I was trying to achieve.
Consequently, he was a little confused.
That was my first lesson on the importance of a vision. And it got me to thinking; maybe there were others I hadn’t told? People around me who needed to know what I was all about.
Let’s call them stakeholders, those people with an interest in your business and an ability to influence it. They all need to know your agency vision too.
Here’s just a few to think about:
If you are going to pour your heart and soul into growing an agency for the next 5-10 years, you sure as hell better give your family a reason to back you. I promise it will impact them massively.
If you want to build long-standing relationships with clients, it helps to show the direction you are growing in.
I had this conversation with a marketing director from a huge tech brand once. She asked how I would be investing in her business, i.e. in what direction was I growing my team and their skills that would be of benefit to her? I didn’t have an answer. I was just trying to sell my event marketing services.
The market, i.e. potential clients and partners.
It helps to attract clients if they know what you can do for them now and in the future. Your agency vision spells this out and should ooze through your positioning.
Have a vision that makes you stand out in the custard soup of agencies.
The list of stakeholders could go on, for example, with investors, financiers etc. But you get my point.
When it comes to growing your agency team, don’t leave vision on the kitchen table.
Make it ambitious, unambiguous and exciting. It will help you no end, not least in understanding your progress towards reaching your goal.
When you are in the thick of it, servicing clients, hiring team members, paying wages, and pitching for new business, you will appreciate the effort that much more if you take a step back and look at where you are in your journey.
Is the end in sight?
Not only that, but you can also map out when you will invest in certain things too. When’s the right time to bring in a business developer or finance director, for example.
Still not sure if you need a vision for your agency?
Take a look at your agency through the eyes of your stakeholders. Can they clearly understand where you are going?
Be honest now. Are you still selling your agency as an award-winning, full-service agency that works with your clients as partners?
Or do you have a clear positioning that reflects your vision, such as to be the leading search marketing agency for sustainable healthcare brands in the UK?
I know which one is likely to be from an agency with a vision, a strong brand and value proposiiton, and a clearly identifiable position in the market.
Go forth and conquer now, brave agency heroes.