We spend too much time working in the business, dealing with the granular minutiae of keeping the business going. We do not spend enough time on the business: designing, planning and mapping out the future.
That is what working with over 1,000 Digital Agencies tells me.
And when we do try to start working on the business, we usually start in the wrong place, simply reacting to the latest crisis, be it people, customers or cash.
WORKING FROM THE BIG PICTURE DOWN
Stepping back from the business makes us realise that we can be busy fools, madly chasing our tails but not sure if we are being busy at what is really important. Not sure if we even know what really is important.
There seems to be a logical hierarchy for planning a business. In fact, the hierarchy isn’t that different from the design process in a digital agency.
While you could start anywhere, there is an attractive logic and simplicity about starting at the top with the big picture and working down to the detail in the following order:
Business strategy and planning.
Winning business: sales and marketing.
Teams, people and relationships.
Most agencies literally try to build their business from the bottom up trying to find a business model that fits their existing people and skills. This may be a little short-sighted especially if you end up positioning yourself in an undifferentiated and over-crowded market or one where there is little demand.
So, to repeat myself… Get your strategy in order first, filter that down through your whole business and let your team do the day-to-day grind while you continue to work on the business notin it.