Manage Less, Create More, Achieve Better Profitability
OK, so I can’t tell you how to make great creative. But that’s OK because you know how to do that anyway. I can tell you how to make it pay.
The secret is all in understanding the profitability of your client base
I have quite a few friends in the creative sector – a lot of them agency owners and senior directors. Most of them love being creative and hate running the business.
But the business of running an agency isn’t just about churning out award winning work. It’s also about finding clients, creating proposals, raising contracts and invoices, managing staff, paying bills, credit control and other bothersome tasks. Crucially it’s also about generating profit.
I love the site Clients from Hell. It’s where creatives go to anonymously dump their bad client experiences. Here are a few choice excerpts:
“When I tell you your design looks good, that’s doesn’t meant it looks good. What I mean when I say “that looks good” is you are going in the right direction but I want something different.”
I was designing a poster for a client. He rejected every design I gave him, and insisted that I adhere to an awful layout he’d made in Word.
Client: It looks very unprofessional. It looks like I designed it.
Me: That’s right. You designed it.
“Is there any way we can see what the end result would be before committing to additional cost?”
Make Your Work, Pay
And therein lies the secret.
If you know which clients are profitable, and which aren’t, you can focus your energy on the ones you want to work with. As time goes on you can afford to be more picky about who you work with.
A software system like NetSuite, won’t just help you understand client profitability, it will free up your time by doing so much more. Such as:
- Automate proposals and contracts and email directly to clients
- Raise and send invoices
- Tell you when invoices are due and remind you when you have unbilled time accrued against a client
- Automates dunning routines for credit control
- Gives you a real time view of your management accounts from your dashboard
- Measures client profitability and cost per sale
If you are working flat out managing the business (and difficult clients) and are finding no time to be creative anymore, there are business systems out there to help you. Ones which have been designed specifically to help you avoid getting bogged down in the management of your business so you can spent more time, being creative, being the technician or being the entrepreneur you want to be.