By this time in the year, the reality of your agencies financial performance for this fiscal has already been determined. This is especially the case for new business development, whether that new business comes from existing or new clients. You should already be looking at setting up 2010 if you want to make it a bonus year.
Why do I say this? Well let’s consider it from a simplistic point of view, using my five pillar growth strategy approach as a template:
- By now, any existing client that feels underserviced and does not see any value in the agency relationship, are most likely to already be on their way out the door. Quick and assertive action on your part may help save them, but in my experience, once the relationship has deteriorated it’s very difficult to save it. You are better off being proactive in the first instance and putting key account plans in place to nurture them.
- If you did not start the year with a structured organic growth plan (at minimum for your top 5 clients), you probably now have no plan or momentum towards attaining any measureable growth in this area. In fact you are probably just trying to hold on to what you have.
- If you do not already have an existing new business funnel that is full of targeted prospects at various levels in the lead qualification process, you are unlikely to have any big wins this year. If you do it will be fortuitous and in reality, the fiscal benefit of any new client win in the latter part of the year will only really impact 2010 financials.
- Another growth strategy pillar is the introduction of new agency capabilities. This allows you to sell more services to existing clients as well as to attract new clients who may not have considered your agency before. Either way, it usually takes time and money to develop new agency capabilities, sell them through and get them off the ground. The chances of being able to pull this off in the last five months of the year, and make money on them, are small to none.
- Your only real hope at this point is my final pillar, agency resource management and optimization. Look at making the most out of every client dollar you receive. On its own, this is not really a growth strategy but more a survival strategy.
The key to making 2010 an great year for your agency, is to start your planning and some of the development activities now. That way you go into 2010 with a full head of steam and you hit the ground running on day one.
Key client plans should be completed with specific action plans included and clear assignment of responsibilities. Your “New Business Machine” should be up and running with a full pipeline of leads going into the new fiscal year. Last but not least, you should have already decided and planned out which new agency capabilities you plan to introduce, and how/when you are going to do it.
Start now and you will not regret it. If you put it off to November – January, I can almost guarantee that you will not do as well as you hoped to.