So, you’ve just acquired a digital agency. That’s a fantastic achievement, but in order to make it succeed, it requires a lot of hard work. It’s not as easy as purchasing an agency and expecting that it will carry on as normal. Whether it’s your first digital agency or if you’ve acquired agencies before. This guide is for you.
Conduct a Thorough Audit
No, not an SEO audit. Although, that might not be a bad idea once you’ve checked off the first crucial steps. You should do an audit of the digital agency you have just acquired. Let’s break this audit down into the areas of the business you should be analysing.
When you acquire a digital agency, you need to know the numbers you’re working with. It is essential to review the financial statements to understand whether the financials are looking healthy and identify potential financial issues. A financial audit typically involves reviewing income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.
It is crucial to review the income statement to understand the agency’s revenue and expenses, including the revenue sources, expenses, and profitability. Reviewing the balance sheet can help you understand the agency’s assets, liabilities, and equity. The cash flow statement can help you understand the agency’s cash inflows and outflows, including operating, investing, and financing activities.
During the financial audit, it’s vital to analyse potential financial issues, such as outstanding debts, unpaid invoices, cash flow problems, and irregularities in the financial statements. This will help avoid any unpleasant financial surprises in the future.
To address financial issues, you may need to renegotiate payment terms with vendors, improve cash flow management, or implement cost-cutting measures. At this point, it is important to create a detailed plan with specific actions and timelines to address these issues effectively.
Operations are the backbone of any agency. Without good systems and processes, the rest of the agency will fall apart. But, with solid processes in place, agencies can perform better and have more stability. This is why you shouldn’t skip out on analysing the current operational procedures of the agency.
One of the first things to look at is project management. What project management tools are being used? Are they getting the most out of the team in terms of productivity, communication and time management? If not, then this is an area to highlight in your audit.
Next up is workflow. Does the agency have a good enough workflow? Who is responsible for what, and how does that sync with accountability? There are lots of different workflows that can be embedded into an agency, so it’s important to find one that works well for your agency. Remember, all because one workflow works for one agency, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will work in another.
Finally, we have client onboarding. When a client signs that contract, it’s exciting! But the last thing you want is to get the onboarding part wrong. How does the current onboarding system look? Could it be better? How do staff find the onboarding process? These are questions that your audit should answer. The more questions you ask, the better you’ll understand your agency.
There are many points to keep in mind when conducting a client audit. For example, looking at the client’s history, what their expectations are, and how close they are with your team. You should also check out their current contracts, services, and any issues that need resolving. By doing this, you can find opportunities to offer additional services that complement what they already have.
Another important benefit of the client audit is that it helps you improve customer satisfaction. By reviewing client feedback, you can identify common issues and come up with solutions. For example, you might need to improve communication, provide more resources, or enhance the quality of service delivery. Fixing these little things can make a huge difference.
This is a critical step in maintaining positive relationships with clients and increasing revenue for the agency. By understanding their needs and preferences and identifying areas for improvement, you can ensure the long-term success of your digital agency. So, don’t skip it!
Evaluate the Team
Your team can either be the breath or death of an agency which is why it’s so important to make sure you have a good team behind you.
Each team member has their own skillset, and it’s your job to use them in the right area of the business. Evaluating each member of the team will give you a good insight into where they are best suited within the agency and how you can best support them.
An evaluation of the team will also highlight any gaps the agency has, which will help you in the long run. The earlier you spot these gaps, the better!
Another factor to consider is culture. What kind of culture do you want to create in your digital agency? Will the current team buy into that culture? Are there specific team members that goes against that culture or have a negative influence on the team and its morale? These should be answered in in your evaluation.
Let’s Talk Strategy
We love strategy, and so should you. Without a strategy, you and your team may as well be sitting in the kitchen whilst the house is on fire.
It’s time to put that information you’ve acquired from your audit to good use and develop a killer strategic plan. This is where the real magic happens!
First things first, let’s talk about defining your vision and goals. It’s important to have a clear understanding of where you want your agency to go and what you want to achieve. This means defining your vision and setting realistic goals that align with that vision. Think big, but also be practical. What are the agency’s current goals? It’s worth noting that you shouldn’t change the agency’s goals completely. Clients and staff are onboard for a reason, so if you change the vision and goals completely, it might just scare a few people off.
Next up, let’s identify your target clients. Who are they? What do they need? What are their pain points? By answering these questions, you can create targeted marketing campaigns that speak directly to your audience.
Creating a roadmap is another essential element of your strategic plan. This should include a timeline of your goals, milestones, and actionable steps you need to take to achieve them. It’s important to be realistic and give yourself enough time to achieve your goals. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Speaking of milestones, it’s crucial to set realistic ones. You want to challenge yourself, but not so much that you set yourself up for failure. Many agency leaders have made the mistake of aiming big and fallen very short, costing them the agency. By setting realistic milestones, you’ll be able to measure your progress and adjust accordingly.
Take the time to develop a solid strategic plan. Your agency will thank you for it.
Communicate With Clients
This is a very important step, so don’t skip it! This section will spill the tea on how to communicate with clients like a pro.
Honesty is the best policy, so be transparent. No one likes surprises, especially in the business world. Let clients know what changes are coming and why they’re happening. They’ll appreciate the honesty and feel more involved in the process.
Next, set expectations. Clients want to know what’s going to happen and when. Be clear about what services will continue, which ones will change, and any potential disruptions to their work. Setting expectations upfront will help prevent any misunderstandings down the road.
Lastly, provide a clear timeline. Clients need to know when they can expect the changes to happen. Will there be any downtime for their website or social media accounts? How long will it take to migrate their data? Keep them in the loop and set realistic deadlines.
Integrate the Digital Agency
The last step is to integrate the digital agency (aka, the fun part). It’s crucial to create a seamless workflow between the digital agency and your existing team. This means identifying areas of overlap and ensuring that everyone is on the same page. By streamlining your workflow, you can save time, reduce duplication, and increase efficiency in your newly acquired agency.
Next, cross-training your staff can help them learn new skills and gain a better understanding of the digital agency’s processes. Ask staff if there are any areas they want to sharpen or add to their skill set. This will not only benefit your team but also help to build a stronger and more unified company culture which will keep everyone on the same page and keep your team motivated.
Agency acquisition is no easy process, but following this guide, it will certainly make the process a whole lot easier. The goal is to make the transition as smooth as possible and get the most out of your new investment! If you’re still unsure and need some expert advice, then we are here to help!