Running a digital agency is no easy task, and it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. Luckily, we live in a world where there are so many tools out there that can make an agency leader’s life so much easier. We’re going to look at some of the best agency management tools that are loved by many agency owners and leaders and what makes these tools so special.
Agency management tools are software solutions designed to help agencies streamline and automate their operations, increase efficiency, and improve communication with clients. These tools typically include project management, client relationship management, invoicing, time tracking, and reporting capabilities. The goal of agency management tools is to provide a comprehensive solution for managing the various aspects of an agency’s business, from sales and marketing to finance and administration.
It’s important to make use of the various tools out there for your digital agency as doing everything manually can have a massive impact on your time, workload and stress levels. The last thing you want in your agency is to have everyone burnt out which can lead to sloppy work and client churn, costing the agency money and clients who pay the bills.
Understanding Your Agency’s Needs and Goals
Before looking and trying to implement some of the best agency management tools out there, you first must analyse your current setup. The best tools can’t fix or help you with a problem that isn’t there. Let’s break this down into three points in order to make this process easier to follow.
Assessment of Your Current Setup and Processes
What is your setup like? What systems and processes do you have in place in your agency? Are they outdated? These are the kind of questions to be asking yourself when undertaking an assessment of the current situation. There are a lot of digital agencies and businesses out there that don’t want to implement new processes because they firmly believe that the way they do things is the best way and don’t want to change, but in the world of business, change is an integral part of growth.
In the early stages, Facebook was exclusively for college students. Unlike other social networks such as Friendster and MySpace which aimed to have a widespread user base, Facebook operated like a “secret society” by requiring a .edu email address to join. This exclusivity was favoured by some users who preferred it to the more open approach of other networks. However, the limited audience of just college students limited Facebook’s growth potential. Therefore, in 2005, despite opposition, Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg made the decision to allow high school students to join. The next year, the service was opened to anyone over the age of 13 with a valid email address. This change in strategy has proven to be successful.
Is it time to be out with the old and in with the new? How do you want agency management tools to help you grow?
Identification of Areas for Improvement
Have you ever played Cluedo? Well, when identifying problems in an agency, it can often seem like you’re playing Cluedo. One of the best ways to identify any areas of improvement is to ask your staff how they feel things are running. An agency with strong communication skills is much better equipped for success and growth in comparison to an agency full of people who do what they feel is best. Once you’ve identified where improvements or changes need to take place, then you can start looking at the reasons why these areas need to be improved and what impact it’s having on your agency. Some areas which require improvement could be client management, financial tracking, time tracking etc.
Determining Your Specific Goals for the Agency Management Tools
This is an integral part of the process because without having any goals, you’ll be throwing money at a tool that won’t be as effective as you thought because you’re running the agency like a headless chicken.
SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound) goals are a great way to determine your goals and promote accountability within your agency. Make sure that your goals are achievable with the tools you are looking at implementing and how these tools will make your current processes better. Will these tools save you time and a stack of paperwork? If so, then it’s definitely worth implementing them.
Best Client Management Tools
We all know how difficult it can be to manage numerous clients, especially if they are demanding and require a lot more attention than other clients. Let’s look at some of the best client management tools for agencies.
ProofHub is a highly regarded client management software that offers a broad range of solutions for organizing work schedules, managing resources, and streamlining administrative functions.
With its robust set of features, including task management, file proofing, notifications, file management, note-taking, and an integrated chat system, project managers can effectively guide their teams to achieve project objectives and communicate easily with clients.
When it comes to managing client communications, Honeybook offers a comprehensive solution for businesses. Ideal for entrepreneurs and small business owners who work on a project-by-project basis, this software offers everything needed to keep clients informed and satisfied. From the initial onboarding process to the final offboarding, Honeybook provides customisable templates to ensure a positive customer experience.
With Honeybook, you can easily send proposals that reflect your brand, schedule appointments with clients using the simple Scheduling tool, and secure digital signatures for contracts with the Contracts feature.
Honeybook even has an awesome automation feature also helps to strengthen client relationships by providing clear, step-by-step workflows that keep clients updated on the progress of their project. This feature reduces the need for frequent follow-up and status update emails which can save you a lot of time.
Best Time Tracking Tools
Hours TimeLord is a powerful and user-friendly time management tool designed to help professionals, freelancers, and small business owners track their hours worked, manage projects, and streamline their invoicing process. With its intuitive interface and robust feature set, Hours TimeLord makes it easy to keep track of your time, so you can stay focused on your work and grow your business.
One of the standout features of Hours TimeLord is its time tracking functionality, which allows you to accurately log the hours you spend working on specific tasks and projects. This data is then automatically organised into easy-to-read reports, giving you a clear overview of your time spent and the value you bring to each project.
In addition to time tracking, Hours TimeLord also provides project management tools to help you manage tasks, delegate responsibilities, and collaborate with your team. You can also create and send invoices directly from the platform, streamlining your invoicing process and ensuring that you get paid promptly.
Whether you’re working on a large project with a team, or just need a simple way to track your time, Hours TimeLord is the ideal solution for anyone looking to boost their productivity and manage their time more effectively.
Harvest is a comprehensive solution for businesses and freelancers to effectively manage their time and expenses. With its intuitive interface and advanced features, it streamlines the process of tracking time, handling projects, and generating invoices for clients.
One of the key elements of Harvest is its time-tracking functionality, enabling users to effortlessly record the hours they spend on different assignments and projects. It doesn’t matter where they work from – the office, on the go, or at home – Harvest’s mobile capability ensures they can track time without any hassle. The platform even integrates with a variety of tools to increase productivity and streamline workflow.
Furthermore, Harvest also offers robust project management features, making it easier to manage tasks, collaborate with team members, and keep projects on track. The invoicing system is easy to use, allowing users to send professional invoices to clients in just a few clicks.
Overall, Harvest is the ideal tool for businesses and freelancers looking to improve their time and expense management, increase productivity, and streamline workflow.
Best Admin Tools
Admin work can be tedious and take up a lot of time, but many admin jobs can be replaced by various tools out there which can make your life a whole lot easier, so you can get on with more important tasks.
Not many people know about this awesome tool. We’ve all heard of Calendly, and we know how much easier it makes our lives, but as many agency leaders know, it comes at a cost. Well, this is where ZCal is better. ZCal is free! As it stands, they only have a free option, but will be introducing a paid plan later this year, but make the most of the unlimited links, calendar accounts, Zapier integrations, email reminders and much more.
For those who don’t know what Calendly or ZCal is, ZCal is an all-in-one scheduling tool designed to help teams streamline their meeting and event scheduling process. With its powerful calendar integration, it allows users to easily schedule, reschedule and manage events directly from their calendar. ZCal saves time and eliminates the frustration of back-and-forth emailing to find a suitable time for a meeting or event. It features customisable scheduling pages, the ability to send automated email invitations, and real-time updates for participants. With its user-friendly interface and robust feature set, ZCal is the ideal tool for teams looking to streamline their scheduling process and stay organized.
Agencies have logins for everything, and it can be difficult to share those logins without the risk of it getting into the wrong hands or lost for good. Well, there’s a solution to this problem.
LastPass is a password management tool that helps you store, organise, and secure all your passwords in one place. With LastPass, you only need to remember one master password to access all your online accounts, making logging in to multiple sites faster and more convenient. LastPass also generates strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts, helping to keep your online accounts secure. In addition to password management, LastPass also offers advanced security features such as two-factor authentication, password sharing, and emergency access for designated trusted individuals. With LastPass, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your passwords are safe, secure, and easily accessible.
Best Project Management Tools
ClickUp is a project management tool that helps teams streamline their work and increase productivity. It offers a comprehensive set of features, including task management, time tracking, calendar integration, and more, all in one platform. With ClickUp, teams can manage projects, set and track goals, and collaborate in real-time, no matter where they are located. The platform is highly customisable, allowing teams to tailor their work environment to their specific needs. With a user-friendly interface, intuitive navigation, and seamless integration with other tools, ClickUp provides a one-stop-shop solution for all project management needs. Whether you are a small team just starting out or a large enterprise looking to streamline your workflows, ClickUp is the ideal tool for managing projects and achieving success.
Zoho Sprints is an agile project management tool designed for teams who want to plan, track, and deliver projects faster. With Zoho Sprints, teams can manage their projects in a flexible, agile framework, adapt to change quickly, and ensure that their projects are delivered on time. The platform offers a range of features, including backlog management, sprint planning, task management, and real-time reporting, that help teams stay organized and focused. Additionally, with its integration with other Zoho tools and support for third-party apps, teams can extend their project management capabilities and streamline their workflows. Whether you are a small agency or a large agency, Zoho Sprints is the ideal tool for managing your projects, staying on track, and delivering results.
Best Invoicing Tools
FreshBooks is an invoicing and accounting software designed for small businesses, agencies and freelancers. With FreshBooks, you can create and send professional invoices, manage expenses, and track time, all from one place. The platform offers a range of features, including automatic late payment reminders, the ability to accept online payments, and the option to set up recurring invoices, making it easy to manage your finances and get paid faster. FreshBooks integrates with a variety of other business tools, such as payment gateways, time tracking apps, and project management software, allowing you to streamline your workflows and focus on growing your agency. Whether you are just starting out or have been in business for years, FreshBooks is the ideal tool for managing your finances and getting paid on time.
Wave Invoice Software
Wave Invoicing is a simple and intuitive invoicing tool designed for small agencies and freelancers. With Wave, you can create and send professional invoices in just a few clicks, track payments, and manage your finances all in one place. The platform offers a range of features, including customisable invoice templates, the ability to accept online payments, and automatic reminders for overdue invoices, making it easy to get paid on time. Wave integrates with your bank account, allowing you to manage all your finances in one place and providing real-time insights into your cash flow.
Best Reporting Tools
Klipfolio is a real-time business dashboard and reporting platform that helps teams make data-driven decisions. With Klipfolio, you can bring together data from multiple sources, including spreadsheets, databases, cloud services, and APIs, to create customised dashboards and reports. The platform offers a range of features, including customisable charts and graphs, real-time data updates, and the ability to automate reports, that help teams stay informed and make informed decisions. Klipfolio also offers a library of pre-built dashboards, making it easy for teams to get started quickly and see results. Whether you are a small agency or a large agency, Klipfolio is the ideal tool for managing and tracking your business data and making informed decisions.
TapAnalytics is a powerful data analytics platform designed for businesses of all sizes. With TapAnalytics, you can access, analyze, and visualize your data from multiple sources, including spreadsheets, databases, cloud services, and APIs. The platform offers a range of features, including real-time data updates, customizable dashboards, and the ability to automate reports, that help teams stay informed and make data-driven decisions. TapAnalytics also offers a library of pre-built dashboards and reports, making it easy for teams to get started quickly and see results.
All these tools are very powerful and can help your agency automate some of those mundane tasks, but only if they are implemented correctly. It’s vital to understand that without strong goals and foundations, these tools won’t add much value to your agency, so make sure to define your goals and implement them well and ensure your team is on board and up to speed on how to use these tools.