Anita Brightman

Finding the perfect agency: a guide for small businesses

As a business owner, your list of to-do’s remains as endless as your email inbox. Dedicating time to marketing efforts like telling your brand story or reaching new audiences with advertising or social media just doesn’t feel like it’s in the cards. Maybe it’s not; don’t get overwhelmed or frustrated and give up. Instead, look to an agency to lend a hand, taking the marketing burden off your plate.

Agencies come in many forms. Some specialize in a few niche areas like graphic design and digital marketing, while others provide a full range of services. Regardless of their specialties, agencies want to help you meet your goals. Agencies work with businesses of all sizes, with just about all industries and can manage projects ranging from seasonal marketing needs to long term integrated marketing campaigns.

So, where do you start? While you may have started your search for your perfect agency, the guide below answers some of the biggest questions and concerns holding businesses back from looking for that much-needed support.

1. I don’t have a marketing budget.
You are spending resources on marketing, whether you realize it or not. The time to network, sponsor community events and organizations, and keep on top of social media all cost you something. An agency helps you prioritize and maximize your presence, allowing you to do what you do best — your business.

2. I don’t have time to explain my business to others.
Agencies ask the right questions and take advantage of experiences to understand your business, industry, market and competition. It’s the agency’s job to share insights and ideas aimed at accomplishing your business goals.

3. Marketing, social media, advertising…it all changes so fast I just can’t keep up.
So true. Robust agency teams keep up with trends and best practices, so you don’t have to. As experts, they constantly scan the horizon for new and emerging tools and techniques to get in front of your audience, build your brand and get that ROI.

4. Word of mouth works for me, why change?
Good. An agency will give you a menu of recommendations for how to leverage all the word of mouth referrals you’re getting into look alike customers and build on those. You will also receive recommendations based on the agency’s past experience supporting clients just like you, for advertising, social media, website design and more.

5. I’ve always been treated like a small fish when working with agencies.
Their loss. Clearly, those agencies just didn’t fit with your business. Now you know what you don’t want, you can seek out the type of agency you do want. The ideal agency treats you with respect, shows interest in your business and seeks to foster a collaborative relationship with you.

6. I’m only one person. I have a lot on my plate.
Copy that. A full-service agency can take all of the marketing, advertising, video, website, social media, public relations and, of course, design work off your plate. Great full-service agencies offer teams dedicated to overarching disciplines. And, within those teams exist project managers, copywriters, strategic planners, designers, website developers and others allowing more collaboration and a better, more integrated final product.

The bottom line
Marketing your business remains an important component to its success and a full- service agency can provide the guidance, strategy and creative solutions needed to help you be successful.

Are you ready to take your marketing and communications efforts to the next level? If you have any questions about your needs, say hello! We’d love to help you.