4 pitfalls of running a digital agency and how to avoid them.

While owning a digital agency can be very rewarding most of the time, the experience can be fraught with pitfalls, risks, and problems that can blow up into catastrophes. Especially if you’re a newbie.

Many agencies do collapse as a result of common, preventable issues, and understanding these issues, before they do any real damage, can put you in a position to prevent or mitigate them.

We wanted to find out what some of these pitfalls are and how to avoid them, so we invited Guy Peires and Chris Sullivan of Kworq to shed some light on how they’ve been done this for their agency.

About Our Guests

Guy Peires and Chris Sullivan are the co-founders of Kworq, a small digital agency made up of 10 people. They would describe themselves as a creative production agency, with a focus on creative, story-driven campaigns using as wide a range of mediums to advertise on behalf of their clients.

Chris came from an agency world, doing post-production, and Guy came from a cinematography/director background, shooting commercials.  They’ve worked together as co-founders of Kworq for 6 years, and all of their creative work is done in-house.

Kworq pride themselves on the quality of their campaigns, no matter who the client is, and no matter what the budget may be.

Love and care is put into all of Kworq’s work, with a design focus on every piece of work they produce, and, in their view, their talent to tell a story within the campaigns they create sets them apart from other digital agencies.

What we talk about

In this episode of The Agency Lounge, we asked Guy and Chris about the pitfalls they and their company have experienced since they set it up 6 years ago.

They discuss these in detail and more importantly, talk about how you can avoid them. They also give us an inside look at their agency and how they sustain their success as a company.

Their passion for what they do is clear throughout the episode, and they recognize that, as the industry is constantly changing, they too have to continuously evolve their processes and what they do.

Here are 4 main pitfalls they’ve identified and some tips on how you can avoid them

  1. Complacency: “Don’t ever feel as if things are good,” says Guy and Chris. “You can enjoy successes, but success today could change the next day. Everything can drop – things can change.”
  2. From day one, think about a sales pipeline: Where’s work going to come from? You need to come up with a strategy to bring in new clients. According to Chris, You need to work out an ongoing sales pipeline for sustaining and allowing the company to grow.
  3. Don’t be afraid to fire your employees!: If they’re not right, they’re not right, or, as Guy and Chris put it, “People won’t change. They need to match the culture and fit of your company. Our employees are the ones representing us and what we do.”
  4. Fire a client if they are a resource strain: The same applies to clients as well. If a client is clearly becoming a resource strain, or they don’t know what they want but think they do, they will be a nightmare and not worth your time. “Don’t be afraid to say no from the start, or fire them, especially if you know that you’ll not collaborate well together,” says Guy and Chris.

In summary

Running a digital agency is a fulfilling pursuit, but it’s also a difficult one. By understanding these 4 important pitfalls laid out by Guy and Chris, and knowing what you can do to avoid them, you can attain your goal of becoming a successful agency owner with a thriving business.

Connect with our guests

Chris on LinkedIn and Twitter
Guy on LinkedIn and Twitter

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Thanks for joining me this week on The Agency Lounge podcast – your podcast for practical business tips on building your digital agency!

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About the Author

Xavi is a podcast producer and specialises in producing podcasts for digital agency owners and other b2b companies.

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