How to optimize agency processes: best practices guide

Agency Process

Ask any major management consulting firm and they will tell you that having optimized systems and processes is key to a successful business. Setting up templates for processes you repeat daily will make your marketing agency more effective and efficient, leading to more successful internal methods and client relationships. But how do you implement and maximize your agency's effectiveness at every level, from the onboarding process to check-ins and agency management?

 

In this article, we will outline everything you need to know about implementing best practices into your agency process.

 

  • What are agency processes? 
  • How to build optimal agency processes?
  • How DashThis can help you to optimize your workflow

 

What are agency processes?

 

Think of the systems in place at any company or business. How is communication organized with new clients or new employees? What paperwork, confirmation, and invoicing get sent to stakeholders? When are meetings held and how does the communication between employees in the agency work? 

 

Agency processes are the management systems that an organization uses to run its operations at every level. This includes the method, system, technology, or employees involved in every stage of planning, execution, completion, and follow-up. 

 

How to build optimal agency processes

 

Getting these systems and methods into place is a continuous improvement process and may seem like a heavy workload. But, once the processes are up and running, the creative agency will benefit financially and operational from the streamlined approach taken by the entire team. Here’s how you can set this up with your creative team. 

 

Set the bases 

 

Before you try improving your operational methods, start by getting a full view of the landscape. Think of it as a workflow audit. 

 

1. List all tasks

 

Host a kickoff meeting where you gather a list of everything your team does daily. Diagram the steps of your processes from start to finish and identify where your team members encounter friction points, repetition, challenges, or wasted time. Assess the crossovers, like do multiple people experience the same repetitive tasks in the client onboarding process? Does an account manager find themself repeating work because of an inefficient process? Get an understanding of your company’s approach's current ins and outs to identify areas that consistently waste time and need improvement.

 

2. Establish goals using the SMART structure 

 

Goal setting is an essential part of making progress. Still, we all know that vague and open-ended goals like “save more money,” “lose weight,” or “improve work-life balance” rarely work because they don’t address any concrete steps. 

 

The SMART structure will help you orient your goals toward actionable, deadline-driven milestones. SMART is an acronym for 

 

  • Specific: Make sure every goal is narrow and contained. Think, “save on monthly overhead costs,” not “make more money.” 
  • Measurable: Determine how you will determine if you are making progress. When and how will you evaluate? Some goals, like increasing revenue, are easy to measure. Other goals, such as “improve client satisfaction,” may need more creative metrics
  • Attainable: Make sure the goal is something you can reasonably accomplish. If you are an agency that currently has 15 clients, start with a goal that seeks to gain five more. Don’t set out to acquire 100 new clients in the next month. 
  • Relevant: The goal needs to align with the company's long-term objectives. For example, don’t set a goal to develop more billboard ads when your company aims to increase its digital presence. Instead, aim to gain more followers on social media. 
  • Time-based: Give yourself a deadline and time parameters to make an actionable plan. For example, gain 1,000 new Instagram followers by the end of Q3. 

 

3. Get everything you need from the client 

 

Make sure you have all of your information up front, so you are set up to offer effective deliverables and step-by-step progress, ensuring client success

 

Get the right tools 

 

When setting up your agency processes, you will need to leverage time-saving programs to help your team navigate the most common day-to-day functions: communication, sharing, and meeting. Here are a few of the apps and programs that have helped small businesses and new businesses build a roadmap to efficiency: 

 

 

Prioritize tasks and make sure the roles of each team member are clear 

 

This brings us back to the SMART goal structure, particularly the ‘Measurable,’ and ‘Time-based’ elements. When assigning projects and delegating work, ensure that everyone on the team knows the parameters of their role. A creative brief clarifies the work that each person will be responsible for, the deadline, and the tasks associated with that milestone goal. 

 

Use automated development

 

Remember when you were auditing your daily tasks and processes to identify areas where your team is wasting time and effort? Project management tools help solve these pain points and end time-wasting. 

 

Start by creating a workflow chart of your organization, from the first inbound inquiry to project completion. Then, use that info to accurately construct a project management template that automates your communication and processes using digital tools, including: 

 

 

Set regular touch-base meetings 

 

Establish predictable time slots where you will check in with your team regularly to assess progress, statuses, and project progress. These meetings will increase the team’s efficiency, providing them with a place to bring up pain points, achievements, and more, without creating excess communication, messaging, and back and forth throughout the day. 

 

Use reporting to track your success

 

Now it‘s time to discuss the ‘Measurable’ part of the SMART goals system. Measuring your agency processes is essential to optimizing your efficiency, enhancing your team’s operations, and understanding if you are making any improvements. 

 

Tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are key to understanding if your efforts are successful, and DashThis allows you to streamline all your marketing data in one report. The program serves the dual purpose of displaying your metrics and saving time, gathering all your business’ data in one place. 

 

With DashThis, you can expect to:

 

  • Consolidate your data points: Instead of checking your stats in Hubspot, then Google Analytics, Facebook, Instagram Insights, and more, you can feed every source into one streamlined tool with a customizable dashboard that connects to over 34 platforms and apps. 

 

 

  • Feature data relevant to your business: We offer templates to fit any marketer, whether you specialize in SEM, SEO, Social Media, or eCommerce. We have dashboards ready to feature the metrics that matter most to your business. Each template reflects KPIs tailored to that industry, for example, if you are focusing on SEO, our template shows metrics like organic search visits, bounce rate, average page lead time, organic conversions, and your best-performing keywords. 

 

 

  • Share your work between team members: Everyone on the team can edit and create dashboards. You can set your page to automatically generate and distribute so your team and clients can benefit from regular updates. 

 

  • Customize your reporting to suit your branding and functionality needs: Organize and display data to fit your priorities and use color schemes and visuals that match your brand guidelines. Incorporate headers, logos, and more.

 

 

Honing in on your agency processes is a guaranteed route to take your business to the next level. By auditing your team’s pain points and time-wasters, you can advantageously incorporate apps, tools, and software to save you time and trouble. Following the SMART goal-setting system, you can ten-track your progress and outcomes with DashThis, the most efficient and streamlined reporting software that pulls from all your data sources to present the most important and impactful metrics for your business. 

 

Sign up for your free 15-day trial of DashThis today.

 

DashThis The Team at DashThis

DashThis is the power behind thousands of reporting dashboards created by and delivered for agencies and digital marketers every month. 

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