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A small business blog featuring tips to help entrepreneurs succeed in the small business world. Topics include family business, human resources, marketing, money, networking, operations, ownership, startup, taxes and technology.
Should You Fire Your Ad Agency?
Yesterday I discussed hiring an advertising agency for your business. Today, however, I’m going to touch on when it might be time to fire your current ad agency and hire a new one. If you’re considering this possibility, first you will need to accept the fact that every business relationship hits rough places in the road to success. These are things you need to work through, and to determine if that is even worth doing, there is one all important question:
Is my advertising agency still challenging me/my business?
An ad agency that agrees with everything you say and doesn’t seem to develop their own ideas is not presenting a challenge, nor do they have your business in their best interest. Challenge involves risk. As a business owner, you know that you cannot be successful at anything without taking some risks to get there. A good ad agency will be willing to disagree with your ideas (in a professional manner, of course) and will present ideas that challenge your way of thinking.
All in all, your ad agency should be making you feel somewhat uncomfortable. Surprisingly, this means they are doing their job. Uncomfortable means that you are being forced to think differently and to step out and try something new for the betterment of your company. If your ad agency is not providing this discomfort, then, ironic as it may seem, it could be time to find a new agency.
But hold on. Before you throw in the towel, be sure to give them one last chance. First of all, let them know that you haven’t been pleased with their performance lately and are giving them one last opportunity to prove their worth to your business.
Then, present them with a challenge of their own. Maybe it’s an advertisement for a particular product improvement or a promotional event. Don’t necessarily give them a challenge that the success of your business will hinge on (i.e. the revealing of the big money making product you’ve been building up to), but something fairly significant.
You will be able to determine if the business relationship is worth salvaging based upon their performance on the challenge you present to them. If the kick up the steam and the heart and soul of their agency is poured into accomplishing something incredible, then they’re worth giving another chance, especially when you consider the time and energy that will go into find a new agency. However, if they are still dragging their feet, then it is probably time to move on to someone else that will be more beneficial to your company in the long run.
• Businessweek.com: When to Fire Your Ad Agency
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