New Business Resolutions For Advertising Agencies

It's traditional on New Year's Eve to announce your New Year's resolutions, those things that you're going to do better or more of during the new year. Below are a few suggested new business resolutions that will make 2008 a brighter year for your agency:

o Resolve to create an integrated New Business Action Plan for the year. Unbelievably, 62% of agencies don't have a planned new business effort. Remember, this isn't rocket science. All that you need is a 1- 3 page tactical plan that list key target segments, strategies, timeline and ballpark budget. Having a plan will also allow your agency to automate, or at least, semi-automate, most of its new business processes (mailings, RFP responses, presentations, etc).

o Resolve to identify and prioritize one to three industry niche prospect segments. More emphasis with fewer new business segments raises your visibility to become the go-to agency. This will give your agency's new business efforts focus.

o Resolve to develop a brief PR plan. Also consider hiring an outside freelancer or PR firm. Agency PR staff, pressed with current client needs, generally do not promote their own agency well.

o Resolve to update the agency Website. Among businesses looking for new agencies, 93% go to the agency's website first. Critically review your website. Make sure it presents your brand/positioning and brand character in a clear and compelling way.

o Resolve to form a new business team and have weekly new business meetings to keep the process moving. The key to success is consistency.

o Resolve to allow between 30 and 40% of your time for new business activities. You are, after all, the "new business ambassador" for your agency.

o Resolve to stay the course. New business efforts are relational and take time to come to fruition.