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.