Running an agency is all fun and games, right?
Working with incredible creative talent to produce amazing pieces of work and campaigns to help your clients have more visibility to their business or brand.
Agency life is great, but there’s a niggle at the back of your mind that things could be a bit better. You could be more.
Running an agency isn’t all green grass and beautiful sunshine, it comes with a list of frustrations that may keep you up at night. Some of the common pain points of running an agency could be:
- Dealing with demanding clients and meeting their expectations
- Juggling multiple deadlines, projects, resources, clients and multiple tools
- Finding and retaining the right talent for your agency
- Managing the agencies finances, invoicing clients, job costing, budgeting, keeping an eye on cash flow, losing track of invoices which results in late or missed payments
- Having no true time management, this leads to under estimating jobs, missing deadlines and billable hours that aren’t being used
- Actually, growing and maintaining your agency, to be more productive, efficient and profitable
- Identifying, creating and then implementing new processes to streamlining workflows
- Poor reporting, due to miscommunications and inaccurate data, making it difficult to make tangible business decisions
- Lack of productivity because of remote working or gaps in communication and workflows.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Many continue as normal, some try to find a quick fix by using an off the shelf solution but as your agency grows, you out grow their use. Some agency owners wish to make a change but now is not the right time, it’s too expensive, the market is too unpredictable, it causes too much disruption for your team.
These are some of the main sticking points that are stopping agency owners from implementing agency management software, but perhaps now is the right time.
What exactly is agency management software?
Agency management software is specifically designed to help agencies streamline their operations, improve their financial performance, and manage their client relationships more effectively. It has a variety of different features and functionalities that will benefit agencies, it combines some of the key features from other types of software into a stand-alone format, these include:
- Time tracking/Time Sheets
- Invoicing and Billing
- Project Management and Task Tracking
- Resource Management
- Client Relations and Contact Management
- Reporting and Analytics
- Accountancy and Job Costing
- Collaboration and Communication
So, why do I need agency management software?
“We’ve done well so far without it; I don’t think we need the upheaval of trying to implement a new system in to an already hectic agency.”
Good point, but you said it yourself, it’s hectic. The whole purpose of agency management software is to make it less hectic, being busy is not a bad thing, but being hectic can have a negative impact.
Agencies come to the realisation that they have hit a plateau when they don’t have the resources to take on more client work or deadlines are constantly being missed because of poor project management. A quick fix solution is to hire more staff. Yes, you can take on more client work but now your margins are becoming smaller because some projects are taking longer or costing more than others. This could be due to time management and inaccurate job costing.
Your whole agencies infrastructure relies on manual tasks, self-sufficiency and a handful of processes, this can lead to gaps in communication, human error and mismanagement. Agency management software is there to help ease the burden, automate the manual processes, reduce errors and bridge the gaps in communication. Why not let the software do the heavy lifting? This leaves you and your team free to focus on what really matters.
Some of the other benefits of agency management software would be:
- An increase in productivity and streamlining workflows, thanks to automating repetitive tasks such as invoicing, time tracking, and resource allocation.
- Better financial performance, it helps you keep track of billable hours, generate invoices and job estimates, manage payments and give you a clearer overview of your finances.
- Improved organisation, it allows you to keep track of client information, project details, files, resources all in one central location.
- More visibility and greater insights into the dayto-day operations of your agency, such as project progress, finances, client relations and resource utilisation. This also includes access to real-time data and reporting from across the entire agency.
- Scalability; as your agency grows, so too does the software. By keeping up with the influx on new clients, projects, team members and business offerings.
- Accurate and integrated time keeping with timesheets and time recording, this allows you and your team to keep track of time spent on projects which helps with job costings.
- Streamlines workflows and processes by increasing collaboration, communication and transparency across the entire agency.
- It eliminates the need for multiple software or tools, it combines everything you require for your agency all in one system.
Is now the right time to implement agency management software?
This really depends on your agency, your goals and your circumstances, it’s whether or not you would like to improve productivity and efficiency. Agency software is an investment and will aid your business to make the everyday operations run that bit smoother. However, you need to be willing to dedicate the time to fully understand the system to get the most out of it. Here are some of the reasons why not might be the right time to try agency management software and a few things to bear in mind when looking for agency software:
- More remote work, are all of your team in the office, are they working from home? Are they even in the same country? With some many agencies offering remote working as an option, it’s only right to have a system that allows access from anywhere and anytime.
- To get the edge on the competition, with some many smaller agencies popping up, your reputation is vital to your success. This means having a streamlined and efficient performing agency that can deliver high quality work on time and on budget.
- Times are hard, you might have noticed your clients have been tightening their belts, you might be too. Now is the time to have a better insight to your finances, to see areas that can be improved or to cut back on.
- Can integrate with other software, such as accounting software or email marketing platforms. This could be ideal if you are a smaller agency that out sources or has an external accountant.
- Retain your team, finding and keeping hold of good creative talent is one of the biggest challenges facing many agency owners today. One reason is many feel over worked, unappreciated and frustrated with lack of resources, this can leave to burnout and quitting. Agency software can ease the burden of manual task, and effectively manage workloads to see if there is capacity to take on more work.
- Cost, agency management software can be expensive, to really see an ROI you should utilise every aspect of the software to have the largest impact on your agency.
- Loss of productivity, it may take time to learn and implement a new system and process within your agency. There is a learning curve with all new software that could cause a momentary disruption. However, this outweighs the productivity that an agency management software can have on your business.
- Implementation and training, this could take a few weeks and could include a number of meetings, training sessions and migrating your preexisting data to a new system. This all takes valuable time away from an already busy agency.
- Minimal support or user information, some systems offer minimal support and provide YouTube videos, blogs or an automated phone service. This can be frustrating if you require a quick resolution to a system issue. When researching an agency software system, see if they offer a telephone support service or online chats.
- Too rigid, you may have to adapt or adjust the way you work to fit to a new system. There is little flexibility, which can be difficult to convince your team to adopt a new way of working. There is some agency software that can be customisable and will fit to suit your agency’s needs.
How to choose the right agency management software for my agency?
Congratulations, you’ve decided to give agency management software a try, this is the first step towards progress for your organisation. You have realised a change needs to be made if you wish to grow, become more productive and more importantly profitable.
But what system is right for you? Again, this really depends on your circumstances and the aims and objectives of your business. Many businesses will try and a number of different systems that specialise in one area, like project management software or accountancy software. This results in juggling multiple tools that may not integrate with one another, leading to gaps in communication and data.
When choosing an agency management software, it’s important to look for an all-in-one solution. Unlike project management software that can be used by a variety of different types of businesses, agency management is designed specifically for agencies. Such as advertising, PR, creative, branding, marketing and even architect agencies.
When researching the right system for your agency, remember to check out what features and functions the software has available and if they are included within the price. Some features do not come as standard or are available as an upgrade option. Think about the specific requirements of your agency and if the software aligns with what you need.
Involve key stakeholders within your agency from the beginning, this way they will be onboard with the idea of implementing a new system and can contribute towards the research process.
Does the software offer training and support, if it doesn’t then it may take longer to learn how to use the system and you might not be using it to its full capability.
Many agency software providers will offer demonstrations with their sales team, this is your opportunity to ask as many questions as you like about the software. They will normally give you a complete run through and can tailor the experience to reflect your agency’s needs.
We Are Paprika Agency Management Software
Paprika is an all-inclusive agency management software that has been the backbone to those agencies who have created some of the most iconic ad campaigns, over the last 40 years.
Paprika software is more than a project management tool, it’s more than accountancy software and it’s not just a timesheet system. It’s everything your business requires from an agency management software, to be more productive, more efficient and more profitable.
Built with agencies in mind, developed to reduce the distraction of mundane admin tasks, allowing your team the creative freedom they need to produce amazing results. Paprika software provides you with a complete 360 view of your agency’s performance, giving you the ability to keep track of your clients, your team, their time and the agency’s money.
Paprika is tailored to your requirements, regardless of the size of your agency. We work with you at every step of the way, this allows us to get into the nitty gritty of your agency to identify the pain points and reoccurring frustrations, to see how Paprika can strengthen these areas of your business.
It can be difficult to appreciate how extensive Paprika software really is, that’s why you have to see it in action for yourself. Book a demo for a non-obligation run through with one of our experts to show you the features that can transform your agency.