To achieve success in an advertising agency business, a person must have expertise in branding, a creative mind, and effective interpersonal skills. Persons from the marketing field possess certain advantages in starting this business. As an advertising professional, you are supposed to guide businesses in developing an effective advertising strategy to promote goods or services.
More and more companies are depending on advertising agencies to help them in selling and marketing products and services. Advertising is a huge industry worldwide. In the United Staes alone, the annual advertising industry revenue is nearly $45 billion and industry experts predict a bigger growth in the coming years.
What are the Job Types of an Advertising Agency
As an advertising business owner, there are a wide array of jobs you need to carry out for your clients. Advertising agencies take on a variety of responsibilities when they’re hired on to a company.
Many times, professionals from advertising agencies pitch new advertising campaign ideas and help bring plans into focus. They work closely with the creative team at an agency, brainstorming, and helping the team realize a client’s vision.
Some of the types of advertising agency jobs are the following:
- Meeting with prospective clients
- Performing market research about target market demographics.
- Selecting appropriate advertising media
- Creating streamlined and custom advertising campaigns based on needs.
- Design work of all audio-visual/printed advertising tools.
- Creating sample advertisements and finally giving presentations to clients.
- Follow-up analysis.
10 Steps to Start an Advertising Agency
1. Decide on the Advertising Agency Business Model
The very first step while starting an advertising agency is to decide on what type of advertising agency you are going to start and run. One way is to start from home on a small scale and the other way is to open a full-fledged advertising agency on a big scale.
Your advertising agency business plan will depend on the goals and model you choose.
2. Get Trained
Although there is no prerequisite to start an advertising agency, it is advised to have some experience and training beforehand. Other than advertising courses, if possible take some management courses prior to starting this business. This will help you run the business in a professional manner.
Designing graphics for customers is a must-service for an advertising company. If you don’t have the skills and planning to start from home with a shoestring budget, it is essential to learn graphic designing from local institutes or online.
The advertising business is a dynamic industry. You will need to remain updated with the latest trends, events, and technologies. Some of the reputed online sources to follow are the following
- Neil Patel
- PR Daily
- Seth Godin
- Ad Age
3. Create a Business Plan
A properly researched business plan is a must for the advertising agency business. It not only helps you create a roadmap but also works as an important document to pitch funds from investors.
Some of the important aspects your advertising business plan must address are the following:
- What are the initial and recurring costs?
- Services you are going to offer to the customers
- The pricing strategy
- Target Customers
4. Name Your Business
Take some time off and choose a name for your advertising agency that is catchy and relatable to prospective clients. Brainstorm and share your thoughts with friends and relatives and finally choose the one that fits the best with your business activities.
There are several business name generators you can take help from, Also, the availability of a similar website domain name online.
Check with states’ business records and trademark authority so that your business name does not conflict with an existing name.
5. Register Your Business & Get Licenses & Permits
If you are looking to run a legally compliant advertising agency, it is advised to register your business. Every country and state offers different business structures as per requirement. You need to select the one that fits you most based on your scale of operation.
For example, if you are from the United States, there are various business structure types under which you can run your company. The most popular ones are the sole proprietorship, partnership, and limited liability company (LLC).
Forming an LLC is a preferred one for most business owners as it protects your personal assets from business assets in case your company is in financial or legal trouble.
In addition to registration of the business, you will be required to procure state and federal taxes. In the United States, you must apply for EIN for registering for taxes.
6. Calculate the Cost of Starting an Advertising Agency Business
Starting an advertising agency does not require a lot of money. Since it is a service-oriented business, there is no need for investing in equipment and space to stock inventories. You just need a small space to meet clients if needed, a printer, computers, accounting software, graphic design software, and an internet connection.
If you are starting from home, you save a lot of startup investment. Give a professional look to your home office so that the clients meeting you feel that your agency is being run professionally.
Having a website is a must in running an advertising agency business. Take into account the web hosting fees while calculating the cost of starting the business.
7. Set Pricing
Advertising agencies generally price services based on a project/campaign or retainer ship basis. As a retainer, you will be paid fixed payment on a monthly basis for your services.
For services, the charges are generally 15% of the campaign costs.
You need to set your pricing structure based on the services and must be competitive with other vendors catering to the same market.
8. Hire Employees
The number of employees required will largely depend on how big you are planning to make your advertising agency. For starters having expertise with a small budget, you might not need a lot many employees.
You can run your company just by hiring a copy editor, a graphic designer, and an IT specialist for the maintenance of computers and printers.
9. Develop a Portfolio
To be successful in the advertising agency business, the portfolio of your past work is most critical. Most customers would like to see your work credentials. Add every work or project of your previous work in your portfolio so that clients get the necessary confidence to provide you with assignments.
If you are absolutely new to the industry, and no work to show, create some designs or do some self-made projects and add those to your work portfolio.
10. Get Clients
All said and done, your ultimate success will depend on your capability in acquiring clients. You must have good communication skills to make money as an advertising agency owner.
Network with prospective customers and inform them about the services you are offering. Create brochures, and visiting cards and reach them. Other than a website which is a must in this business, create social media pages for your company.
Join industry trade associations like the American Advertising Federation, American Marketing Association as a member. Also, list your advertising agency with local B2B business websites providing contact details, and services offered.