Once you have been a solopreneur for a few years and your business is thriving, you may wonder whether or not it might be time to scale up and form your own agency. Perhaps you have a client that has bigger projects than you can handle on your own, or maybe you are having to turn away projects because you have more than enough work. Are you ready to move away from working alone as a freelancer and toward being part of a team in an agency? Here are a few things to consider before forming an agency.
What are the Advantages of Forming an Agency?
An agency can sell the services of multiple freelancers. If you are part of an agency you can tackle more projects as a team than you could do on your own. Agencies are able to bid on bigger projects than solopreneurs because they can work as a team and offer multiple services or complete packages. Members can also help share client interaction time so that no one person is swamped having to field numerous questions from clients. Working with a team, you can delegate work to others if there are too many clients to handle on your own. An agency will be able to attract larger clients with bigger budgets and bid on larger projects. You may already have existing clients with big projects in mind that your agency would be perfect for. As an agency you will be able to market your services to bigger prospects.
What Kind of Agency can I Form?
An agency can provide a single service, such as content writing; or multiple services, such as full digital marketing services including with experts in content creation, copywriting, email marketing, SEO, developing ad campaigns et cetera. Just as in freelancing, a good agency will have a niche which will create give them an air of authority and expertise, as well as build trust with potential clients and minimize learning curves when working with each new client.
Who should I Form an Agency with?
When trying to decide what type of experts you need in your agency, you need to have an idea of the type of projects you plan on working on and what kind of clients you would like to work with. You should team up with other freelancers who consistently produce quality work. Even if you are not ready to start an agency yet, you can start looking out for other great freelancers while you are freelancing so you get an idea about who you might want to approach to form an agency in the future. It is always a good idea to stay connected with people whose work you admire and who you would like to work with again in the future. When you decide to stop working solo and form a team, you want to work with people you can trust and that you can enjoy working with. Do not be afraid to start small by collaborating on a few small projects to see if it’s a good fit and grow from there.
How should I Structure my Agency?
When forming any team it is important to choose a leader and be clear on roles and power structure of the group. Having a clear organizational structure will allow your agency to handle the work flow of more complex projects smoothly. You need to know who will make the final decision should any disagreement arise. If you do not have the skills to be a leader or are not ready to spend less time on your vocation and more time on managerial and collaboration related tasks, hiring a manager is a good option. If your agency is going to be hiring managers, virtual assistants or any other administrative support staff, you must decide whether or not they will be hired on a full-time, part-time or freelance basis. When hiring regular staff you need to have the funds to pay them fairly and keep your agency afloat if there’s a dry spell. You need to decide how, and how much, everyone will be paid for their services, as well as figure out how retainers or project fees will be divided among you. It might be a good idea to consider becoming a legal company for liability and tax purposes. If you have no physical location, you should determine what jurisdiction disputes will be settled in.
Once you have considered the all details that go into forming an agency and have decided to go ahead and do so, you can then name your agency. When choosing a name for your agency, or even as a solopreneur, think about branding, existing trademarks, and the name's long-term durability. When your agency is up and running, be ready to form professional relationships with other agencies that offer complementary services to what yours offers. If you give out referrals to others when a client needs something that is out of your scope, then other agencies will return the favour. Forming good working relationships goes beyond whether you are part of an agency or not, it is something all freelancers should do as well. If you are looking for other freelancers to form and agency with, or if you want to be sure that clients can find you, don’t forget to create a profile on Sagegroupy, the freelancer’s friend.