Start an Advertising Agency

The Mesmerizing Journey of Launching Your Own Advertising Agency

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Advertising Agency - Picture Yourself

Jump into the technicolor whirlpool of an Advertising Agency! In this dynamic world, your business is the creative life-force that businesses turn to for innovative marketing solutions. As an advertising agency, you'll be crafting compelling narratives, snappy taglines, and engaging visuals that skyrocket client products or services into realm of the unforgettable! You'll get to play both psychologist and artist, delving into the consumer psyche and painting it with ideas that compel them to buy your client's offerings.


Grab Your Business Website Name

Before you get caught up in the whirlwind of setting up your business, invest in a domain name. It's a small but significant step that lays the foundation for your brand and makes it easier for customers to find and trust you. Just like you wouldn't build a house without securing the land first, don't build a business without securing your domain name.

Branding

Your domain name is more than just a web address; it's an essential part of your brand identity. It's what people will type into their browsers to find you. Securing a domain name that closely aligns with your business name helps you present a unified and professional image right from the get-go.

Credibility

Having a domain name adds an element of legitimacy to your business. When consumers see that you have a dedicated domain name rather than a generic one (e.g., yourbusinessname.wordpress.com), they're more likely to trust you. It's akin to having a business card versus scribbling your contact info on a piece of paper.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Having your own domain name can benefit your SEO strategy. Search engines like Google give weightage to domain names when ranking websites. A domain name with keywords related to your business can help you rank higher in search results, thus bringing more eyeballs to your product or service.

Avoid Losing the Perfect Domain

Good domain names are like good real estate—they're in high demand and can get snapped up quickly. If you delay purchasing your domain name, you might find that someone else has grabbed it, and then you're either out of luck or need to negotiate to buy it at a much higher price.

Early Marketing

Once you have a domain name, you can start marketing your business—even before you launch. A "Coming Soon" page with an email capture can help you start building an audience. You can also set up professional email addresses (e.g., yourname@yourbusiness.com), which can be used on business cards and in other preliminary marketing materials.

Flexibility

Owning your domain name gives you the flexibility to move your website to any hosting provider without losing your web address. It's like owning a piece of land where you can build, rebuild, or renovate your store as you please.

Affordability

Compared to other startup costs, a domain name is relatively inexpensive. Yet, its value can be immense. For the cost of a few cups of coffee a year, you can secure a critical asset for your business.


Advertising Agency Quick Business Check

This a quick reality check to help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business concept before you dive in.

Business Plan: Advertising Agency

Expected Percent Margins:

  • Gross Margin: 30-40%
  • Net Profit Margin: 11-15%

Earnings Expectations:

  1. Daily Earnings: $300 - $600
  2. Weekly Earnings: $1500 - $3000
  3. Monthly Earnings: $6,000 - $12,000
  4. Annual Earnings: $72,000 - $144,000

Actions to achieve those numbers:

Client management:
  • Initial Client Acquisition: Build a portfolio of at least 5-6 steady clients.
  • Client Retention: Ensure quality service to retain clients and foster long-term relationships.
Marketing and Client Acquisition:
  • Digital Presence: Maintain an impressive online portfolio and website, and market services aggressively on social media channels.
  • Networking Events: Attend industry networking events to gain more clients.
Service Offerings:
  • Expand Services: Don't just stick to advertising – offer a comprehensive suite of services like PR, content marketing, SEO, and more.
Financial Management:
  • Pricing Strategy: Adopt a competitive yet profitable pricing strategy.
  • Payment: Ensure timely collection of payments from clients to maintain healthy cash flow.
Staffing:
  • Talent Acquisition: Hire talented individuals whom you can trust with your clients.
  • Training: Invest in their training to constantly improve service quality.

Please note, these are rough estimations and can vary greatly depending on the scale of your operation, your location, your clients' industries, and your staff's expertise. Always consult with a financial advisor for personalized advice.


Step 1: Determine if the Business is Right Endeavor

Breakdown of Startup Expenses

Starting an advertising agency requires a significant investment of both time and money. Before beginning the process, it is important to understand the startup costs associated with launching a business. These costs can include legal fees, office supplies, marketing materials, and any other costs associated with getting the business off the ground. Additionally, it is important to consider the cost of hiring employees, such as graphic designers, copywriters, and other professionals. It is also important to factor in the cost of any software or technology needed to run the business.

Breakdown of Ongoing Expenses

Once the business is up and running, there are ongoing expenses to consider. These can include rent, utilities, insurance, and other overhead expenses. Additionally, it is important to factor in the cost of any advertising campaigns, as well as the cost of any materials or supplies needed to complete projects. It is also important to consider the cost of any employees, as well as any software or technology needed to keep the business running.

Examples of Ways to Make Money

There are a variety of ways to make money as an advertising agency. The most common way is to charge clients for services rendered. This can include charging for the design of advertisements, the creation of marketing materials, or the development of campaigns. Additionally, some agencies may offer consulting services, or charge a fee for any advice they provide. Additionally, some agencies may offer additional services, such as web design or social media management, and charge a fee for these services.

Step 2: Name the Business

Naming a business is an important step in the process of starting an advertising agency. It is important to choose a name that is memorable and easy to pronounce. It should also be unique and reflect the mission and values of the business. Additionally, it is important to make sure the name is not already in use by another business. A great way to come up with a unique name is to brainstorm ideas with friends and family. It is also a good idea to research the names of other businesses in the same industry to make sure the name is not already taken. Additionally, it is important to consider the domain name and social media handles associated with the business name. It is important to make sure all of these are available and not already in use. Once the business name is chosen, it is important to register it with the local government and secure any necessary trademarks.

Step 3: Create a Business Plan

Creating a business plan is an essential step in starting an advertising agency. A business plan should include a description of the business, a market analysis, a competitive analysis, a description of the services offered, a financial plan, and an implementation plan.

Description of the Business

The description of the business should include the mission and vision of the agency, the goals and objectives, and the legal structure of the business. It should also include information about the ownership of the business, such as who the owners are and what their roles are. Additionally, the description should include information about the location of the business and the target market.

Market Analysis

The market analysis should include an analysis of the industry, the target market, and the competition. It should also include a description of the current trends in the industry and how the agency can capitalize on them. Additionally, the market analysis should include a description of the potential customers and how the agency can reach them.

Competitive Analysis

The competitive analysis should include an analysis of the competitors in the industry, their strengths and weaknesses, and how the agency can differentiate itself from them. It should also include an analysis of the competitive landscape, such as the pricing strategies of the competitors and the services they offer. Additionally, the competitive analysis should include an analysis of the competitive advantages of the agency and how it can use them to gain a competitive edge.

Description of Services

The description of services should include a list of the services that the agency will offer and how they will be priced. It should also include a description of the process for delivering the services, such as the timeline and the resources needed. Additionally, the description of services should include a description of the quality control measures that will be in place to ensure that the services are delivered on time and to the highest standard.

Financial Plan

The financial plan should include a budget for the startup costs and ongoing expenses. It should also include a description of the sources of funding for the business, such as loans, investments, or grants. Additionally, the financial plan should include a description of the revenue streams and how the agency plans to generate revenue.

Implementation Plan

The implementation plan should include a timeline for launching the business and a description of the steps that need to be taken to do so. It should also include a description of the marketing and advertising strategies that will be used to promote the business. Additionally, the implementation plan should include a description of the systems and processes that will be in place to ensure the smooth running of the business.

Step 4: Obtain Licenses and Permits

Before starting an advertising agency, it is important to understand the licenses and permits that are required. Depending on the state, these may include a business license, a sales tax permit, and a professional license. Additionally, if the agency will be hiring employees, it is important to obtain the necessary licenses for payroll taxes.

Research Local Requirements

The next step is to research the local requirements for licenses and permits. This can be done by visiting the local government website or by talking to a local business attorney. It is important to understand the specific requirements for the state and city in which the business will be located. Additionally, it is important to understand the fees associated with obtaining the necessary licenses and permits.

Apply for Licenses and Permits

Once the necessary information has been gathered, the next step is to apply for the licenses and permits. This can be done online or in person at the local government office. It is important to make sure that all of the necessary paperwork is completed and submitted in a timely manner. Additionally, it is important to keep copies of all of the paperwork for future reference.

Obtain Professional Licenses

If the advertising agency will be providing professional services, such as graphic design or copywriting, it is important to obtain the necessary professional licenses. This may include a professional license from the state or a certification from a professional organization. Additionally, it is important to understand the requirements for continuing education and professional development.

Maintain Licenses and Permits

Finally, it is important to maintain the necessary licenses and permits. This includes renewing the licenses and permits on an annual basis and keeping up with any changes in the local regulations. Additionally, it is important to keep track of any fees that are associated with maintaining the licenses and permits.

Step 5: Open a Business Bank Account

Opening a business bank account is an important step in starting an advertising agency. It is important to research the different banking options available to find the best fit for the business. It is important to look for features such as low fees, online banking, and customer service.

Gather Necessary Documents

Before opening a business bank account, it is important to gather the necessary documents. These documents include the business’s Articles of Incorporation, Employer Identification Number (EIN), and a valid form of identification. It is also important to have a business plan ready to provide to the bank.

Choose a Bank

Once the necessary documents are gathered, it is time to choose a bank. It is important to research the different banks to find the best fit for the business. Factors to consider include fees, customer service, and online banking. It is also important to read the terms and conditions of the bank to ensure that the business is getting the best deal.

Open the Bank Account

Once the bank is chosen, it is time to open the business bank account. This can be done online or in person. When opening the account, it is important to provide the necessary documents and to have a business plan ready. The bank may also require a minimum deposit to open the account.

Set Up Online Banking

Once the business bank account is opened, it is important to set up online banking. This will allow the business to manage their finances from anywhere. Setting up online banking is usually a simple process and can be done through the bank’s website. It is important to keep the login information secure and to change the password regularly.

Step 6: Get Business Insurance

Business insurance is an important part of running a business, and it is essential for any advertising agency. The types of insurance an advertising agency should consider include general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, and property insurance. General liability insurance protects the business from claims of bodily injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury. Professional liability insurance protects the business from claims of negligence or errors and omissions. Property insurance protects the business from losses due to fire, theft, and other causes.

How to Obtain Business Insurance

Obtaining business insurance is relatively straightforward. The first step is to research different insurance companies and compare their policies and prices. It is important to find a policy that meets the needs of the business and fits within the budget. Additionally, it is important to read the policy carefully to make sure that it covers all of the potential risks associated with running an advertising agency. Once the policy is chosen, the business can contact the insurance company to purchase the policy.

How to Save Money on Business Insurance

There are a few ways to save money on business insurance. One way is to shop around and compare different policies and prices. Additionally, many insurance companies offer discounts for businesses that bundle multiple policies together. Additionally, some insurance companies offer discounts for businesses that have safety protocols and procedures in place. Finally, it is important to review the policy periodically and make sure that the coverage is still adequate for the business.

Step 7: Set Up Accounting System

When setting up an accounting system for an advertising agency, there are several different types of accounting systems available. The most common types of accounting systems are cash-basis accounting, accrual-basis accounting, and double-entry accounting. Cash-basis accounting is the simplest type of accounting system, and it records transactions when money is exchanged. Accrual-basis accounting records transactions when goods or services are exchanged, regardless of when money is exchanged. Double-entry accounting is the most complex type of accounting system, and it records both the debit and credit entries for each transaction.

Benefits of Setting Up an Accounting System

Setting up an accounting system for an advertising agency is important for a number of reasons. First, it helps to ensure that the agency is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. Second, it helps to ensure that the agency is able to accurately track its income and expenses. Third, it helps to ensure that the agency is able to accurately track its assets and liabilities. Finally, it helps to ensure that the agency is able to accurately report its financial performance to investors and other stakeholders.

Tips for Setting Up an Accounting System

When setting up an accounting system for an advertising agency, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, it is important to choose an accounting system that is tailored to the needs of the agency. Second, it is important to ensure that the accounting system is properly integrated with other systems, such as payroll and invoicing. Third, it is important to ensure that the accounting system is properly maintained and updated on a regular basis. Finally, it is important to ensure that the accounting system is secure and that all data is properly backed up.

Step 8: Market Your Business

Once the business is up and running, it is important to start marketing the business to potential clients. There are a variety of different marketing strategies to choose from, including traditional advertising, digital marketing, and social media marketing. Traditional advertising includes print, television, and radio ads, while digital marketing includes search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and content marketing. Social media marketing includes creating a presence on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Develop a Marketing Plan

In order to ensure success, it is important to develop a comprehensive marketing plan. This plan should include a detailed budget, a timeline for when different marketing strategies will be implemented, and a plan for tracking the results of each strategy. It is also important to consider the target audience and develop strategies that will be most effective in reaching them.

Utilize Networking Opportunities

Networking is an important part of marketing an advertising agency. Attending local events, joining professional organizations, and attending industry conferences are all great ways to meet potential clients and build relationships. Additionally, it is important to stay up-to-date on industry trends and news in order to stay ahead of the competition.

Leverage Existing Relationships

It is also important to leverage existing relationships in order to market the business. This could include asking existing clients to refer the business to their contacts, or asking industry professionals to provide testimonials or reviews. Additionally, it is important to stay in touch with former clients and maintain a good relationship with them.

Step 9: Hire Employees

When hiring employees, it is important to look for people who are passionate about advertising and have the skills and experience necessary to help your business succeed. It is also important to look for people who are willing to work hard and are willing to learn new skills. Additionally, it is important to look for people who have a good attitude and are willing to work as part of a team.

Where to Find Potential Employees

There are a variety of ways to find potential employees. One way is to use online job boards, such as Indeed or Monster, to post job openings. Additionally, you can use social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, to post job openings and reach out to potential candidates. You can also reach out to local colleges and universities to find potential employees. Additionally, you can attend job fairs or networking events to find potential employees.

How to Interview Potential Employees

When interviewing potential employees, it is important to ask questions that will help you get to know the candidate and determine if they are the right fit for the job. Ask questions about their experience and skills, as well as their goals and interests. Additionally, ask questions about their attitude and how they would handle certain situations. Finally, ask questions about their availability and salary expectations.

How to Make the Final Decision

When making the final decision, it is important to consider all of the factors, such as experience, skills, attitude, and salary expectations. Additionally, it is important to consider the overall fit of the candidate and how they would fit into the team. Finally, it is important to consider the candidate’s enthusiasm for the job and their willingness to learn and grow.