Not all business owners are adept at advertising their products and services independently. They may know one or two things about advertising, but that’s it. Their grasp regarding the strategic ways of promoting a business is very minimal. For that reason, many of them hire advertising agencies. So, if you’re thinking about launching an online advertising agency, now is the perfect time to go for it. Of course, you need to do it right. So, in this blog, we’ll show you the seven steps in starting an online ad agency.
Do Your Research of the Advertising Industry
Before everything, you have to know about the advertising industry. The advertising industry is a pretty dynamic one, with trends that change constantly. That said, doing research is important before starting your online agency. Most importantly, you must familiarize yourself with the advertising needs of the clients. You have to decipher what most of them want for their business. Once your agency is up and running, it’s your job to boost the marketability of your clients’ brand.
Furthermore, you also must research other ad agencies. Why? That’s because they’re are your direct competition. Your target clients are likely also their target clients, especially if your advertising niche is similar to theirs. By studying your possible competitors, you can gather information on their planning and management tactics, particularly in handling clients. You can replicate and revamp them when you start operating.
Researching the advertising industry can give you a clear overview of it. In doing so, you can obtain ideas in structuring your agency so that it can compete in the market.
Choose a Niche
You might be thinking of advertising various types of businesses when you launch. Well, it’s a good idea to diversify your services. But for a startup ad agency, you should consider having a single niche first. Choose a niche that you feel most confident about. For instance, if you’re knowledgeable of the retail industry, then retail advertising could be your niche. You have to limit your operations first because you’re still testing the waters.
Choosing a niche that’s your comfort zone is one way of ensuring your ad agency will start strong. Plus, it can help in attracting a particular clientele that has an absolute need for your services. Diversifying your ad services is only practical when your agency grows and obtains popularity. However, you can choose more than one niche if you think your capital resources will be sufficient.
Study Important E-Commerce Regulations
Because your ad agency is an online business, it automatically becomes an e-commerce entity once it launches. Due to that fact, studying e-commerce regulations is a must for you. If you violate any of them, regardless if intentional or unintentional, you’ll have to face the sanctions. In such cases, you’ll receive a serious memo from government bodies. The penalties are usually hefty fines, lawsuits, and even closure, depending on the degree of your violation.
One regulation is the protection of your clients’ private data and information. Those are elements that should never leak to other entities. The number of e-commerce regulations is quite many to enumerate one by one. And, they might vary from different cities, states, and countries. So, make sure to learn your local e-commerce regulations to avoid legal disputes in the future.
Devise a Well Fleshed-Out Business Plan
Of course, formulating an advertising agency business plan is never out of the equation. If you check out other blogs about starting a business, you’ll see that most of them emphasize creating a business plan or proposal. And that’s for a good reason.
A business plan should contain details about your envisioned online ad agency. That includes its official name, full company profile, objectives checklist, and services. Speaking of services, describe each of them, such as their components and quotation prices. Your business plan must also present your market analysis, marketing strategies, startup budget, projected income, and action plan.
There are two primary reasons why you must write a business plan. First is you’ll need it as your guide in operating your agency. And second, potential investors, business partners, and other stakeholders will look for it. To know more about this matter, you can check out our six steps in writing an ad agency business plan.
Obtain Business Requirements
After devising your business plan, you can’t launch your agency just yet. You need to obtain the required permits and licenses first. Although this step is obvious in terms of opening a business, it’s still an important reminder. After all, without the needed permits and licenses, your agency will be illegitimate. If your agency operates without them, you’re technically running an illegal business, which is a severe offense.
With those in mind, be informed of the permits and licenses required in your city or state. Make sure to obtain each of them before launching your online ad agency.
Set Up Your Website and Social Media Account
You can’t call your business an online advertising agency if it doesn’t have a website. So invest enough resources in developing one. Our advice for you is to hire a skilled web developer and web designer. They’re the most capable people in setting up websites. Your agency’s website must be presentable and responsive to user commands. It’s the very image of your ad agency in the online community. So, it should have optimal qualities.
Other than a website, you also need to create a social media account for your agency. People of today’s age spend a lot of time on social media, which means it’s an excellent marketing platform. As stated in a report from WordStream.com, individuals spend 33% of their time online browsing social media. With that in mind, you can conveniently promote your online ad agency through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Once everything is ready, you can begin selling your services to your target clients. Soon, your schedule will be full of online meetings with prospective clients. But, you may have to take it slow. Keep in mind that your ad agency is still new. You may not have enough resources and the workforce to cater to many clients yet. So, you should consider starting with a small clientele.
With a small clientele, you can focus more on delivering quality service. There will be less pressure in catching up with deadlines. And remember, delivering quality service is vital in establishing a positive reputation for a startup business. Allow your ad agency to grow slowly but surely. Eventually, it’ll garner popularity in the online community.
Because you’ve read this blog, you’re now getting closer to your dream of starting your online ad agency. By following these seven steps, long term success awaits you as an ad agency owner.