In order to achieve operational excellence in your creative agency, it’s important to start small. You should make sure that you have a clear vision of what success means for your business, so that you can focus on the right things at the right time. The first step is defining your success factors: What are some of the key factors that contribute to making your business thrive? Once you’ve identified these areas for improvement, focus on implementing processes and tools that will help you reach those goals.
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Define your success factors
Success factors are the things that you want to achieve and measure in your business. They can be specific to a project, or they could be an overarching goal for your agency. For example, if you’re a creative agency and one of your success factors is improving client retention rates, then that would apply to every project in which you work with new clients. But if another success factor is creating more work-life balance among team members and freelancers who are working remotely or onsite at different times of day (which might require some additional communication tools), then this would only apply when working with existing clients who have agreed upon such terms during contract negotiations.
To define success factors:
Start by making a list of what you want to achieve in your agency over the next year or two. Then, break down each goal into smaller, more specific success factors that will help you measure that goal’s progress. For example: “I want to increase client retention rates by 10% within the next 6 months.”
Make sure that each success factor is clear and measurable. For example, instead of saying “I want to increase client retention rates by 10% within two months,” say something like: “Increase client retention rates by 10% within 6 months by improving our customer service onsite and online.”
Once you have a list of success factors, ask yourself what needs to happen in order for each one to be achieved. For example: “How will increasing client retention rates by 10% within two months improve our customer service?”
Get an overview
Operational excellence is an approach to running a business that focuses on improving efficiency and effectiveness. It’s a way of thinking about your company, where you’re headed, and how you can get there.
For creative agencies in particular, operational excellence has a lot to offer: it can help you grow faster while maintaining quality standards; make better use of time; improve collaboration between teams; reduce costs or eliminate unnecessary expenses entirely; give clients confidence in the value they’re getting from working with you (and encourage them to come back); build trust between agency employees as they work together toward common goals; attract new talent because people want to work at companies where they feel valued and appreciated…the list goes on!
But what does this mean for you? How do we start making progress toward operational excellence? What should we focus on first?
The next step is to start small. Find out what works for you and your team, and then go from there.
I’ve seen too many companies try to do everything at once when they’re just starting out–and they end up getting overwhelmed by how much work they have on their plates. Instead of finding the best way forward through trial and error, they give up before they even get started because it seems like too much effort or money at this point in time (or both).
Instead of trying to tackle everything at once, start by finding one thing that will make a difference in your business’s success–then another thing after that! Think about which areas need improvement first: Do you need better systems? A new client management process? Improved communication between departments? Or maybe just some new technology-based tools like CRM software?
Set measurable goals
Before you begin your journey, it’s important to define the end result. This is the only way you can measure whether you have achieved success and make adjustments along the way if necessary. Measurable goals are easier for everyone involved in achieving them–you, your team members and even your clients will know exactly what needs to be done to get there.
Setting measurable goals also helps prevent scope creep (or “scope creep” as we call it) from happening later on down the line when someone asks for something that wasn’t originally agreed upon or planned for during project planning stages. If everyone knows their roles from day one, then no one should feel overworked or underutilized once work begins rolling out smoothly without any hiccups along the way!
Implement the right tools for your needs
When you’re first starting out, it’s important to focus on the tools that are right for your needs and help you achieve your goals. For example, if you’re just getting started with content marketing, it might make sense to use a tool like Canva or Wordswag instead of Adobe Illustrator because they offer more flexibility when creating content.
Once you’ve got some experience under your belt and want to take things up a notch, then it’s time to consider other options like:
- What do I need from the team members working on my project? (Are they skilled in design or programming?)
- What kind of resources are available at my disposal? (Do we have access to freelance talent through our network or agency partners?)
- How much time do I have to dedicate to this project? (Do I have an existing team in place, or do I need to hire one?)
- Is there a budget for these services? (If so, how much should we allocate towards each component of the project?)
- What are our goals with this project? (Do we want to focus on brand awareness or revenue generation?)
Operational excellence starts with a clear vision of what the purpose is
Operational excellence is the result of setting clear goals and objectives, and then aligning your team to them.
Setting measurable goals is an important step towards achieving operational excellence. You can start by asking yourself how you want to be perceived by clients, employees and stakeholders in general? What would make you successful? What are the key areas that need improvement? These questions will help identify what needs to be measured in order for you or your agency to achieve success.
Once you’ve identified what needs improving and how it should be measured, implement tools that help keep everyone focused on those goals in a way that works best for everyone involved.
Ultimately, it’s up to you and your team to decide what success looks like. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of achieving operational excellence in your creative agency, don’t worry–it’s not just for the big guys anymore. The good news is that there are plenty of resources available online that can help you develop an action plan for making this a reality.