Words by Simon Dixon
Photography by Astrid D’Hondt
We can’t help feel for our friends at other agencies, and our industry as a whole.
As agency founders, we have long experience of running companies and stewarding them through challenging periods for our industry. A few of the things we always root back to when the situation is uncertain feel pertinent now.
Beware scare stories.
Know your sources and use only trusted perspectives as clarity of vision is vital.
Reduce the noise.
You can’t deal with everything, so be ruthless and focus only on the most important decisions and actions.
Expect it to get worse.
Be resilient and come to terms with the reality you will continue to be surprised. Don’t let it catch you out mentally.
Plan, plan, plan.
It is impossible to function without a clear plan of action. Pause. Focus. Take quality time to set your new direction. It’s best to run scenarios to model different ways of working and how to reduce costs. If you do it in advance you’ll know when to trigger them and it will feel less chaotic.
Make the decision.
Equivocation or delay rarely helps once you know the best course of action. It is best to get on with it.
Always put people first.
There is nothing more important than your team, collaborators and clients. Service their needs first.
Know your value to clients.
Work goes on. So be additive and find where you best add value to the companies you serve and the work you create for their audiences.
Embrace new ways of working.
You can’t expect tomorrow to be the same as today. So let the situation, enhanced technologies and smart ideas upgrade how you work. What you learn you’ll keep forever.
Focus on cash flow.
If things get squeaky, it’s because companies are not liquid. You’ll need to prioritise what you spend. However look to cut expenses but still invest in the most important areas. Look at the value of what you spend relative to your team and critical work and output. Invest there.
Harness the values that built your company.
It’s easy to get distracted or lose your way. If you root back to why you do what you do and how it is helpful and meaningful to people, you’ll be better able to cope with change.
Clarify your habits and behaviours.
If you have to adapt and change then instilling the best ways to do this will define your success.
Be fanatical about the quality of the creative output.
It’s what defines you, and it’s what you do. So the better you do it, the better you feel. You’re also more likely to come out of the turbulence better placed than others.
If nothing else you can maintain a good frame of mind. Decisions are easier, work is easier, and the challenging things become a little bit more manageable.
So with that in mind, we are currently busy on our fantastic projects and will maintain our highly creative and enthusiastic approach.