So, you’ve been freelancing for a few years and you want to know what the next move for you could be. You’re brainstorming and brainstorming and you haven’t found the answer to the next big step yet. Well, founding your own agency could be the answer.
The transition, however, is no light jump. Here are five questions to consider when weighing the benefits and rewards against the hurdles and risks:
Why do you want to start an agency? Be clear about what is driving you. For example, maybe you want to increase your earning power, challenge yourself by leading a team, or pursue larger and more challenging projects.
What do you see for this agency? Is it big or small? Does it specialise in something? As an agency owner, you’ll make decisions every day that will shape your agency’s work and reputation. These include types of projects, target clients, project approach, and core values. Having a vision can help you stay focused.
What is your agency’s niche? Trying to serve everybody will never work. As you start to look for people to collaborate with, it’s helpful to define the specialized type of work you want to do as well as the criteria for projects you want to work on.
Are you truly ready to lead and manage a team and take on those responsibilities? As an agency owner, you will ultimately be responsible for delivering high-quality work to the agency’s clients. What are the potential risks? How can you proactively address those challenges?
What skills do you need to add to the stirring pot to create a successful agency? No one person can do everything so considering the vision and niche you defined above, what skills and level of experience will the agency need to help its clients succeed? Clients will engage your agency not just for its specialized skills but also for the processes, communication, and organization it can provide. You may need to add additional talent to meet those expectations.
For our Wishu Creative Feature Blogs, we speak to many Pro creative freelancers who have been in the game for at least seven or eight years. Many choose to make the jump from freelance to agency founder and their reasons are often diverse. Some were strongly encouraged by other freelancers while others always knew it was a dream job. Some took their time while others delved right in. But the common denominator was a freelance experience and this covers genuine work and projects completed as well as relationships built. If there’s one thing they could all agree on it was that an already-cemented network was key. So do your research, ask for advice and sit with the thought before committing. If you do commit, however, have fun with it!