Grab the Unstoppable Sales Strategy that will take your business from zero to 200k+ months

How to grow a design agency in 2024

If I were looking to grow a design agency next year, here are the top 5 things I’d do now to give my business the best opportunity for growth.

Step 1 – Love the ones you’re with

It’s always easier to keep a customer than to find a new one. If we can retain 80% of our business or more from this current year, then we’ll be in a stronger position going into the next.

What would I do then?

  • Set up meetings with existing customers to find out their plans for the next year
  • Email or speak to the clients who have fallen off your radar for whatever reason
  • Proactively create ideas or campaigns to sell to clients who need additional support

Step 2 – Increase your social capital

We work in an incredibly visual media and if you’re not using this to your advantage, you’re losing out. Social selling is not just about showing off our latest creative to other designers but rather demonstrating our experience and understanding to future customers. It’s always easier to convert a client who understands our work, likes our creativity and knows that our process can help deliver the results that they need.

If you want to grow your client list fast, getting your clients to come to you is key.

Step 3 – Build a database

Even today it surprises me how few design agencies build their database. No matter who your target clients are, you will have relevant information and content that will be beneficial to them. 

At any moment the social channels can change their algorithm and I guarantee you that it’ll never be in our favour. Building a database of contacts you can market to away from the social channels is a huge opportunity for growth.

Step 4 – Take sales seriously

As a founder of a design agency, your skills may be more creative than sales-focused. And that’s ok! But if you want to grow your agency, you must take sales seriously. Investing in systems and processes such as a CRM will help you to manage customer relationships and interactions as seamlessly as possible. 

The best agencies I work with have systems and processes to give their agency the best opportunity to sell without selling their soul.

Step 5 – Optimise processes

Getting more sales is all well and good, but if you can’t complete the projects or the quality of your service dips because you are at or beyond capacity, then your business is doomed. Setting time aside to build systems and processes that will ensure quality is retained as you scale, is key.

Further thoughts

Growing a design agency isn’t easy and every year in business, new challenges are sent to test our resolve. Conversely, the longer we own and operate our agencies, the more our knowledge and understanding grows. 

What were challenges yesterday are no longer challenging today, because our experience supports our decision making. I’ve faced many challenges myself and I’ve worked with other owners who have a unique set of challenges in growing their design agency. But there is a commonality between every business I’ve worked with and I can tell you it’s cheaper and easier to learn from my mistakes.

If you want to grow your design agency, increase profitability or build multiple streams of revenue to support your business ambitions, follow me here and check out my Agency Growth Network and Creative Mastermind programmes. 

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