Fall is officially in full swing. The leaves in your neighborhood are changing and slowly starting to fall. Your family is debating how soon is too soon to start decorating the house for Halloween. And all anyone can talk about is pumpkin: pumpkin spice, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin picking.
A fan favorite fall activity is taking a trip to the pumpkin patch, but picking out the perfect pumpkin in endless fields of the same product can seem daunting. One pumpkin’s stem is too long, one isn’t quite big enough to carve, and one is covered in a little too much dirt. So, how do you go about finding the perfect one?
Picking out the perfect agency for your business is no different. One agency might offer niche expertise, one might have deeper industry experience, and one might have a company culture that closely aligns with your own. When trying to source a new agency partner, here are some useful tips to determine what to look for:
Previous Case Studies and References
Past work is a strong indicator of an agency’s capabilities, and you can even take it one step further and ask for references. Speaking to previous clients offers a peek into what it could be like to work with the agency and helps you understand if the agency was able to deliver on all services while remaining accessible.
Understanding Your Needs
An important step when deciding to partner with an agency is figuring out what your company is looking to gain. Do you need a website redesign? A brand refresh to better tell your company’s story? Help writing press releases and creating more thought leadership? It is important to have this conversation internally to better your conversations with prospective agencies.
Management and Work Style
Every company, more specifically every individual, has a different work style—how they think, structure, organize, and complete work. While everyone’s end goal may be the same, to achieve success, you want to partner with an agency that has a compatible management style to your own to ensure a collaborative partnership.
Behind any agency are the employees that helped build it, and they are the people you want to make sure your company enjoys working with. A strong work culture and work relationship helps drive engagement, impacts happiness, and affects performance. Having a positive relationship with the agency you choose will not only produce better results toward your company’s goals, but it will also make the work more enjoyable.
Knowledge of Your Industry
When hiring an external partner, you want to make sure they are well versed in your industry—that they know the products, services, markets, and pain points. It is important the agency understands your needs to help meet your business objectives so they can adapt their expertise to fit your company. Ensuring they are familiar with your world can save you time and money from the very beginning.
Insight into the Capabilities They are Missing
Transparency is important in any relationship. Of course, everyone loves talking about what they are great at, but make sure you understand the capabilities prospective agencies may not possess. If you are seeking a long-term partnership, it will be valuable to know the different capabilities your agency partner could offer in the future.
Narrow it Down With an RFP
Often, sending out a request for proposal (RFP) will help give your company some clarity on which agencies to strongly consider. Potential agencies will typically respond with a proposal detailing their company background, technical solutions, budget, and past examples that align with your company’s upcoming project. This document will give you more insight into agencies’ processes, team structure, and past performance.
Think about how proud you feel after displaying that perfectly carved pumpkin on your porch or after serving your family the best pumpkin pie after Thanksgiving dinner. That’s the same feeling you should have after finding the perfect agency partner for your company.