5 Ways a finance team can transform your whole organisation and help you grow a more prosperous agency
Having a good finance team on your side is about so much more than just balancing the books and making sure you’re straight with the taxman. In fact, any agency that’s fulfilling its true potential, has finance at the heart of every conversation, whether that’s deciding on a new hire or starting a new marketing campaign.
So if your agency is still treading water no matter how much effort you put in, and you’re too stuck in the weeds to figure out a way forward, the chances are your existing finance function simply isn’t pulling its weight.
At de Jong Phillips we only work with agency businesses, so we get it – when you’re a video editor, a marketer, a designer, or a PR specialist, numbers aren’t necessarily your thing, and you likely have no idea what to expect or ask from your finance team.
To put it simply though, a good finance team should:
- Save you money
- Make you more profit
- Ease your workload
- Iron out the kinks in your systems and processes
- Put your agency on track to deliver on your biggest business dreams.
If that’s far from what you’re experiencing with your current accountant, you may think this all sounds too good to be true, but it’s exactly how we at dP are working with our agency clients every single day.
So here are 5 practical examples of how a good finance system can totally revolutionise the way you run your business.
1. Get your agency running like clockwork
So many agencies are stuck treading water, not because they don’t have the resources or the talent, but because they’re not set up in a way to leverage their full potential.
A good finance team, however, knows exactly how to sort this out. As natural project managers, we live and breathe systems, processes, and good order; so if you’re throwing people’s power down the drain with inefficient processes, leaving money on the table, or burning out because you’re using the wrong strategy, your finance team should be able to spot it a mile off.
Because at dP we work exclusively with agencies, it’s particularly easy for us to spot the problem and offer up solutions. Every day we help clients create the best tried and tested systems and workflows to maximise their resources and ensure the right people are doing the right jobs, on budget and on time.
2. Swap the spreadsheets for cutting-edge tech
You can’t make swift and savvy business decisions if you don’t have your numbers at your fingertips. So if you want your agency to thrive, you need to get out of the financial dark ages (AKA paper and desk-top-based systems) and into the digital age.
At dP we immediately move all of our new clients over onto cloud-based accounting software (we prefer Xero).
Here are a few examples of how moving away from paper-based accounting to cloud-based accounting has made our clients’ lives easier and their businesses more successful:
- When they need a new mortgage or a business loan they no longer have to wait weeks or even months to get their lender the information they need – it’s all there at the push of a button.
- They’re able to make better business decisions faster because they understand how their business is actually fairing today.
- They’re able to spot potential issues, like a looming cash flow problem, and resolve it before it gets out of control.
3. Price yourself right
Pricing is such a minefield, and very often the reason agency owners aren’t seeing the profits they want (or taking home the salaries they desire) is because they’ve got their pricing all wrong.
There are lots of reasons this might be happening:
- Perhaps you’re blowing your budget by underestimating how long a job is going to take
- Have senior members of staff doing work way below their pay grade.
- Or you’re not re-quoting a more realistic price when the scope of the job increases.
But it also could be to do with your pricing model – many agencies, for example, are still stuck in a charge per hour pricing strategy, which instantly creates a cap on how much profit they can make in a year.
A good finance team, however, will make sure you’re pricing your services on value rather than time, so you can start earning the profits your business needs.
4. Get cash faster
Growing a successful business predictably and profitably takes cash. Unfortunately, money in the bank doesn’t tell you how much you’re going to need, but a good finance team can work this out for you and make sure you have access to the right funds when you need them.
At dP we know when our clients are going to need funding in good time (not when their business account is approaching the red). We’re also not only able to give them access to lenders they normally wouldn’t be able to access but can shave weeks off the lending process. That means you can be sure the money will be there in your account, way before that VAT bill falls due.
Of course, it’s not just about borrowing money. A good finance team can also help you find easy ways to free up cash inside your business, whether that’s by making sure old debtors pay up or finding clever ways to save money and cut costs.
5. Daily action towards your goals
“What is your big vision for your agency?”
That’s one of the first questions we ask our clients. Because so often it reveals a huge disparity between where an agency owner wants to be, and the action they’re actually taking.
A good finance team helps you to get clear on your goals in terms of your growth, profits, and direction, and then works out a practical way forward to take you there.
Let’s say you want to be turning over £ 5 million in the next 3 years. Your finance team should get really granular on what that actually means.
- How many staff will you need?
- How many more clients do you have to win?
- What will your profits be?
At DJP our clients have big goals which can sometimes feel quite scary and intimidating for a small business owner. But we’re not just accountants – we’re also commercially savvy consultants with a passion for helping small businesses grow.
So part of what makes us different is that we will work alongside you and offer regular coaching and mentoring calls to hold you accountable and keep you moving towards your biggest goals.
I hope that’s helped you see just how important a good finance team is to the growth of your agency. And it’s so important that they understand your business model. I started de Jong Phillips back in 2015 and decided to exclusively work with agencies because I really got how they worked. That means our finance team is exclusively geared to helping agency businesses thrive. So if you need an accountant who really understands your business and would like to find out more, you can book a call here.