Next year’s ad agency new business plan

Apologies up front for the sometimes painfully obvious SEO blog post title. Work with me, people!

So, here we are, rounding out the end of this year. If you’re like me, now that you’ve helped your clients figure out next year, you’re thinking about your own growth. Sure, the need has been there – tickling the back of your mind. But now it needs to get higher up on ye olde priority list.

Here are a bunch of questions to help you think through next year’s new business plan. You will see they are centered around…the two pillars of any new business effort: a) getting more, better fitting opportunities and b) closing more. There’s also a dose of  “three C” thinking in here, too – company, client, and category. Implications from these three C areas will help inform a smart, efficient, and effective plan.

  • Did we make our goals?
  • (Why or why not?)
  • What were the wins and losses over the past year?
  • How did these specific opportunities impact our results?
  • How many pitches did we participate in, and how did we get those opportunities?
  • How might that impact our prospecting next year?
  • How many prospects do we have in our pipeline and what did we do this past year to further our relationship with them?
  • What were some of the prospecting activities planned, but not executed?
  • How did we lose the XYZ pitch? What and how can we learn from that?
  • What did we do really well over the last 12 months?
  • What needs improvement?
  • Why didn’t we execute as well as we wanted to?
  • How might we fix that? (What needs to adjust in our agency?)
  • What are some of the changes taking place in the industry? How might that effect us?
  • What’s going on with our competitors?
  • How much did we spend in new business? Where did that money go? How did it relate to our goals?
  • How much time did we spend (and on what activities?)
  • What are the internal resources we have to help get everything done? What might we change to make that more effective and efficient?
  • How did we do as a company this year? What were the changes?
  • How do we make our money? Which clients drive our top line? Which clients drive our profit?
  • How does this align with our new business plan?
  • Where might opportunities exist with current clients? How might we crack into those?
  • How can we measure progress over time and ultimate success next year?

Anywho, hope these help. Feel free to share any thoughts you might have around these questions. Thanks! And happy planning.