We’ve been around longer than most new business agencies or indeed prospective clients, so I think it is fair to say that when it comes to the problem of how to select a new business agency we’ve seen the good, the bad and the plain ugly!
So here we go – here’s our view on how best to go about it.
1 – Google “new business agency” – discount anyone not on the front page, you want someone who’s good at marketing themselves and if they can’t even figure out SEO then there’s no help for them. It’s not like there are thousands of us out there!
2 – Make a list of the hygiene factors you NEED. Is location important, do you want someone who works with other agencies like you or do you consider that a conflict.
3 – Choose an initial list of five, call them and speak to the MD, tell him or her about what you are looking for and take ten minutes or so to get a feel for them and what they are like.
4 – Whittle the list down to three and invite them in to take a thorough brief from you so that they can submit a proposal. Don’t ask them to bring the team they’d have working on your business in at this stage. If they already know then they’re choosing the team based upon who is available and not who would best fit the brief.
5 – Once you’ve seen the proposals, you’ll probably have already discounted one, have one favourite and one close second, so the nest step is to visit those latter two at their offices to meet the prospective team. Ask to meet them without the MD, see what happens. This will indicate the amount of trust the MD has in his or her team! Don’t grill them, just get a feel for them – would you be happy having them represent your brand.
6 – Take out a credit check on them – you want a partner that is financially stable.
7 – Ask to see their entire client list and then choose three clients at random and ask them if you can speak with those clients.
8 – Make your decision.