A creative agency has plenty of factors to contend with in order to be successful. Finding clients, hiring and keeping the right people, and delivering excellent work- to name just a few! However, you can have all the right elements but still struggle to thrive in this competitive industry.
So if this is the case, where are you going wrong? I believe that effective process mapping is often the key to taking an agency from one that’s simply ticking over to one that’s a big success. In this post, we’ll go through what process mapping actually is, and why you should consider it for your creative agency if you haven’t already.
What is process mapping?
Every good agency needs some solid processes in place. However, just having these processes is often not enough to reach peak levels of operation. Processes need to be streamlined, efficient, and universally understood by the team in order to have the biggest impact.
Process mapping takes a look at the bigger picture. For example, looking at what processes you already have in place, what’s going well, how they can be improved, and anything that needs to be added to them. This can then be used, either by the agency itself or an outside expert, to make recommendations for improvements going forward.
In its purest form, process mapping often takes the shape of a physical diagram that details all of the steps involved in each process. This diagram can also include elements such as the purpose and expected outcome of the processes, the decisions that need to be made as a part of them, and what materials, information, and staff capacity is needed for them.
Why does your creative agency need process mapping?
We’ve already briefly touched on this, but process mapping can have numerous benefits for creative agencies of all shapes and sizes. Here are just a few of the benefits that can be found when you commit to process mapping for your agency:
1. Process mapping reduces mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. It’s an unavoidable part of business! But, I believe that one of the best ways to make fewer mistakes that can cost your agency time and money is process mapping.
But why is this the case? Well, when you undertake process mapping and ensure that your whole organisation understands the processes, everyone will have a better grip on what the processes look like, why they are undertaken, and each step that is involved. Equipped with this in-depth understanding, mistakes are likely to be less common. This is because everyone will have a better idea of what the business needs to run effectively, and what each team member needs to do in order to help this happen.
2. Identify problems before they occur
Similarly, the act of process mapping gives everyone an idea of the bigger picture of the agency. From there, everyone can use their specific areas of expertise to take a look at the processes and identify where problems may occur in the future.
For example, your team may be able to suggest where communication processes could be improved so that client expectations can be more effectively managed and less staff time is spent responding to their emails. This is something that may not have been so obvious before all of the processes were clearly laid out, but it certainly helps your agency to avoid a common problem and improve as a result.
3. Actually make use of technology, systems, and ideas
Do you regularly get excited about new programs, technology, systems, or even simple ideas that promise to revolutionise the way your agency works? But then, they are quickly forgotten about by entire teams who just don’t use them? This is a very common problem within creative agencies, but it’s one that effective process mapping can help to solve.
Often, the reason that these things don’t get used properly is not because they don’t work, but because the teams that are meant to be using them don’t know how to make the most of them. But, with clear process mapping, this becomes a lot easier. And, it also highlights anything that genuinely isn’t useful for your agency, so you can save money and time by removing it. The aim of good process mapping is to streamline the running of your agency as much as possible, leaving you with an operation that runs smoothly and stress-free.
4. Make your processes work for you
Many agency owners identify that their processes could be improved, but they simply don’t know where to start. This is where process mapping can be extremely useful. After all, how can you improve upon a process if you don’t know exactly what it entails?
Improving processes within your creative agency is often the first step to growth. So, if you’re looking to take your operation to the next level, it is likely that you will struggle without some form of process mapping- and actually acting upon the findings- first.
5. Improve efficiency and profitability
Overall, process mapping is an invaluable activity for any creative agency that wants to become more efficient and, ultimately, more profitable. Running an agency that produces great work is one thing, but running one that is genuinely profitable is another. Many agency owners that I work with are surprised when they realise just how inefficient their current processes are, and the huge benefits that streamlining them can have for efficiency and profitability.
I’m a firm believer that an agency needs to be as efficient as possible in order to become more profitable. And, profitability is key if you want your agency to thrive in the long-term. So, if you haven’t already looked into process mapping, there has never been a better time to begin!
Lots of agency owners are aware of the benefits that process mapping can bring. But, they don’t know where to start. That’s where my process mapping services can help you. I will take a deep dive into your current processes, then work with your whole team to implement the changes you need to grow successfully. To find out more about my services, please click here, or get in touch today.