Aaron Agius is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of the award-winning global marketing agency Louder.Online.
You might have been daydreaming about starting a digital agency for years now. Maybe you want to go from employee to founder. Or perhaps you just want an entirely new career path.
Well, if you’re on the fence about the decision, understanding the advantages of starting your own digital agency may help sway you. Let’s talk about why 2022 is the perfect time to take the plunge.
Business Conditions Seem To Be Improving
Everyone felt the effects that the Covid-19 pandemic had on the economy in 2020. Many brick-and-mortar stores and service businesses had to close their doors completely. If it wasn’t due to government mandates, then it was simply because of reduced foot traffic by concerned health-conscious consumers.
Of course, fewer businesses being open meant fewer jobs and thus less spending power and overall economic activity. But the economic outlook is much better for 2022. Instead of seeing a decline, the International Monetary Fund estimates global economic growth of 4.4%.
With more economic activity, businesses will be able to invest more in marketing again. And that is excellent news for digital agency owners.
Businesses Need Digital Marketing
Think of the most successful brands in the world. They all likely have internal digital marketing teams or outsourced digital agencies working for them. That’s because these companies understand that it’s not enough to have a great product or service — you need to be seen and heard to attract new customers.
Digital marketing can offer much better reach and lower costs than traditional advertising. A billboard might expose your brand to 10,000 people, whereas an online marketing campaign can reach millions.
Many businesses need digital marketing. If you run a digital agency, you’re starting a business in a market with pre-built demand. There’s nothing better than that.
Certain types of marketing services, like direct mail or brochure printing, have high costs that simply can’t be avoided. But when you work in the digital space, you enjoy the power of scalability.
It may take an hour to create a new digital ad. However, that ad can go on to work for your clients 24/7 — amassing an unlimited number of impressions, views and/or clicks. This means that you can create incredible business results for your clients that are worth tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue — or more.
The fact that digital agencies are so scalable allows entrepreneurs to enjoy high profit margins with lower costs than traditional business services.
Hiring And Retention Benefits
If you’re going to start a digital agency, you need a team. And luckily, 2022 will likely be a great time to put your team together (and keep it together).
Let’s take a look at some of the human resources benefits of having an agency right now:
• Hiring: A lot of people are seeking new job opportunities right now, so you may have your pick from a large talent pool. What’s more, many people who had never worked online had to start working remotely during the pandemic. That means there are simply more people prepared to do digital work.
• Retention: Not only have more people become accustomed to working remotely, but many prefer it. A whopping 97% of workers prefer to work for a company with some kind of remote work option. As a digital agency owner, you are in a great position to hire the best talent available. Most digital projects can be done remotely via project management software and other communication tools. So if you do plan to offer remote work, you could enjoy higher employee retention and more stability in your operations.
• Labor and overhead costs: To run a profitable business, you have to keep expenses under revenue numbers. Of course, one of the biggest expenses in business is your personnel. Luckily, hiring top talent for digital skill sets isn’t always as expensive as you think. A good e-book cover is still good whether the designer is working from New York City or Mumbai. The back-end programming languages used to power a client’s website work the same — it doesn’t matter if your programmer is in Toronto or Athens. Running a digital agency is all about deliverables. The client cares about the end result, not how much you paid your team per hour. Hiring from all around the globe allows you to leverage currency exchange rates and get top talent (at fair rates for them) without paying a premium because your whole team lives in a high cost of living area. What’s more, you don’t need to shell out capital for office space either. A distributed team means fewer overhead costs, better talent and lower expenses all around — without sacrificing results.
You Can Reach Customers Where They Spend Their Time
By offering digital services, you help businesses reach customers where they are. According to McKinsey & Company, online penetration is up 30% since the pandemic began. The numbers are clear: Customers are now on Facebook, Google, YouTube and other online channels more than ever before.
If you can craft campaigns that help companies get in front of their markets, you’ll have a steady stream of clients to grow your business.
The Perfect Time To Start Your Digital Agency Was 10 Years Ago
The saying “The best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago. The second best time is today,” applies to digital agencies as well. More widespread internet access, smart devices and digital software have all contributed to the growth of digital marketing demand.
If you haven’t started yet, that’s okay. But this industry is not getting easier. The sooner you start, the better positioned you will be to ride the upward curve.
Covid-19 brought a lot of uncertainty to the business world, especially throughout 2020 and 2021. But economies seem to be recovering, employees are looking for new opportunities and the world is clearly continuing to move online.
If you’ve been considering starting a digital agency, there’s no doubt about it — 2022 is the perfect time.