Let’s face it, as an agency owner, your main focus is top-line sales. You don’t typically have time to think about saving money or areas that could use some reevaluating because you’re too busy trying to gain new business and grow your revenue. Well, Q4 is here, and there’s no better time than now to reevaluate how your agency can save money. We’re here to offer you tips that you can implement to help boost that bottom line and save a few dollars in preparation for 2018. Some of these tips will have you reevaluating processes and expenses, while others will help you take a look at your overhead and team efficiencies.

1. Review all purchases in progress.

Are you in the middle of looking for a software upgrade? Or did you place a large order for supplies? Before those purchases are set in stone, take a look at the associated costs. You may not be getting the best deal for that office supplies — test out new vendors or products. Or is there a software out there that can provide a multi-faceted benefit? It’s worth doing the research. Many vendors and suppliers are competitive and are willing to work with you to gain your business. Use that to your advantage.

2. Evaluate your business expenses.

Similar to the above point, work with your accounting team to help evaluate your business expenses in 2017, and identify the areas you can make cuts or improvements. Think, utilities, phone or computer expenses — even maintenance fees and cleaning services. Do you need a cleaning service daily? Maybe cut down to every other day.

3. Cancel unnecessary monthly services.

Take a closer look at industry publication subscriptions, membership and club dues. It may be a common agency practice to subscribe to industry and trade publications — but are there any that just don’t apply anymore? For example, you may have moved on from a client in the construction business and no longer need for those pubs. Cancel them!

4. Evaluate the tools you’re using.

How much are you spending on tools for your agency? Tools such as content management platforms, account and proposal software, etc.? Take inventory, noting their monthly or yearly costs, or even per-user costs. Is there a new or competing tool that’s willing to offer their services for a better price? Can you get rid of a tool you don’t use? There are so many free or very minimal cost tools out there now. Task someone on your team to do a bit of research into the best, most cost-effective marketing tools and business tools out there.

5. Collect on accounts receivable.

Are you borrowing money while you wait for your clients to pay? If so, you’re most likely paying excess interest. Identify ways to get that money in the door faster. Some ideas to consider are retainers, financing options, or deposits. You could also incentivize your clients by offering quick-pay discounts just to help keep cash flowing as forecasted. It will help reduce your excess interest expense and improve that overall bottom-line.

6. Evaluate your team.

This money-saving tactic is challenging but very necessary. How are your teams performing? Are billable hours projecting as anticipated? Can you do outreach and find someone more efficient/skilled to hire for a better hourly rate? Unfortunately, there may be a position filled at your agency that doesn’t quite get the amount of work you planned for. In that circumstance, would it make sense to hire contractors or freelancers on a need-only basis?

7. Assess situations to up-sell your clients.

Evaluate your current clients plans to identify any opportunities to up-sell within the marketing channels, to help grow their business, and yours, in 2018. Add this topic to your agenda to bring it up during the next analytics call. When reviewing analytics, there is always room to improve. This is an excellent opportunity to introduce new tactics or the chance to pilot new marketing initiatives to improve those metrics. You can also consider adding this to your clients 2018 plans. For each tactic, consider adding a tactic that will complement and enhance that initiative.

8. Sell what you don’t use.

Many offices have old equipment laying around. Sell it! If you have extra space (office or parking), consider renting it out. Any assets you have that are not useful to you may be useful to another. This will help you consolidate and cut excess costs at the same time.

9. Lastly, cut back on those “free lunches.”

And not necessarily just lunches. Happy hours, coffees, dinners. Use those “special” opportunities to celebrate new business.

The infamous saying “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” does not apply when saving money. What you don’t know CAN hurt you and your business’s bottom line. Start with these nine money-saving tips to position yourself for success in 2018.


Jeanna Barrett is the Founder & Chief Strategist of First Page, an award-winning online marketer and an expat entrepreneur. Through content, social media and SEO, Jeanna uses the power of words and data to drive growth in brand awareness, organic traffic, leads, revenue and customer loyalty. She has a combined 12 years of inbound marketing experience at venture-backed startups, digital agencies and Fortune 500 companies, with an expertise focus on small business and technology. She’s been named ‘Top 40 Under 40’ of brand marketers and ‘Best in the West’ for financial technology marketing. In 2016, Jeanna left the U.S. to lay roots and build her business in Belize.