It’s a sad fact that many Agencies put their clients’ business over their own far too often.

Many agencies have suffered dire financial and operational loss because they are overly keen to do the right thing by their clients, before they do the right thing by their own company.

Don’t get me wrong, fantastic client service is the mantra of pretty much every agency in town, but how far should you go and what do you need to consider when making that decision?

I think it’s really quite simple. If you don’t look after your Agency first, you might not be around to service your Clients’ business. When I say ‘look after’ what exactly does that mean?

Financial – are you giving away too much? Clients who can’t afford to pay properly for work probably aren’t the kind of clients you want. Yes it’s ok to do the odd ‘favour’ but not too many – these can end up being expected and not appreciated. Favour -times have to be saved for emergencies and good Clients understand that. And more importantly, appreciate it.

Invoices need to be paid on time, we’re not here to bankroll our clients and companies that are often many times bigger than our own; and if a bill remains unpaid for too long and a smaller clients looks a bit ‘wobbly’ – take action as soon as you can.

People – your people work for you and not the Client organisation – you need to look after and protect them – if a client’s over-demanding, being difficult or your team member needs support, make sure you think about them and their position before immediately jumping to the defense of your client.

Reputation – you’re not just in business to make money but also presumably to produce great work – you need to protect your ability to deliver that by working with clients that give you the right opportunities.

Every business has to put their own business first; they need to make sure they are financially sound, look after their workforce in every way, and understand what is needed to make their own company healthy, happy and profitable. Good clients wouldn’t want it any other way. They are taught to put their organisation first. Why should Agencies be any different?