When some people start outgrowing freelance work, the decision to become an agency owner takes shape. The term "creative agency" can be interpreted in different ways, but basically it means that you run a company that provides a service to your clients. You are the owner of the company, the one who negotiates with clients and assigns tasks to others. You will hire other employees, or freelancers, to provide the necessary services to your clients. And you, in this case, could dedicate yourself to improving more and more the solutions to those clients' problems.
Most freelancers do not decide to become entrepreneurs, to own an agency, but a few do, and do so successfully. In this case, having an agency would give you the possibility of earning more money than what you earn as a freelancer. But of course it is a different model than freelancing, at the end of the day in freelancing you are the one who provides the services directly, and in an agency, you organize the employees or freelancers who provide them.
Benefits of an agency
If you want to know some of the good reasons to open an agency, here they are:
- You've reached a revenue ceiling where you can't raise prices again or take on more work, but you want to make more money.
- You have to turn down projects you love because your time is already accounted for.
- You're already collaborating with other freelancers, and you want more control over that process.
- Your clients are asking for skills you can't provide, but you don't want to let them down.
- You already have a network of other freelancers whose skills complement yours.
- You're good at collaborating and enjoy working with others.
- You're willing to devote the time necessary to market and promote a new business.
- You won't be limited by the number of hours you can work.
- You can draw on the knowledge of experts in many different fields.
- You can share your triumphs and disappointments with partners who share your journey, rather than working alone.
- You can control a multi-skilled project from start to finish, even if you don't have all of them.
- You can offer your clients a more holistic service: for example, you can provide a complete marketing campaign that includes content writing, SEO services, social media management, graphic design and website programming, rather than just offering content writing as part of someone else's project.
- You can enjoy the thrill of a new challenge: growing a multi-faceted company instead of a single independent contractor business.
Disadvantages of starting an agency
Like everything in life, opening an agency also has its downside. Because this is a big step to take, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- You will no longer have to answer
- You will have additional expenses, such as social benefits, insurance and salaries.
- You will have to adjust to your employees' vacation and sick days.
- You will have to take responsibility for hiring - and possibly firing - workers.
- You could end up managing much larger projects, involving several people.
Steps to opening an agency
If you're ready to move from freelancer to agency, good for you! There are a few steps to take that can help you get started. For example, you will have to choose what services you are going to offer in your agency. In this case it's no longer just you who will offer certain services, but think about how what you do will complement what others can do. You should also think of a creative but commercial name for your agency; remember that it is no longer just you, it is a whole team.
A very important, but sometimes complicated, step is to figure out the legal aspects needed for an agency. You will need to incorporate your agency as a limited liability company or other registered company. You may also have to register as a company in your city or state, depending on the regulations in your area. This way you can also find out if you want to hire employees or freelancers. The difference in this case is that employees are available during the hours you pay them during the week; this can be part-time or full-time. Typically, employees are paid less per hour than freelancers, and since they have an employment contract, you won't have to worry about them finding a better project elsewhere. But on the other hand, for freelancers you wouldn't have to worry about benefits, just paying them based on the work done. Both work, it's just a matter of seeing what best suits your taste and needs.
Leaving freelancing to open an agency is a great decision if you want to broaden your horizon. Of course it has its challenges and difficulties, as everything does, but if it is part of your plans, it is a great decision. You always have to consider your needs when starting a business and always keep in mind that you are no longer working alone, but as part of a team. It is different to lead a team when you have been used to being alone, but not impossible. It can even be empowering to have another type of person who lives with different clients and can contribute more than you could on your own. In any of these cases, choosing Crema to pay your employees, or charge your customers, is the best idea. Sign up today and experience the benefits.