Business Data: Turn On The Lights and Take a Closer Look at Your Data!

By Jason Swenk on October 10, 2013

Are you in the dark with business data?

It will surprise you. For many years now I was caught in the cycle of look for work / do the work and was busy enough entrenched in that cycle that I didn’t pay close attention to some very important business data. It took for me to step away from my daily activities as Creative Director at my own agency for a single day to really clue in to the fact that we could be doing better.

I imagine if you’re a freelancer or run a small design agency, you might very well be doing the same thing as me. You’re busy, you’re covering expenses, and you’re making a little bit of a profit. Good, right? Well …

Where is your business coming from?
I’m not just asking where you find clients but how much of your monthly business is coming from new clients and how much of it is coming from existing clients? This one was a real eye-opener for me. When we stopped making awesome design for a day and instead spent that day pouring over data about our business, we were actually kind of shocked to learn that over 70% of our business comes from either existing clients or clients we’ve done business with previously. All I could think of was, how did I not notice this before? 
I’m sure some of you can relate. You get wrapped up in getting projects done, interfacing with clients, getting proposals out, following up with prospective clients, and the myriad other things a freelancer or small agency director is involved in.
I’m here to tell you now, break the cycle and make time at least once a month to do a review of where your business is coming from. Then you can do further analysis, such as which clients are adding the most to your bottom line, how much you’re making on on-going work (such as website maintenance on a retainer), what percentage of your current profits are from brand new clients, etc.
Take it in steps. 
Take this fact-finding mission a step further and gather some hard business data on what type of projects you’re doing the most (web, graphic, seo, etc.). This can lead to other eye-openers such as discovering a particular niche you didn’t realize you owned (for us it was websites for lawyers, consultants and natural health practitioners – odd mix, I know) or for a particular type of client. This type of information can show you a clear picture of areas of your business that are doing well, areas that need help, markets you need to be exploring more, and it can potentially change your focus all together.
If you can get a handle on this type of fact-finding and data review you can break the cycle of look for work/do the work and start to really energize and move your business forward.If you would like my help in turning on the lights and helping you see what is easier to see from the outside. Let me know by clicking here for my help

Blog post by Sherry Holub – JV Media Design

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What’s Next For Your Agency?

Now you know that you need to keep a closer eye and maintenance of your business data, are there agency problems you are either ignoring or aren’t even aware of that needs your attention, this is where I can come in and provide you support.

In all my years, I have more than likely experienced all if not most of the different struggles you have and can help you from what I have learned. From what to do with your bad agency clients, how to develop agency products and how you can build authority for your agency.

If you want to know how to grow your agency even further, I have agency growth hacks, the best ways to improve management of your business as well as why building a remote team of freelancers can be beneficial in the long run.

As well as this, you can learn more about my career as well as tips, tricks and insights by checking out my blogs that cover a wide variety of topics.

I also hear the experience and advice from other successful agency experts in my Ask Swenk series and more of my videos on my Youtube channel.

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