How Your Agency Can Survive the Changing Economy

By Jason Swenk on April 13, 2020

Have current events left you in a panic about changing economy circumstances and uncertain where your agency will end up? Are you looking for a way to make sure your agency stands out from the crowd? It’s hard to plan for the next economic recession. At times where things seem like they’re all up in the air, it’s important to know what to do to make sure you survive.

In today’s episode, we’ll cover:

  • 2 Tips to help your agency survive changing economy.
  • How can your agency grow despite an economic downturn?
  • 2 Ways to position your agency as an authority.

Today I had an awesome chat with Mike Gadsby, co-founder and chief innovation officer at O3 World, a digital product agency. With over 15 years of experience at O3 World, Mike and his teammates have survived a few economic recessions. Now, with the state of affairs as it is, Mike talks about how you can make sure your agency survives a turbulent economy, and perhaps, even thrives.

2 Tips To Help Your Agency Survive Changing Economy

As an agency owner, Mike has been through several changing economy challenges. Having survived 9/11 and 2008, Mike is confident his agency can weather practically any storm. But he didn’t get to this mindset overnight. It’s been a process that has brought Mike to a point where he’s comfortable with where he’s at. In fact, during the early years, there were a lot of times where Mike will tell you, his agency fell flat on their face. So what has Mike learned along the way?

  1. Evolve, evolve, evolve. The market may be changing, but that doesn’t have to mean you are out of a job. Figure out what challenges people are having and what your agency can do to fix those problems. How can your agency change or pivot to meet the changing market?
  2. Take a look at how you approach accounts. When the market is down, some clients may have a hard time signing up with a new agency. And those who do probably won’t have a lot of capital to invest. Instead of trying to chase down a bunch of new accounts, look at the ones you already have. Think of creative ways to grow these accounts. If you’re successful, you’ll create partnerships, not projects.

How Can Your Agency Grow Despite an Economic Downturn?

I like to say when people are freaking out, that’s your opportunity. The market has been strong for a long time now. Those agencies who were struggling during a good economy are going to have a really hard time in a bad economy. Now is a good time to focus on influence and authority. There’s a good chance there will be fewer clients willing to invest in new services, so it’s more important than ever that you establish your agency as the go-to source. There are a couple of ways to do this:

  1. Work from a strategic point of view. Have the changing events increased demand in an area where there wasn’t so much before? Anticipate what clients need and be ready to provide it.
  2. Play the long game. Choose clients who have the right mentality and are going to want to work with you, not against you. These are the ones who are going to see the value in your services and stick around.

2 Ways to Position Your Agency as an Authority

This one’s important. When the competition is fierce and everyone is fighting for attention, clients want an agency that is an authority in the field. So how do you make sure your agency is that authority?

  1. Figure out how you’re reinvesting in your agency. Those who are simply executing are the agencies that are most at risk. You have to constantly reinvest in your agency and make sure you have the resources that make you stand out. This means spending a little extra money on things that give you a competitive advantage.
  2. Embrace change and keep adapting. Change isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, often it can make you take a closer look at how you are doing things and force you to implement more effective strategies. Be patient. Be optimistic. And don’t obsess over the news.

An economic downturn can be a stressful situation. But it can also be an opportunity. Now’s the time to be creative, be efficient, and focus on how you can provide value to your clients.

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How I Can Help Your Agency

I hope you found this beneficial and it gives you some support for your agency in the changing economy in this unforeseen situation we are in right now and any economic recession that may come in the future.

If you have more questions about how you can get through hard times in your agency like this one, I can help. Through my many years of experience, I can share advice on topics including how to start an agency from scratch to reasons you should sell.

You can check out all my tips, tricks and everything you need to know in my blogs. I have covered a wide variety of topics as well as answering your questions in more from my Ask Swenk series.

Are videos more your thing?  You can check out my AskSwenk series and more of my videos on my Youtube channel for advice from myself and other agency experts.

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