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September 23, 2022

Ten habits of highly profitable agencies

Agencies naturally tend to focus on their core skill – marketing, creative, advertising, comms etc – and sideline the business side of things.

We launched the 2Y3X Scale-up Survey to highlight that by getting the right people, structures, and processes in place, agencies can grow, become more profitable, and have the space to do even better work.

To find out what sets highly profitable companies apart, we quizzed 500 founders and leaders on their business practices.

Some of the results are expected: companies that practice goal setting, foster staff morale, and build strong referral networks were 2-3 times more likely to be highly profitable than those that don’t.

Other results were more surprising: companies that keep a risk register – a document detailing potential risks, such as fraud or inflation – are two times more likely to be highly profitable than those that don’t.

The aim of the survey is to help agencies quickly identify and focus on roadblocks to scaling up. We hope that everyone will find an item on this list that will unlock an Aha! moment and ignite growth.

Follow our LinkedIn page for upcoming articles on how to master each of the winning business practices.

Ten habits of highly profitable agencies

  1. Setting and achieving goals (x3 more likely to be highly profitable than those that don’t)
  2. Fostering staff morale (x3)
  3. Building strong referral networks (x3)
  4. Ensuring all employees can communicate the company’s value proposition (x2)
  5. Tracking customer satisfaction (x2)
  6. Planning how to increase revenue from each customer (x2)
  7. Having a succession team (x2)
  8. Keeping a company risk register (x2)
  9. Documenting business processes (x2)
  10. Tracking employee efficiency (x2)

Struggling with business basics

The survey results also reveals the extent to which agencies are still struggling with business basics, such as maintaining staff morale and communicating their value proposition. Only 30% of respondents described staff morale as fantastic, while only 26% said that everyone in their company could communicate their value proposition.

It’s common (and understandable) for agency founders to be so entrenched in the day-to-day running of things that they don’t have time to build solid foundations. This is fine until the business tries to reach the next growth stage and things start to wobble.

We hope the survey results will provide a checklist that will enable them to quickly identify what might be missing.

About the survey

Data, including company turnover, was collected from 500 businesses via 2Y3X’s self-assessment scorecard, which collects over 20 data points relating to company practices. Highly profitable is defined as having an EBIT of over 15%.

Assess your business practices today

The self-assessment scorecard highlights your strengths and critical weaknesses. It identifies quick wins and shows you where to remove roadblocks as you prepare to scale. To fill out a scorecard for your business, click here (it takes around four minutes).