STANDSTILL agencies have too many clients
STANDOUT agencies have enough clients
I often see STANDSTILL agencies claiming to have too many clients. You might find this surprising. You would expect stalled or struggling agencies to not have enough client business. Whilst it’s true that limited revenue and profit might be common issues for these agencies, so is the fact that they might have 30, 40 or even more client relationships on the go.
An agency only really needs about 15 clients to be successful. I rarely see agencies able to thrive with a large client base. I can think of only one that I know personally.
When I ask how many clients agencies have, if the number is large it usually means they’re working with small clients on a project basis. Digging deeper often reveals that many of these relationships are dormant or small hosting/maintenance retainers.
STANDOUT agencies usually have a small number of clients they do a large amount of work for. This doesn’t always mean that their clients are multi-national companies or familiar brands. It does mean that their ability to deliver for, manage and develop them is drastically improved.
If you have a highly productised offer that is replicated for most of your clients, you have a better chance of working with a larger client portfolio. The more customised your work, the harder it is to work with more than 15 clients profitably and sustainably.