Agency Leaders have to wear more hats than Mr Benn

One minute they’re in their natural environment as a designer/developer/PR officer/copywriter/videographer/consultant/etc, the next they’re a team leader, the next they’re dealing with sales and client relationships, the next they’re a manager, then they’re CEO, sometimes they’re a Director, and occasionally they’re a shareholder. All this in one person!

The trouble is, the first things on that list are the day-to-day pressures. It’s where the urgent, noisy stuff happens. Stuff that shouts for attention all the time. The further down the list you get, the less time you have to wear those hats.

And that means that most agency leaders don’t get a lot of quality time in the CEO hat, the Director hat or the Shareholder hat.

The result is that, for most agencies, there isn’t enough time on high-level thinking. There isn’t much of a long-term view. There isn’t much strategic planning.

The lack of these contributes to a rollercoaster ride for an agency — especially in the 2020s! — which is stressful and painful for everyone.

We can help improve on that.

Deep insight & analysis for agency leaders

Agency Radar is like having an experienced non-executive director by your side. Regularly prompting you to think further ahead, and more widely. Providing insights, experience and analysis from outside the firm. Giving some structure and substance to your board-level thinking.

But by providing these insights to multiple agencies, we can provide it much more cost effectively. At just £450 a month, it only takes one valuable insight a year for the value your agency gains to be worth many times the subscription price.

What would you have paid to have had an earlier heads-up on pandemic planning? In my agency, we activated our pandemic plan on 22nd January 2020 as a result of our horizon scanning. We were able to help our staff and clients be more prepared for lockdown, and change our plans to build up more cash reserves. (I’ll write more about that in our first Board Briefing, which is a detailed paper on how the pandemic is likely to play out in 2021, and how that will impact agencies.)

That’s the value you’ll get from Agency Radar. Subscribe now to get immediate access.

Subscribe now for access to the entire library of members-only content & updates:


£ 450 / month
  • 14-day free trial

What you get

Each month you’ll receive a selection of briefings:

Board Briefing:

A detailed paper, once a month, to guide an in-depth discussion at your board meeting, providing insight and analysis on a major issue for the future of the business.

Agency Brief:

A regular summary of key things to know — news, forward planning, risks, industry, events, and interesting links.

What Works:

Once a month, we look at a particular idea or issue for agency businesses, researching cool ideas and best practice from around the world. In the first two months, we’ll look at what works with agency playbooks, and with a remote company social life in lockdown.

Radar Reads:

There are lots of great books out there to help agency leaders. So much to learn from. But how is your guilt level about your reading pile? I thought so. :)
We’ll take key books and digest them for you, not in the same way as a generic book digest, but looking specifically from the viewpoint of an agency leader. Sometimes they’ll be about running agencies, other times they’ll be books about the wider issues in the world that impact agencies. We’ll provide practical ideas you can try out in your business straight away.

Mad Men Mondays:

For a bit of fun, each week we’ll look at what can be learned about running agencies from an episode of TV drama Mad Men. You’d be amazed at how realistic the show is about the business side of things.

That’s a lot of ideas, insight and inspiration for one month. Subscribe now to get immediate access.

Who are we?

I’m Steve Parks, and I’ve led creative agency businesses for 16 years. Before that I was a journalist at BBC Radio 4 and 5 Live. So I bring the combination of deep first-hand knowledge of agencies, and a journalist’s ability to research, analyse and communicate complex ideas. I’ve led agencies with just 5 people and agencies with 170 people in nine countries. I’ve succeeded and I’ve failed along the way, learning plenty the hard way as well as through research and experimentation.

I’ve also written a series of books on entrepreneurship for Pearson, including Start Your Business Week by Week, How to Fund Your Business, and more.

I’ve been sharing my thinking on how agencies can be better run for a long time. For example, I’ve written about How Agency Finances Work. It’s long been my ambition to focus more on this kind of work, and sharing it more widely with many other agencies.

I’m joined by research specialist Dr. Joe Baker (who’s written about best practice in writing case studies of agency work). In addition, our other colleagues will bring expertise in key areas of running an agency.

Why are we sharing this?

We see the power that creative agencies have to shape the world. It’s where new ideas and new ways of working start. So many people are employed by professional services firms like this.

But we strongly believe that there is a better way to run agency businesses. It doesn’t have to be so short-termist, so reactive, such a rollercoaster. And we don’t all have to learn the same lessons the hard way each time.

We’ve talked about this idea for a long time, but been spurred into action by seeing how many agencies were caught by surprise with the pandemic. How few businesses had business continuity plans, horizon scanning for risks and more.

We decided that now is the time we can be of the biggest help, adding that long-term strategic view to the hard work that agency leaders are having to put in now.

We can help you build back better. Join now to get started.

What’s the commitment?

Nothing. Zip. Zero. You pay month by month. You can cancel at any time. We only want people who really get value from it. There are no commitments beyond that.

Subscribe for a month to try it out — you get the first two weeks as a free trial. If you don’t feel it adds value to your agency, cancel. Your maximum risk is £450. That’s manageable, isn’t it? ;)

Subscribe now for access to the entire library of members-only content & updates:


£ 450 / month
  • 14-day free trial

Why is it only £450?!

Yes, we understand the puzzle. It’s like a digital non-exec for your agency, plus a team of agency experts and researchers providing insight and analysis, but it’s only £450 a month. How is that possible?

Our thinking is about making this available to as many agencies as possible. An abundance mentality. And in particular, these are hard times for some agencies. A niche expensive service wouldn’t be accessible for everyone. We think that at £450, almost any agency could afford to subscribe and improve their strategic planning.

To help us keep it at this accessible level, please spread the word. The more agencies who are part of this, the more value we can provide, while keeping the price within reach of as many agencies as possible.

How do I get started?

You can sign up today and get immediate access.

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