{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "This is an honest question. I may be naive/over-simplifying. But if you’ve worked your way up the big agency ladder - have the titles, awards, big client resume, would it be lucrative to start your own small agency in a small market? I have to imagine you could specialize in local businesses (breweries, restaurants, etc) at affordable prices and do well with a small crew.", "post_id": "605f7c245f46f2002f89ab0a", "reply_count": 8, "vote_count": 5, "bowl_id": "5565cfca8b2b9a03009acf57", "bowl_name": "Advertising", "feed_type": "crowd" }

This is an honest question. I may be naive/over-simplifying. But if you’ve worked your way up the big agency ladder - have the titles, awards, big client resume, would it be lucrative to start your own small agency in a small market? I have to imagine you could specialize in local businesses (breweries, restaurants, etc) at affordable prices and do well with a small crew.

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I did that actually, and yeah, can be lucrative. But I got tired of spending the bulk of my time on everything but creative. Finance. Taxes. Payroll. HR. Account. New biz. It’s endless. It’s rewarding in its own way just depends on what you want to be spending time on.

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My experience working with SMB’s is that it’s some of the hardest money you’ll ever make. The budgets are smaller to you, but feel very large to them. The number of iterations, layers of approvals and client management can be significantly higher than what you’re used to when working with much larger clients and budgets. Even if you are successful, that same budget probably isn’t there next year either.

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Depends. I started at a very small agency in the Midwest and I worked my way up to big agencies in LA, NY and London. Working on small business accounts in smaller markets can be rewarding but the work itself wasn’t all that stimulating. Most small business clients have very basic needs. A logo, a website, a sales sheet etc. And they don’t want to pay much for it. There was rarely the opportunity to create impressive work and most of it was project based so the agency was constantly on the hook to find clients to keep the lights on.

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In theory yes, and I bet that was the way 20 or even 10 years ago, but I wouldnt try it now. Clients just do not give a shit about anything but saving money on advertising. People’s background is a nice story, but if it means youre gonna suggest anything that costs money or takes time, theyd just as soon work with a “hungry” 27 year old who convinces them he can do it all with instagram. Agencies are supposed to make money on production markup. Clients have a room of cost consultants now to “catch it.” I wouldnt start an ad agency now at all—I think Id hate every piece of work Id have to do—but even if I could stand calls kissing the asses of Tik Tok Influencers, I dont think an agency is a moneymaking proposition anymore.

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Sounds fun

You could probably search yelp for small agencies in small towns and reach out to the owners to chat.

That’s my exit plan. Only barrier is building relationships with those businesses and getting clients.

it's hard af to sell goo creative work to people without a marketing background. i wouldn't

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