The Digital Age is the best thing to happen to creative agencies since the advertising boom of the 1950s and 60s. (Mad Men is a great primer on that era.) The Internet has made borders and distance inconsequential, allowing agencies of all types to serve clients in real-time and recruit talent across multiple time zones.
With so much opportunity out there, having the right business management software is essential for keeping your agency on track. In this article, we’ll examine the best shared digital systems for managing projects, communicating with clients, running teams, getting paid, and other essential tasks that define your agency just as much as the creative work itself.
If your creative agency needs a business management software that’s easy to use, visually appealing, and provides real-time visibility into key business processes, you can’t do better than Teamweek.
A firm favorite among creative teams at Disney, Spotify, and Buzzfeed, Teamweek is a web-based project and business management tool that has everything your agency needs to run more smoothly. Top-rated features include:
Instead of switching from one tool to another, you can manage projects, tasks, clients, invoicing, and accounts in one software. (Even if you use other business management tools, Teamweek integrates with popular solutions like Slack, Asana, and Trello.) You will spend less time on administrative tasks and be able to focus more on producing beautiful and stellar work for your clients.
Created for designers by designers, this digital product design platform has been widely praised for the quality of its user experience. InVision is a prototyping software that allows your web design team to quickly and easily create interactive mockups and share them with the team and clients. You can discuss the mockups with the artists and the client inside the app itself by leaving comments that connect to the point on the screen being discussed.
Other features include:
As anyone who works at a creative agency knows, presentation is everything. InVision is one piece of business management software that agencies specializing in web design simply must have.
Fans of Trello use it for nearly all of their personal and professional planning and management needs. It’s great for creative agencies because it’s a highly visual tool that simplifies the most complex tasks and projects. It also makes collaboration easy and actually fun!
Here are some of Trello’s most powerful business management tools:
Project managers in particular love Trello because they can easily map out their campaigns, set tasks and deadlines, and assign workloads to their team. Once everything is set up, they can get a general overview of their projects each time they log into the dashboard and make informed decisions on future actions.
If you’re running a busy creative agency and want to streamline the operational side of the business, Function Point is an all-in-one business management software that combines the following tools and elements:
Your project managers will have everything they need to do their jobs with confidence, thanks to features like workflow automation, task scheduling, and to-do lists. Timesheets and Gantt charts support more accurate resource management and, consequently, better productivity. Business intelligence tools such as customized dashboards and Macro and Micro Job ROI provide important visibility into projects and profitability.
The purpose of a good software package is to improve your agency’s productivity and profitability by:
When deciding which tool you should implement, factors that need to be taken into account include usability, scalability, cost, and areas of need. The business management software reviewed here will all have a positive impact on the way that your creative agency operates, but some are better suited to a certain agency type: for example, InVision is especially useful for companies that specialize in web design while Trello is perfect for businesses that cover a variety of creative disciplines and projects.
Once you decide on a business management solution and implement it into the company workflow, it won’t be long before administration processes become more efficient, allowing employees to focus their energies on producing a superior quality of work for your clients.