An interest in and talent for, technology and marketing can help you develop a niche in the advertising world by starting a high-tech marketing ad agency. An agency combining creativity and marketing strategy with the latest in technology offers its clients tools above and beyond those available from a traditional ad agency by allowing its clients to take advantage of up-to-the-minute developments in communication with customers.
1. Develop your business plan.
- Assess the tools, resources and skills you and any prospective partners have, your goals in your first year and in your first 5 years and your strategies for reaching these goals.
- Decide whether your agency will serve one market segment, such as higher education or the energy industry, or a broad spectrum of clients.
- Research the accepted rates for services and develop a competitive rate structure.
- Have your procedures reviewed and approved by legal counsel and by your accountant.
- You will not need to register if you will operate as a sole proprietorship, but even in this instance you may wish to register a name “Doing Business As,” or DBA, to help you separate your financial and personal records and assets.
- A Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) can offer you personal protection against business liabilities, flexibility in income tax options and a more simple structure than a corporation.
- Your state’s Department of State and the Small Business Administration (SBA) at http://www.sba.gov/content/incorporating-your-business, will have information on regulations. Your accountant and attorney should review the options with you to help determine the most advantageous structure for your agency.
- You may hire staff or develop a pool of freelance talent that will work on projects as needed.
- You will need team members proficient in all facets of web technology and design, animation, digital video production, search engine optimization, app development and other emerging technologies. Staff should also be well-versed in social media venues.
- Consider whether you will buy or lease equipment such as editing systems and computers. You will need to upgrade frequently to remain on the leading edge of new technology, as this is one of the primary selling points of your agency. Some freelance staff you work with may have their own equipment and software.
- Finding space in an area popular with start-up companies, or used as incubator space by university program,s may help you find new clients and projects a high-tech image by association.
- Offer workshops on high-tech marketing to groups such as the local Chamber of Commerce, marketing and advertising associations and industry groups of prospective clients.
- Blog or write columns for local and industry media on high-tech advertising and marketing topics and trends.