At a recent CEO Stars meet-up, around a few drinks, the topic of ‘getting rich’ came up among eight agency owners. We tossed around the various tips – some were highly possible, and one was a sure bet.

The definition of getting rich wasn’t to have enough money for a stately mansion or a Lamborghini, but everyone agreed that ‘rich’ was trading the hours for dollars for a place in the mountains or on the beach – and not worrying about an income and maybe then, just being able to do the things you never got around to doing in life. Since none of us expected a pile of money to fall from the sky, we tossed around some of the other ways this may happen.

  1. Sell your agency for big bucks: As glamorous as that sounds, this only happens to a lucky few. Can you say ‘pipe dream?’
  2. Invest in a start-up or a product that’s on the rise; one you have control of affecting its success.
  3. Become famous. Brand yourself, develop your story, write a book and go on the speaker circuit. Then, be choosy and consult to those who see value in you. Charge at least $5,000/day.

While the above three (and I may have missed a few) may sound whimsical at first, they’re all entirely feasible.

However, we did get serious and compiled our own list to accelerate the chances of making the big money.

  1. Run your agency like a business with a focus on making a profit.
  2. Budget accordingly to make a profit for yourself and be sure to take it.
  3. Invest your profit in an investment portfolio.
  4. Control your business costs like a hawk.
  5. Keep an eye on staff billable and non-billable productivity.
  6. Be aggressive (not timid) in your pricing. Don’t under-estimate your value.
  7. Hire a talented team that enjoys working with each other.
  8. Determine your agency’s story of positioning and differentiation.
  9. Determine what you have to offer that can remedy a clients’/prospects’ problems and accelerate their growth
  10. Generate more revenues from current clients (organic growth)
  11. Learn the proper way to ask for referrals.
  12. Learn how to convince and persuade. You are the expert, not your client.
  13. Lead your clients; don’t be subservient to them.
  14. Narrow-cast your new-business prospect list and convert them to ‘communities.’
  15. Be ‘famous’ for something – in either your geographical area or your category of expertise.
  16. Have excellent client success stories and communicate them in an amazing ‘story’ manner.
  17. Blow your own horn; no one’s going to do it for you.
  18. Have a support team of agency peers – peer power – to share opportunities and experiences. No one knows it all.
  19. In good times, take as much money as you can and invest it with a reputable financial manager.
  20. Purchase your own building. Don’t throw your dollars away by leasing space.

Was anything left out? Go ahead and add to it, if you wish.


20 Ways To Get Rich (or Closer to it) in the Advertising Agency Business Click To Tweet