Why Retainers Are Essential to Growing Your Agency

Retainers for Digital Agencies: Great for Cash Flow, Even Better for Relationships

18-Apr 2019

While much of the work done by agencies - in value and profile - is done through projects, retainers are the true source of keeping your clients coming back because you never actually let them get away.

Around 59% of agencies price their service on retainer, demonstrating that retainers have the ability to increase your business' annual revenue while providing a client roster that's invaluable to an agency's prosperity.

In addition to reducing the risk of your client taking their business elsewhere in between projects, retainers positively impact your cash flow, giving you a predictable revenue that can match up to the fixed nature of your biggest costs - payroll. If you're not already working on retainer, here's a few major reasons why your agency needs to start:

Maintain the Relationship

A retainer gives your agency a reason to have a continual, ongoing relationship with your client. The opportunity to work together over an extended period lets you consistently advise and engage your clients. From there you can help identify new project work, and get it approved without seeing your client go to market.

Improve Agency Sustainability

While a big deposit invoice or payment on completion feels great, it isn't the best idea to rely solely on one-off projects, especially when the majority of an agency's costs are payroll. With a retainer, you can improve stability by at least partially covering your fixed costs every month.

This was the case for Roberto Ciarleglio, who is the co-founder of the digital marketing agency Contra. The power of retainer management helped his agency scale its business model. "The ability to have retainer management for clients has obviously helped us grow, but we’re also able to stay on budget thanks to the increased transparency," said Roberto. "We can forecast, plan, and resource better than ever before, and we’re more aware of the potential revenue that’s within reach."

Covering part of your monthly fixed costs means you can be more selective when it comes to the clients you work with. You'll likely find yourself taking on bigger projects with confidence while politely declining the ones that aren't a good fit. 

Solidify Your Role as Their Go-To Agency

The longer you work with your client, the more familiar you become with their branding, tone, and messaging, making you truly indispensable in their eyes. There are hundreds of agencies out there that are a potential threat, but by working with a client closely and providing value you gain their trust and establish your expertise. This truly makes for a mutually beneficial and long-lasting relationship.

With ServOps, you can take advantage of retainers easier by overseeing recurring work in one platform, automatically renewing services, setting up recurring tasks, decreasing manual administrative work, and more!

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