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As part of the management team of several creative agencies throughout my career, I can remember having conversations about whether we could afford to take on a small, low-paying client that wanted us to help them establish and effectively amplify their brand. Unfortunately, I don’t ever remember the answer being “yes.” We always had to politely decline because we had overhead costs and margins that simply made it unprofitable.
Let’s face it, big agencies need big dollars to do what they do. Their business model requires significant infrastructure to service their clients: office space, equipment, department heads, agency management, human resources, technology, benefits, etc. — even the occasional foosball table. These agencies haven’t been able to unchain themselves from these anchors that act like a game of Hungry Hippos gobbling up profit.
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