Grow, Build, Sell, Live: A Practical Guide to Running and Building an Agency and Enjoying It

Richard Houghton
Public Relations and Communications Association, UK

Crispin Manners
Public Relations and Communications Association, UK

Product Details
30 Sep 2019
Emerald Publishing Limited
200 pages - 129 x 198mm
PRCA Practice Guides
If you are thinking about starting your own agency; have started one and hit your first round of growing pains, or are a veteran looking for an exit, this book is for you. 
In it you’ll find practical and implementable advice and tools to address the day-to-day reality of running a successful agency – with a lot less of the stress and angst that usually goes with it.  

If you’re like most agency leaders, you’ll spend the majority of your time on three areas – your people, clients and new business. These are all important levers for consultancy growth. But two other areas need at least the same level of attention – the numbers and YOU. Yes you. Too often the owner doesn’t invest enough in their own needs – and this lack of ‘investment’ in themselves can really hurt when the business needs them most. 
So, in addition to giving guidance on people, clients and new business, we’ve made sure that you and the numbers are both covered off in detail. We talk a lot about choices – and the fact that we have more choice about what happens next than we think we have. 

The consultancy CEO/MD role can seem like an endless stream of issues to handle and fires to put out. It can leave you feeling as if your team, or your clients, are running your business rather than you. And, that your company runs your life rather than helping you to create the life you want to lead. 
That's where this book comes in.  

We’ve put together practical and implementable guidance on how to manage your consultancy so that you’re in control, and most importantly so that it gives you what you want from your life. 

We’ve tried to make the content as practical as possible. It draws on proven approaches and some helpful science. It also quotes some real-life examples from leaders we know. We’ve changed the names to protect the innocent! You’ll find handy check lists at the end of each chapter. 

We talk a lot about growth. Not because being big is best, but because in our experience, controlled growth is essential to getting the best from and for your people and your business. But much depends on why you started the business in the first place. Which brings us back to choices. 

We wrote this book, not to be prescriptive but to encourage you to think about your choices more, and to think about them earlier. We want you to understand your choices. We want you to make them conscious rather than unconscious choices. Only then you can work on them, rather than have them work on you.
Chapter 1. Introduction 
Chapter 2. Purpose 
Chapter 3. People 
Chapter 4. Culture 
Chapter 5. Leadership 
Chapter 6. Client Handling 
Chapter 7. Marketing 
Chapter 8. Innovation 
Chapter 9. Sales 
Chapter 10. Commercials 
Chapter 11. Good Enough to Sell
Richard Houghton spent the first 25 years of his career working in public relations consultancies in the UK and Europe, holding senior management and managing director positions in three top ten agencies. He also ran his own specialist technology agency for a decade. He now works as a specialist management consultant to agencies in marketing services, focusing on growth. During his career he has dealt with a very wide range of management challenges including merging three agencies to create a new firm, divisional and agency turn rounds, and the launch of an agency. A columnist for PR Week, he writes on the business of public relations in the monthly Agency Doctor column. A past president of the International Communications Consultants Organisation, Richard sits on its Board of Management and is a former Chairman and founding Fellow of the PRCA . 
Crispin Manners grew his business from 3 to 66 people. In the process led the company to be the fastest growing PR company in the UK, the #2 performer over a decade and one of the Top 5 PR firms to work for. He took his company public, which was, a year later, ranked Ofex Company of the Year. By developing his planning methodology – ValueFlow – he won for his firm the accolade of the UK’s Innovative Company of the Year. He is a Fellow and past Chairman of the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA), was one if the youngest Fellows of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

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