One of the biggest culture (and long-term growth) killers in the agency business is taking on work that the agency simply shouldn’t be doing.
I remember many moments at previous agencies when the agency took on work that we had no business handling. I remember asking, “what’s next, are we going to take out their trash?”
We put new clients/projects against a pretty basic checklist. Here it is (in no order):
- Will this lead to an ongoing engagement?
- Will we have a chance to do something to prove an aspirational capability (note: you need to have an aspiration/vision to apply this one)?
- Will we be able to do work that we can showcase and be proud of?
- Will we make money?
- Do we want to work with this brand?
If we’re not answering “yes” to at least three if the above, we politely decline.