Are you thinking of starting a digital marketing agency business? If you do, then you’re in luck. The initial costs are relatively low, and there are enormous opportunities for someone with a passion for helping others succeed and offer digital marketing. I’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to start a digital marketing agency business. Launching any business is not an easy route, but it definitely helps if you have someone to guide you and lay out a path. And that’s what I’m here for! I’m here to help support you and answer your questions as you start out on your new entrepreneurial journey!
One quick note: If you apply for Emerge Partner Program, it will make the process of starting a digital marketing agency way easier (especially if you’re a total newbie!). I recommend it to probably 90% of my readers. When working with Emerge, there’s very little risk, and the up-front costs are relatively low!
Getting Ready to Start Your Digital Marketing Agency Business?
I know. It can be totally overwhelming. But if you’re a digital marketing agency startup business, these steps will help you prepare to feel 100% more confident.
Here are the steps to take to start your digital marketing agency business:
1. Find A Digital Marketing Niche:
There’s money in a niche, and it is your friend. When you start your digital marketing agency, a niche will help you build your brand and position your digital marketing agency as an expert in the industry. Starting a digital marketing agency without a niche is like marketing a product without knowing how to use it. Are you going to be focusing on social media marketing? Maybe you’ll be specializing in paid ad media buying or video and photo production. Or perhaps you’ll focus on a type of Website Design niche, specializing in website design and development.
Whatever your chosen niche, it’s the first thing to consider when starting your digital marketing agency business!
2. Choose Your Digital Marketing Agency’s Name:
Whether you go with a partner agency or choose to go independent, you will need a name for our agency. You will need a digital marketing agency name for the client presentation and pitch of your services, so have one ready before you can start offering digital marketing services. Having a niche already picked out can help you decide on your digital marketing agency’s name.
As your digital marketing agency opens its doors, the last thing you want is a letter or email saying you’ve infringed on someone else’s trademark! I’ll help you through the basic things you need to keep in mind when choosing a name for your agency. Are there competitors with similar names that will make it harder for you to show up at the top of the search engine results? Is the domain name still available? Are there any copyrights? I go through this and a whole lot more, so dig in!
3. Choose An Agency Business Structure:
The first step in starting your digital marketing agency business is deciding on a business structure. A lot goes into what is the best fit for you.
I’ll help you understand the different business structure options for your new digital marketing agency: Sole proprietor and Corporation.
It’s important to know that you can change your business structure as your needs evolve. As you’re starting your digital marketing agency, you may feel like the low initial cost of a sole proprietor makes the most obvious choice for you. As your agency grows and you’re making more clients deals (which exposes you to more liability), you can always move to a structure that gives you more personal liability protection, like a corporation. While it’s more expensive and may not be feasible for everyone as they start their digital marketing agency business, protecting your assets is significant as your business grows.
4. Creating Your Digital Marketing Agency Business Plan:
Next step in starting your digital marketing agency? A business plan!
Are you considering applying for a bank loan? They may require a business plan. However, while it’s not technically a requirement, it is something I would highly recommend. Most freelancers and professionals starting a digital marketing agency business either don’t have experience creating a business or don’t have experience in digital marketing, and a business plan can help. I didn’t write a business plan when I started my agency; I knew website design and development and the digital marketing industry inside and out, and I had the persistence to make it work.
A business plan is a one-page guide that will help you think through each area of your agency and will help you develop a go-to-market strategy. It gives you something to refer back to and enables you to organize your thoughts.
There are plenty of free business plan templates out there you can download, however, I highly recommend the Business Model Canvas (BMC), which is a tool to help you quickly and easily define and communicate your business idea or concept. Still, a successful business plan is industry-specific and consists of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) objectives. That’s tough if you’re just starting your digital marketing agency and don’t know the digital marketing industry and/or have never been an entrepreneur before. That’s why I created a (free) digital marketing agency business model canvas for you!
While I didn’t write a business model canvas or business plan for Emerge, I did create a sample digital marketing agency business model canvas for you. 🙂
5. Register Your Agency:
You’re doing great! Starting a digital marketing agency business isn’t as tough as you thought, is it? When you have a road map, it’s easier to navigate the start-up process.
Now that you’ve nailed down your niche, you’ve come up with your name, and you’ve settled on a business structure, the next step is letting the government know you have a company. The DTI (Department of Trade and Industry Philippines) website shows how to register your company’s name by province. If you are a corporation, the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commissions) also has Company Registration System (CRS) and guide on how to register your corporation. You may seek assistance from an outsourced accounting firm for corporation requirements and registration to help you.
Registering your company is a crucial step because you will need this proof to open a business bank account and other random things (running Facebook and Google business ads, getting a loan) as your business grows. Do yourself a favor and when those certificates come in, keep them handy in a file for your company’s legal documents.
6. Set Up Your Digital Marketing Agency Business Financials:
When starting a digital marketing agency business, you don’t need a separate business bank account or credit card if you’re a sole proprietor, but you’ll have wished you’d had set one up come tax time! Separating your personal bank account from the business account from the beginning makes accounting easier and will help you keep track of business expense write-offs.
Important to note: If you choose a business structure that offers personal liability protection, like a corporation, you need to keep your business and personal money separate. If you are mixing finances and paying personal bills out of your business account, or vice versa, that opens you up to personal liability.
There’s a lot to consider regarding digital marketing agency financials and getting the foundations laid. Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through all things having to do with your digital marketing agency’s financials: what to consider when choosing your bank, the documents you need to have ready for the bank, what business credit cards are best, and the most common tools and software digital marketing agencies use for their bookkeeping, and how to find a bookkeeper for your agency.
8. DECIDE IF EMERGE PARTNER PROGRAM IS FOR YOU
I mentioned Emerge at the very beginning of the article. I’m the CEO and Founder of Emerge. Emerge is a profitable and 7-figure digital marketing agency based in the Philippines with more than eleven (11) years of experience in the industry.
Your next step is going to be one of the hardest and takes a lot of research. You need to decide if you want to go with a partner agency, franchise, or go independent.
If you want to join our partner program at Emerge. You may visit our partner program and apply at: https://partners.emerge.com.ph/start-your-own-digital-agency-business/