Agency Operating Plans: The Key(s) to Controlling Costs and Realizing Profits

With shrinking agency profit margins resulting from the combination of the relentless squeeze
on agency compensation and the ever growing cost of resources and development, the use of
a sound financial operating plan is increasingly critical to optimizing marketing service firm
profit performance.

Accident, luck, coincidence are three words that DON’T accurately describe how profits are
generated by advertising and marketing service firms. Profits are PLANNED. Carefully
planned. And agencies who do not take full advantage of a well thought out process for
developing such plans are simply lessening their opportunity for positive financial results and

As has been the pattern in recent years, marketing service professionals are expected to
provide more with less, often faced with client expectations of a full range of expert
capabilities to be delivered at near bargain basement prices. With this as the backdrop, it is
incumbent on agency management teams to fine tune their approach to managing internal
costs, fully understand sources of profitability, and uncover incremental profit opportunities.

On March 13 please join Steve Koskela of sjk advisory group as he provides insight into the
development and effective use of financial operating plans in optimizing your agency’s profit
potential through establishing definable, attainable and measurable goals.
More than budgeting and cost monitoring, this is a process by which profits are planned and
realized, and unwelcome surprises are minimized.
Key takeaways:

• Constructing the Client Revenue Forecast – The Foundation of the Plan
• Pros/Cons of the Historical Blueprint vs. the Zero-Based Approach
• Three Versions and Managing the Revision Process
• Maintaining a Baseline and the Value of a Rolling Forecast Methodology
• Benefits of a team approach and financial goal sharing

Who should attend:
Anyone who has responsibility for or a key role in preparing advertising agency operating plans
and financial forecasts including: CEOs, COOs, CFOs and their teams, and client brand/account
managers or others involved in projecting client revenues and staffing needs.

About Steve Koskela:
Steve Koskela has more than 30 years of executive level financial management experience in
the marketing communications industry with both independent and global scale publicly held agency organizations. A CPA with a Big Four background, Steve has held executive positions
with prestigious advertising agencies and marketing service firms.

In 1996, he founded sjk advisory group, a specialized financial consulting boutique that serves
as independent consultant to advertising and marketing firms across North America. A former
two term chairman of the 4As Western Region Finance Committee, he is a leading advocate for
the adoption of alternative pricing and intellectual property ownership practices for the
advertising industry.