How to Start an Advertising Agency From The Scratch

How to Start an Advertising Agency From The Scratch
How to Start an Advertising Agency From The Scratch

Starting a new business is no easy feat. And if you’re an entrepreneur starting up a marketing agency, it can seem even more daunting.

There are many steps to marketing agency success – from deciding on your company’s name to creating work that will attract clients.

This article breaks down all the steps to help you become a successful advertising agency owner!

What is an advertising agency?

An advertising agency is a company that helps businesses promote and sell their products or services. The agency creates, plans, and implements marketing and advertising campaigns for its clients.

Advertising agencies usually work with ad agencies, media buyers, and other marketing professionals to create an integrated marketing campaign that meets their client’s specific needs.

The goal of an advertising agency is to generate more sales for its clients by creating awareness of its products or services through various marketing channels.

Some of the most common services provided by advertising agencies include market research, brand development, graphic design, copywriting, media planning and buying, and online marketing.

Why do you need an advertising agency?

There are many reasons why you need an advertising agency. You may need more expertise or capacity to handle your marketing and advertising needs.

Or you might be looking for a fresh perspective on your marketing strategy. An experienced agency can provide valuable insights and ideas to help your business.

An advertising agency can also provide the necessary resources to execute an effective marketing campaign. From media buying and planning to creative development and production, an agency has the team and tools to get the job done.

Finally, working with an advertising agency can save you time and money. A good agency will have established relationships with media outlets and vendors, leading to discounts on ad rates and production costs.

And by entrusting your marketing efforts to professionals, you can get time to focus on running your business.

How to start an advertising agency?

Advertising agencies are businesses that provide advertising and marketing services to their clients. They typically offer a wide range of services, such as market research, media planning and buying, creative development, and campaign management.

Starting an advertising agency can be forbidding, but it doesn’t have to be. You can successfully launch your agency with careful planning and a solid understanding of the industry.

Here are a few steps you must focus on while starting an advertising agency:

  1. Understand the advertising industry.
  2. Develop a business plan.
  3. Choose your company structure.
  4. Register your business and obtain licenses and permits.
  5. Find office space and hire staff.
  6. Create a portfolio of your work.
  7. Market your business to potential clients.

1. Understand The Advertising Industry

The advertising industry is a vast and complex landscape. There are different types of advertising agencies, each with its own unique set of capabilities and specialties. To succeed in this industry, it is essential to understand the different types of agencies and what they can do for your business.

The first step is understanding the difference between an ad and media buying agencies. Ad agencies are responsible for creating advertising campaigns that will be presented to potential customers.

On the other hand, media buying agencies buy advertising space for their clients. Knowing which type of agency you need to market your business effectively is essential.

Once you clearly understand the different types of agencies, you need to research the specific services each one offers. This will help you to select an agency that can provide the most comprehensive service for your needs.

You should also decide the size of your budget when choosing an agency. Large companies usually have bigger budgets and can afford to work with more expensive agencies.

Smaller businesses may need to be more selective about which agency they choose to get the most bang for their buck.

After you have selected an advertising agency, it is essential to build a good relationship with them. This means communication is key! Make sure you keep them updated on your company’s latest news and developments so that they can create campaigns that accurately reflect your brand identity.

2. Develop a Business Plan

The most important part of starting any business is creating a detailed business plan. This document will outline your advertising agency’s goals, strategies, target market, and finances. With a well-thought-out plan, it will be easy to make your business successful.

Your business plan should include an executive summary outlining your company’s key points. Follow this with a section on your company’s history and team. Then, dive into your market analysis and target audience.

Next, detail your marketing strategies, as well as your overall business strategy. Finally, include financial projections for your first few years in business.

Many resources are available online and in books, if you need help developing a broad business plan. Once you have a complete schedule, you’ll be right on your way to starting a successful advertising agency!

3. Choose Your Company Structure

There are three common business structures that advertising agencies can choose from sole proprietorship, partnership, and limited liability company (LLC). Each has advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the right one for your business is essential.

Sole Proprietorship

It is one of the easiest & common business structures. You are the sole owner of your firm and are personally responsible for all debts and liabilities.

This structure offers the most flexibility when making decisions and setting prices, but it also puts you at the most significant financial risk.


A partnership is almost the same as a sole proprietorship, except for two or more owners. Partners share the profits and losses of the business and are jointly responsible for its debts.

This structure can offer more financial stability than a sole proprietorship, but partners may have differing views about running the business.


LLC is a hybrid between a sole proprietorship/partnership and a corporation. Like a corporation, an LLC offers its owners limited personal liability for the debts and liabilities of the business.

But like a sole proprietorship/partnership, an LLC is not taxed as a separate entity from its owners. This makes it an attractive choice for small businesses that want some of the benefits of a corporation and a sole proprietorship/partnership.

4. Register Your Business And Obtain Licenses And Permits

Starting an advertising agency requires more than just hanging out a shingle. You must register your business, obtain the necessary licenses and permits, and ensure you comply with all local, state, and federal regulations.

To register your business, you must select a business structure and file the necessary paperwork with your state government. You will also need to obtain a business license and any other permits or licenses required by your city or county.

Once you have registered your business and obtained the necessary licenses and permits, you must comply with all local, state, and federal regulations. This includes ensuring that your advertising complies with all applicable laws and regulations.

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5. Find Office Space And Hire Staff

When starting, it’s essential to keep your overhead costs low. You can rent a small office space and hire a few freelance employees or contractors. As your business grows, you can gradually expand your office space and staff.

These are a few points to keep in mind when looking for office space:

  • You need to ensure the large area accommodates all your employees and equipment.
  • You need to find a convenient location for your employees and clients.
  • It would help if you negotiated a fair lease price with the landlord.

When hiring staff, you want to find individuals who are passionate about advertising and have the skillset necessary to excel in their role. You can post job openings on online job boards or work with a staffing agency specializing in finding advertising professionals.

6. Create a Portfolio Of Your Work

When starting an advertising agency, creating a portfolio of your work is essential to show potential clients what you’re capable of. This can be done by building a website or a physical portfolio that showcases your previous work.

When creating a portfolio, include various campaigns you’ve worked on, for example, if you have made a campaign for an e-commerce website design company. So, You include the complete information about the drive & the achievement you got.

If you don’t have any previous work to showcase, you can still create a strong portfolio by including mockups, concept boards, and other visuals demonstrating your creative skills. The most crucial thing is ensuring that your portfolio is professional and reflects the high-quality work your agency will provide.

7. Market Your Business To Potential Clients

Marketing your business to potential clients is essential for a new advertising agency. But where do you start?

Here are some ideas:

  • Make a list of your ideal clients. Who are they? What do they need?
  • Research your competition. What are they doing that’s working? What could you do better?
  • Create a marketing plan. How will you reach your ideal clients? What budget do you have to work with?
  • Get creative! There are many possibilities when it comes to marketing your business. Brainstorm some ideas with your team and get started on putting together a campaign that will get results.

What mistakes do people have when starting an advertising agency?

People tend to make a few common mistakes when starting an advertising agency. One of the most common mistakes is to do more research. It is essential to know your target market, what type of advertising they respond to, and what ads will work best for your business.

Another area for improvement is needing a clear plan or strategy. You need to know what your goals are and how you’re going to achieve them. With a dream, it’s easier to get on track and save time and money on effective campaigns.

Another common mistake is underestimating the cost of starting an advertising agency. Many start-up costs include office space, equipment, website development, and marketing materials.

You must have a realistic budget in place before getting started. Finally, don’t try to do everything yourself. It’s important to delegate tasks and build a team of trusted professionals who can help you grow your business.

What Benefits Of Running Your Ad Agency?

There are many benefits of running your advertising agency, including the ability to set your hours, work from home, and be your boss. You’ll also have the opportunity to build a creative team and work with clients on various marketing campaigns.

As an advertising agency owner, you’ll have the chance to impact businesses in your community’s success significantly.


Starting an advertising agency can be challenging, but with the correct planning and execution, it can be an enriching experience. Our guide has given you some insights into starting your agency. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them below.

Author Bio
I am Amelia Smith. I enjoy writing things about tech & business stuff. I always look for the opportunity to share my thoughts with everyone.

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