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Table of Contents

Introduction PART I: CULTURE AND VISION 1. Why am I Doing This? 2. The Vision 3. The Value Proposition of Culture 4. Culture and Vision 5. Communication PART II: THE WORK 6. What is Good? 7. Ideas 8. Process 9. Working for Other Agencies 10. Pro Bono Work PART III: NEW BUSINESS 11. The Basics 12. The Emotional 13. The Pitch 14. The Rational PART IV: THE PEOPLE 15. On Partners and Partnership 16. The Team 17. Employee Retention 18. Employee Departures PART V: MONEY 19. Bootstrapping 20. 'I want to get rich' 21. On Growth 22. Banks and Funding PART VI: OPERATIONS 23. Starting up 24. How Much to Charge? 25. SOWs, MSAs, and In-Pros 26. Tracking Time 27. Billing, Collections & Cash Flow 28. Working with Vendors 29. Employee Expenses PART VII: WHAT'S NEXT? 30. Expanding Beyond Your Core 31. How Much is My Company worth? 32. Creating a Product in Your Service Firm 33. Working for Startups 34. Case Studies of Startups within an Agency 35. Getting Acquired 36. The Fear

About the Author

Rick Webb currently serves as a venture partner at Quotidian Ventures, Head of People Operations at marketing software startup Percolate, and as the Founder and CEO of Secret Clubhouse. In 2001, Webb co-founded The Barbarian Group, an award-winning digital ad agency. He served as its COO for the first ten years of the company's existence. Webb is a writer and an avid blogger on technology, advertising, economics, politics, and the government.


"Agency is full of incredibly valuable insights and advice for startups of all kinds, delivered with candor, humor, and wisdom." - Allison Arden, VP Publisher, Advertising Age, and author of The Book of Doing

"This is not just a book. It's the playbook I wish I had when I started my company. It's the motivating nudge that recharges my reserves of inspiration. It's the real talk, often humorously delivered, that so many of us creative entrepreneurs need. Thank you, Rick, for the best PSA I've ever encountered." - Baratunde Thurston, CEO and Co-Founder, Cultivated Wit and Co-host, TakePart Live on Pivot TV

"Rick Webb has written the ultimate keep-it-in-the-top-drawer-of-your-desk, straight-talking, 'every single thing you could possibly want to know' guide to starting, running, growing, and selling your own creative agency. It doesn't get any more helpful, practical and down-to-earth than this. Rick's delivers actionable pragmatism while also challenging readers to think differently about the business they do. As the saying goes, you need to know the rules to break them. I hope Rick's highly enjoyable read inspires as many people as possible to do their own thing in our industry, in a way that changes it for the better for everyone." - Cindy Gallop, Founder and CEO, IfWeRanTheWorld/MakeLoveNotPorn

"Since Confessions of an Advertising Man was first published, it has been considered the definitive book on advertising. Now at last there's a book for the digital age to challenge it. Rick Webb's Agency is the book David Ogilvy might have written if he were alive today. It's a must read for anyone who is a practitioner or student of marketing communications." - Rick Boyko, Former Co-President/CCO Ogilvy North America, Director, VCU Brandcenter

"Agency should be required reading for everyone in the business of helping clients achieve their goals with words, pictures, and ideas. Rick Webb is a font of practical advice based on his experience founding and growing one of the most successful next generation agencies around. Whether you're just starting out or trying to drag your old school shop into the 21st Century, this is the book for you." - Steve Hayden, Vice Chairman and Former Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide

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