As Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to trigger Article 50 next week to initiate Brexit new research findings have shown that 90% of agencies in the UK are still forecasting that their businesses will grow in the year ahead.
The sixth annual BenchPress Report, created by leading accounting firm, The Wow Company, analysed data from agency owners at 471 British agencies working in the creative, digital, media and marketing sectors, highlighting key statistics and trends.
With the triggering of Article 50 on 29 March, Brexit was a key theme in this year’s survey and while 84% of agency owners admitted opposing the UK’s impending departure from the European Union, plans to grow agencies across the country remain firmly on the table.
While an overwhelming majority of agency owners would prefer to remain part of a single European market, more than half (52%) have yet to notice any knock-on effect on their businesses following a decisive public referendum in June 2016.
Indeed, less than a third of agencies (29%) have experienced clients cancelling projects as a result of uncertainty around Brexit, while 11% have instead recorded increases in overseas work as a result of the devaluing of the Pound.
Meanwhile, more than half of agency owners (55%) intend to increase their prices in 2017 – up from just 24% during the last recession – providing a buffer against any future impact of Brexit, while also funding agencies’ expansion plans.
The findings also showed that one third of agencies plan to increase turnover by more than 26% in 2017. Of the agencies that expect to increase turnover in the face of wider economic uncertainty a third are targeting growth in excess of 26% - and almost two thirds expect to increase revenues by 11% at the very least in 2017.
As companies grow, the report suggests there could be positivity for the UK jobs market in 2017 – with two thirds of participating agencies stating their intention to recruit this year, strengthening their workforce by an average of 26%.
Peter Czapp, co-founder of The Wow Company, said: “The BenchPress Report provides a fascinating insight into agency life across a wide range of sectors in the UK.
“From what agencies actually look like and their journey as a business, to wider industry trends and statistics, it has become a valuable benchmarking resource for owners. Having that knowledge is particularly important as we approach Brexit and we’re committed to sharing best practice with agencies, helping them to stay ahead of the curve."
Czapp will be revealing more findings from the report at The Drum’s Agency Acceleration Day in London on Thursday 30 March. Peter will be holding an Inside Track webinar on the results of the report on Weds 3 May including discussions on what the UK’s top-performing agencies are doing differently.
To download a copy of the BenchPress report, click here.