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New Business

New business bites: It only takes ten minutes

By Alanna Curtin, account director

The Future Factory


The Drum Network article

This content is produced by The Drum Network, a paid-for membership club for CEOs and their agencies who want to share their expertise and grow their business.

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March 30, 2016 | 4 min read

The Drum Network’s new business bites series, aims to divulge bite sized pieces of wisdom for agencies in gaining new business. New business is always at the top of the agenda for most of the 30,000 agencies in the UK, but is there enough new business for all of them? New Business Bites is here for small to medium sized agencies to gain some tips in winning new clients and building their pipeline. Bites are provided by new business connoisseurs. This week, Alanna Curtin, account director & new business development lead at The Future Factory discusses how everyone has time to secure new business.

Alanna Curtin, The Future Factory

Alanna Curtin, The Future Factory

Got 10 mins?

In any agency, no one is better placed than the MD or senior directors to do new business. Their understanding of the strategic challenges behind the work and network of contacts often allows the dots between an agency’s experience and a potential opportunity to be connected much quicker than could be done by a dedicated new business person. However, we understand that time is precious and servicing clients must take priority, so we’ve put together a list of things you can do with just a few minutes between meetings, on the train, or while you’re eating your porridge – no excuses for no new business now.

Trade press

Scan through your industry magazines and see who’s doing interesting things in your space. If you spot a previous contact or potential opportunity, drop them a quick email and see if they’d be open to hearing your thoughts or catching up over a coffee.

Pick up the phone

The quickest thing you can do is make a call - reconnect with someone from a past life, try speaking to the person quoted in the interesting trade press article you found, stop relying on the medium of Christmas cards and check in with some ex-colleagues.


Look through your connections and remind yourself of the great contacts you have. Maybe it’s time to send a couple of them messages, it’s likely a few will have changed role since you were last in touch so congrats might be in order. Equally, run through the business cards you’ve picked up at meetings and networking events in recent months and get connecting.

Thought pieces

Write a short synopsis for that big insight idea which keeps niggling at you and get your copywriter on the case. When deciding on a topic, think about who from your existing network you could potentially share the piece with and how you can make it relevant for new business meetings within your target sector.


New business is a team effort, call a quick meeting and assign tasks. Whether it’s sending an email to a dream brand, reaching out to some of the team’s own contacts or getting cracking on a blog piece, everyone should understand the goals and feel invested in the new business process. Arrange a catch up for the following week to report on progress made.

New business does need to be ongoing process but that doesn't mean it has to be too time consuming on a weekly basis. If you're able to dedicate even 10 minutes a day towards some of the things above, you never know what opportunities you might unearth.

Alanna Curtin is account director and new business development lead at The Future Factory.

New Business

Content by The Drum Network member:

The Future Factory

With a mix of lead generation, board level consultancy and coaching, we help to make the future more predictable for agency Owners, Founder and Directors.


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