If you want the best relationship with your Marketing or PR agency and the best return for your money, look for a lifestyle business.

The fact is, most agencies focus on growth and self-promotion above all else. As you’re trying to grow your business, they’re using you to boost profits and build their own brands.

A lifestyle business, on the other hand, aims to provide a great quality of life to its owners and employees. These types of businesses grow consciously and carefully, with the sole purpose of improving results for their teams, not their bottom lines. Don’t misunderstand; that doesn’t mean half-days or sluggish effort. On the contrary, many lifestyle businesses work feverishly hard – but they understand the long-term payoffs of working hard to support your business, not their own brands, first.

That is a crucial benefit when hiring an agency. Here is why:

Lifestyle entrepreneurs aren’t swinging for the big payday like a start-up entrepreneur might. They want to make enough money and produce enough flexibility to sustain a certain lifestyle, and generally work for the long term. They can be focused on building your company because they are focused on maintaining theirs, not building it for sale or recognition.

Smart lifestyle entrepreneurs hire similar people. They grab people who want a steady, flexible, sustainable career.  They enjoy the work they do and want to do it long term. They adopt a reasonable pace, with equitable salaries, and work in a way that allows them to enjoy work and a personal life – forever. This is particularly notable in the PR industry, where revenues have been increasing, but revenue per head has been decreasing [1].

The benefits of offering employees a lifestyle-based opportunity can be directly traced in higher employee retention rates. (For instance: remote workers are 50 percent less likely to quit, employees who are engaged and thriving are 59% less likely to look for a new job and 35 percent of employees will start looking for a job if they don’t receive a pay raise in the next year [2].)  Better agency retention means less turnover on your account. It also means people work longer in their respective industry areas, bringing more depth, expertise and creativity to their counsel.

Instead of scaling up, lifestyle businesses dig deeper. Their founders and senior staff have time to actually engage with you and work on your account thoughtfully. The best lifestyle entrepreneurs want to do this because sustainable growth for you means continued freedom for them. Wouldn’t you want your agency providing extended senior counsel, critical thinking and worldview instead of focusing on their own quarterly growth statistics?

Lifestyle business teams don’t burn out. They feel more valued. They have a genuine curiosity about what they do and want to learn more. Why? It’s not just about the money. Keep this in mind when searching for your next agency partner.

[1] https://www.holmesreport.com/research/article/global-pr-industry-hits-$14bn-in-2016-as-growth-slows-to-5
[2] https://www.eremedia.com/tlnt/9-employee-retention-statistics-that-will-make-you-sit-up-and-pay-attention

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