We’ve all received that phone call or should I say, phone calls, from pushy sales reps pressuring us to sign up for their service or place an ad in their publication. They say they are running a great promotion just for you but you need to act now because the space is closing tomorrow or the cost is for a limited time. You suddenly feel like you just got dropped off in the middle of a used car lot.

As franchise owners, we have about a million plates in the air as we juggle managing staff schedules, incoming merchandise, bookkeeping and store upkeep – just to name a few. However, you know how important it is to advertise. But where do you advertise, how often and how much should you pay?

This is where hiring an agency or media planner/buyer can help. They have the knowledge, experience and connections to get the most bang for your marketing buck. However, you need to hire the right person or agency that’s right for you, your industry and your budget.

Here are a few key items to look for or keep in mind while searching for an ad agency:

  • Decide on what services you need (i.e., what can the agency do vs. what can you do)
  • Determine how much you want to spend
  • Look for an agency that has experience in your industry
  • See samples and get two to three references

Make sure you communicate regularly with your agency or media buyer so you know exactly where your marketing efforts are going. You should get regular reports depending upon what type of advertising you do.

Remember, the agency is working for you. You are the one that is paying for their service. Ask many questions. They need to tell you exactly how your dollars are being spent and be able to show you that they are making a difference.