Ross Chowles on how to run your own ad agency

Ross Chowles talks about how to start and run your own advertising agency.

Co-founder of the prestigious Jupiter Drawing Room, Chowles talks about some of the key aspects of starting an ad agency, and how not to be one of those that litter the industry that don't succeed.

Before you start you need to ask, "Why are you doing it?" - it better not be for money, fame or sex, says Chowles. "None of those reasons are good enough." You might start making money after 7 to 10 years.

He speaks on the pros and cons, the need for shameless self-promotion and understanding the difference between “pretty design” and communication design.

Being in control is one of the pros of running your own advertising shop, says Ross Chowles.

But at the same time, being the boss is tough. Some of the cons that Cholwes lists include: no family suppers, sleepless nights, the money is crap for the first seven years and you pay for your mistakes.

You also need to know what kind of design you want to do. You need a manifesto. That will help you in determining who to hire.

The recruitment process of your partner is also crucial, says Chowles. It has to be someone that you trust and can rely on.

Running an agency is like having a child, and raising kids alone is hell. You need a  partner, says Chowles.

More obviously you need clients.

Pick clients who need help, says Chowles.

But rather than the local fish shop, who has no budget, pick someone like Game, he says with a laugh. But don't pick a shopping centre, he warns. They make the worst clients.

Chowles also talks about the importance of company culture, creating legends and keeping drugs out of the agency.

Finally, as much as being prepared with good PR, a manifesto and enough capital, Ross also believes in a little luck to seal the deal.