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15th January 2018 | Reading
A 'Benchpress' for indie agencies

The annual BenchPress Survey and Report highlights the key agency trends, stats, and averages, allowing UK agencies to benchmark themselves against their peers.

Started six years ago by leading accounting firm, The Wow Company, BenchPress has grown to become the largest survey of independent agency owners in the UK.

The 2018 survey is now open with agencies of all shapes, sizes, locations and sectors participating in it, providing a benchmark for agency owners all over the UK.

Last year, saw one of the highest levels of confidence amongst agencies since the survey started six years ago. Over half of agencies planned to increase prices in 2017, a very positive sign for the industry.


'Last year the average hourly rate was £86 per hour, and there was a reduction in agencies that were charging £50 per hour or less. In twelve months, it had dropped from 11% of agencies to just 3%.'


Additionally, the results showed a high intent to increase work coming from overseas. The UK creative sector has always been revered around the world, so it’s no surprise that nearly a quarter of agencies intended to capitalise on this last year.

With the average staff turnover rate for agencies being 17% each year, the need to recruit was also strongly accompanied by the need to retain talent. This staff turnover rate prompted many agencies to invest in staff retention strategies to help them keep their best talent in a competitive marketplace.


'Brexit was also a key theme of last year’s survey, with 84% of agency owners admitting to opposing the UK’s departure from the European Union. At the time, more than half (52%) were yet to notice any knock-on effect on their businesses. This year’s survey will explore in more detail what the impact has been on agencies since the referendum result.'


This year’s survey will also lift the lid on how agencies price and how they make profit, including charging structures and the different hourly rates charged for different levels of expertise. The Wow Company also delve into the split between retainers and projects, including the average size of each.

The survey will also shed light on another hot topic for agencies right now - artificial intelligence - asking questions about how agencies are currently using this technology and their plans for using it in the future.

Peter Czapp, Co-Founder of The Wow Company, is excited to see this year's results. “It’s fantastic to see how much BenchPress has grown over the last six years. It started with the aim of being able to take an accurate snapshot of agency life in the UK and to share insight and analysis with ambitious agency owners. With the previous six years worth of data to draw on, we’re now able to analyse trends, make predictions and share what the UK’s top-performing agencies are doing differently to the rest.”

Agency owners can take the survey here and be first to see the results: https://benchpress.uk.com

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