Sydney L!VE - Chris Howatson on the benefits of saying NO

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 23 May 2023
Chris Howatson

Chris Howatson, the founder of Howatson+Company, the AdNews Independent Agency of the Year, is a great believer in knocking back accounts.

The former CEO of CHE Proximity, who launched his own agency in 2021, spoke today at AdNews Sydney L!VE, Indie-Pendence Day, in support of independent agencies.

“The temptation, particularly as a new business, is to say yes to everything, any opportunity that comes in,” he said.

“And sometimes you feel so chuffed that someone wants to think about you as being part of the pitch that you say Yes. Even if you know full well that you're an outlier in that process.”

He said that no is important, whether it's rejecting a values misalignment or a work misalignment.

Howatson says independent agencies generally have lower costs than global holding groups, meaning roughly a 10% advantage in terms of money.

This means independent can invest more in its advantage.

“Independent agencies typically run a lower cost base because they don't have the same operating costs and no central office charge,” Howatson says.

“There's no expensive people that don't do any contribution to the business, all of those kinds of things.

“If you are a $30 million business, that 10 point variation (10% costs versus 20%) is going to give you $3 million worth of freedom.”

Thank you to our supporting partners: AMOBEE/UNRULY , Foxcatcher, PubMatic, StackAdapt. Associate partners: blis, JUSTEGGS, MIQ, Quantcast. And friend of AdNews: IMAA.

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