Why The 2022 Recession Is The Biggest Growth Opportunity For Small Agencies For Decades

Oliver Duffy-Lee
August 15, 2022
5 min Read

“The fragile wants tranquility, the antifragile grows from disorder, and the robust doesn't care too much.”

Nassim Taleb

Three Futures

There are three futures available to you in the upcoming recession.

Your business could die - the red line.

You could survive - the orange line.

You could thrive - the green line.

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Image Credit: Simon Bowen's Futures Model

The tragedy is that most small agencies don't see the green line - it's invisible to them.

I'm here to tell you that the green line is not only available to you... This recession may be the best opportunity for growth that you will see for the next 10 years and beyond.

To capitalise on it, however, you have to aim higher.

Aiming Higher

The number one reason that agencies don't grow fast enough, or at all, is they aim too low with the clients that target and work with.

They work with clients that don't have the ambition or budget to allow them to do their best work, or maximise their profit.

If you want to grow quickly, you have to aim for clients that you feel may be 'out of your league' and you need to back yourself (and do everything in your power) to get those clients incredible results.

This is the case in any economy... But right now there is a situation developing that means this strategy has just become far more feasible.

For Example:

Right now there are national and international brands that are happy to pay £15,000+ for their social media retainers... I know, it's hard to believe, but this is the situation.

Many of those brands are seeing, or are about to see, a drop into their sales volume and their average order value... Simply because customers are spending less.

When this happens, will those companies stop marketing? No.

But will they want to spend less on their marketing? Yes.

All of a sudden, a client who usually works with TWA or Edelman, may start to question the huge fees they pay for their social and PR. All of a sudden, they may start to look at smaller agencies, who are equally as talented to do their marketing for them....

In short, due to the recession, you now have access to a level of client that you never thought was in reach.

This opportunity won't be around for long, and it won't come around again for a while.

So how do you capitalise?

Mindset Is Everything

You need to play offence and not defence in this recession. See it as a growth opportunity, not a survival threat.

Tactically, this means aim higher:

If you normally target companies with a headcount of 11-50, aim for 51-200.

If you normally target companies with an anual turnover of $1m+, aim for $2.5m+.

This is you opportunity to fast-track your agency by 5 years in the next 6 months...

But there is one catch.

You Need To Be Fit

Your agency needs to be in shape...

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Solid marketing systems.

Good lead generation methods to book appointments.

First class, and repeatable sales process.

Great onboarding.

Reliable delivery.

You need to be ready to capitalise.

This is your chance to step up, and you need to be fit and ready to take advantage.

This is a once in a decade opportunity.

It's up to you to seize it.

“Difficulty is what wakes up the genius”

Nassim Taleb.

Becoming An Authority Agency

For those of you that don't know me, I'm Oliver Duffy-Lee and I run a company called Authority Agency.

Our mission is simple, we want to help as many scale-up agencies to reach and win high quality international clients as we possibly can, whilst also helping the founders to get more time back in their life at the same time.

If that sounds like you, there are 3 ways we can help you immediately.

The OD-L Podcast

Every day I share my thoughts and insights I have from working in the agency world for over 10 years - each episode is always less than 10 minutes.

You can check that out here: https://open.spotify.com/show/4n7hdfxdRYMz0XAWd06JPQ

Free Training

We also run a free Facebook Group and every week we put new training in there for all of our members.

You can join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/authority


Agency Growth Audit

If you want to move faster, you can book an Agency Growth Audit with one of our Scale Specialists. It's a super-quick, free call where we'll help outline what's slowing your growth and show you what's possible in the next 90 days.

If that's you, can you book here: https://www.authorityagency.co.uk/book-a-call

I'm very happy to be here on your journey to building the agency of your dreams.

If you ever need any advice, send me a DM.

To your success,


Oliver Duffy-Lee
Authority Agency