If you start your own KitchenTable agency your top priority will be to get clients.

However, before you set about finding them, you should answer these three fundamental questions about your business:

1. What’s the mission?

Mission statements are a must-have for any modern business, and a good one will drive your business and ensure that you stand out. Because your mission statement is a reference point for everything you do though, a poor one could also ruin you.

It took me around three years before I got around to producing one for my agency Write Arm. When I did it, I made up for lost time by making it wildly ambitious. It was for the agency to become the writing resource of choice for all UK marketers.

Crazy? Maybe, but it gave me something to aim for, and when you’re working alone that’s crucial.

2. What are the selling points?

To really differentiate your agency, you’ll need to address its selling points. Make a list of all of the criteria that might attract a client to hiring an agency like yours. They will include things like pricing, the breadth of services on offer and the range of industry niches covered.

Next, work out which of those criteria you score highly on and which not. Remember that a low score isn’t necessarily bad. For example, if you only serve one industry niche, you will stand a great chance of attracting clients from within that niche.

At the end of the process you will ideally have three or four really strong selling points. That’s easily enough – you needn’t worry too much about all the other points.

3. What’s the proposition?

Your proposition should not be a statement of your services. Rather it should encapsulate your selling points.

Produce a long version of around 100 words (your elevator pitch) and a short one on now more than six (your strapline).

The strapline that I eventually settled upon for Write Arm was ‘A flexible writing resource for marketers.’ It wasn’t very snappy, but it was sticky – clients got it and, better still, they liked it.

Over to you…

Please don’t be tempted to ignore these questions. I did and it really held back my agency.

I’ve produced an expanded version of this article here on Medium.