How to Start a Marketing Firm

A marketing firm is responsible for making sure that businesses and service providers receive the exposure they need to attract clients, among other things. If you want to start a marketing firm, you'll need plenty of quality contacts, an outgoing personality, and a flair for evaluating business needs.

Decide on a Niche

Decide on a niche for your marketing firm. What type of marketing will you specialize in? Who is your target market? Often, marketing professionals who specialize are more successful than those who generalize, and it will give you an opportunity to become an expert in a particular industry.

Apply for a business license and an EIN (Employer Identification Number) for tax purposes. This will allow you to operate your marketing firm legally in your state, and will prepare you for opening your doors.

Contact people with whom you have worked in the past and let them know that you are starting a marketing firm. One of the biggest aspects of this business is networking, which means getting the word out that you are offering your services.

Establish an organization and accounting system that allows you to keep track of your financials: invoices, receipts, expenses and so on. You can do this on paper or electronically, but make sure your system is one that you will use consistently.

Determine whether or not to hire employees. In most cases, a marketing firm needs at least three or four people at start-up, with more added as the company grows. Since much of your business will be consultative, you'll need to have sufficient time to meet with clients, brainstorm and implement new ideas. Support staff, such as administrative assistants, are invaluable.

Develop tools to help brand your marketing firm. Letterhead, business cards, brochures, flyers, postcards and other implements can help spread the word and present a professional image.

Learn as much as you can about the niche market you've chosen before starting a marketing firm. For example, will you be focusing on business-to-business or business-to-consumer marketing? Do you know the lingo for the industries in this market? And can you offer effective marketing services to efficiently improve your clients' efforts?


  • Put your best foot forward with a snazzy home or storefront office that exudes success even before you've attained it. Focus on customer service so that you can retain repeat clients and earn word-of-mouth business. This is essential for a marketing firm.