With affordable technology and large networks of collaborators, is there a reason to go with a big agency over a smaller, more agile agency?
I’ve been on all sides of this equation over my 17 years in the biz. I’ve worked at firms large and small, freelanced, worked in-house, worked with outside agencies, and now I have a small firm that competes against big agencies. There are many reasons why an independent designer or small firm is much better for your business; let’s take a look at some of the best.
If an agency uses size as a differentiator, run away in my article titled “TheFull-Service Fallacy” Idetailt positioning and why size doesn’t equate good. In summary, bigger is not better, better is better, and different is better. With a large agency, much of the cost goes toward their massive bottom line. Pay for great work that will help your business, not a fancy office you visit once or twice during sales.
Smaller firms, like Propr, have extensive networks that allow us to build teams based on our client’s budgets and needs. I have other indy dev shops and freelance developers I use on web projects. Often, Propr is hired to just design, no marketing or development, but if the need comes up, we can certainly build the perfect team and deliver great work. I have marketing people, content creators, photographers, videographers, production artists, etc., to pull into a project as needed. There is a huge benefit to this model. My clients aren’t stuck with my team on staff, and I’m not stuck with big overhead. Instea,d I build the perfect dream team for what my clients need.
One of the most frustrating things a big agency can do to a client is the bait and switch. The B+S is when the agency puts a fancy creative director (I’ve been that guy) in front of you during the sales process and meetings, but a junior-level designer is the one doing the work. Agencies that bill hourly do this because it is how they make more money per project. The young designer is likely making $25 per hour while they charge you $175 per hour, and you end up gettingjunior-levell creative. That sucks.
Hiring a small firm like Propr gets you a senior-level designer, creative director, and consultant that will work closely and directly with your business and actually do the majority of the designing. This is one of the reasons why we don’t prescribe solutions until wemakeo a diagnosis. On the contrary, agencies want to sell the project and figure it out from there.
If your business needs a new website or brand identity work, you can hire a full-time creative to join your team at over six figures a year. Or you can hire a large agency that focuses on the sale more than the service. Or you can partner with a small firm or independent designer that will bring greater value to your business and a larger return for your investment.
I started Propr to offer expertise in designing brand identities and websites.
I work with businesses per project and on retainer to bring creativity, dialogue, and results to your projects. I have a user-centered design process that focuses on the people in your audience while ensuring the designs help achieve your business goals and brand aspirations.