Choosing your new web development agency is a big deal. A variety of factors probably will influence your decision, and it's up to you to decide what to prioritize. But we have one tip for you: don't go with large agencies over their smaller counterparts just because you think bigger is better.
In fact, the opposite can be true. Choosing a small shop may surprise you with just what you can get out of it. More specifically, here are 4 reasons a boutique agency will be better for your web development needs than a big agency.
1) Client Prioritization
Let's begin with the most important point. At a boutique shop, you know your business will be a priority. Can you really say the same for a large agency in which your web development project is just one of countless others?
Without a doubt, large agencies have incredibly talented people working for them. But these agency 'stars' will be working on the accounts that bring the most money to the agency. Especially as a smaller business, your account will get ignored and de-prioritized in the process.
Contrast that with a boutique agency, which by default prioritizes every client. Here, you'll have more direct contact with the decision makers at the shop, and you can be sure that your project gets the attention it deserves.
2) High Degree of Creativity
Boutique agencies also have more flexibility than their larger counterparts. Rather than occupying incredibly specialized roles within the web development pipeline, each employee has to have at least a working understanding of the entire development process and jump in at different stages as needed.
That flexibility, in turn, breeds creativity. As Advertising Age points out, small agencies can focus on client needs rather than their own short-term net margin. They can shift roles and deliverables based on the target audience, not the internal business model.
Web development is a complex process and one that may run into many roadblocks along the way. When that happens, do you want someone working on your project that only knows their specific role or someone who can troubleshoot and come up with creative solutions to best suit your business and website needs?
3) Identical Resources
A common reason for web development clients to choose big agencies is the perception that in making this choice, they will have access to more resources that help complete the project. But in our digital age, that's no longer the case.
In fact, much of what the agency needs to successfully develop your website, from coding resources all the way to testing, is now easily available online. A large agency may woo you with promises of large, in-house market research contingencies, but do you really need to pay for that if you can get the same thing outsourced by a boutique shop?
4) Lower Overhead Means Lower Cost
Finally, let's discuss the price. You may think that small agencies cost more but in reality, the opposite can be the case. Large web development agencies know about their stature in the industry and leverage their own brand equity to charge higher prices. They know clients are willing to pay more for an agency that has developed the new Walmart website than they would for one that just redesigned the online presence of a local grocery store.
But this prestige does not necessarily mean better quality. Compare Walmart's site closely with that of the local grocery store, and the difference may be minimal. Large agencies charge high overhead fees not because of their quality, but because of their reputation. At a boutique agency, you pay less for a product that's potentially the same price.
During your decision process of selecting a web development agency, you’ll likely have many aspects to consider. Agency size should be one of them, but not for the reason you think; in fact, a boutique shop may be better able to help you meet your business needs.