Small fish, big pond…
There are great large design agencies and there are great small design agencies. Reactive Graphics are a great small (but experienced) design agency and we’re not biased (well perhaps a tad) but it’s only because we have seen how other agencies function and we believe a small agency is truly where the magic happens.
This blog aims to address why and how a small design agency can still pack the same powerful punch as a large design agency when delivering work for big clients.
The big city
Web Design in London is a competitive market. London is bursting with thousands of design agencies battling it out to offer the best proposals and gain long term relationships with high profile clients. A big brand client who is well known can make a small design agency soar and burst into popularity sometimes seemingly overnight. A small agency can offer a large client a bespoke service with a dedicated individual (or small team) who will live and breathe the project right through to completion.
But it’s not all about being popular, because often those once small agencies (who suddenly chose popularity over precision) invest so much into these large projects that the way that they naturally function is just no longer viable.
So it is all about balance.
Large clients should and do often take quite some time searching for the best proposals and quotes that they think will work best for their projects. One benefit of choosing a small agency is that they are likely to give you back that time and attention to detail that you gave in the search for the agency with the best fit.
Why is time so important?
Time can often be the difference between a well executed, thoroughly engaged project and a rushed, careless attempt at a project.
Both parties need time to meet, time to make sure you are both on the same page, time to offer ideas and support and time to get to know exactly what your expectations of the project are. Time well spent in the early stages can be time saved in the development stages.
The partnership between a small design agency and a large client is a critical relationship to nuture. Over time, if this can develop into a long-term partnership then there will be a mutual understanding of expectations, timelines and overall execution, meaning that projects will develop quickly, with minimal problems and better overall results.
It can be quite difficult for a small agency to gain an impressive reputation, simply due to the amount of time/budget they have to pump into marketing their work. A small team might struggle to find time to maintain a brilliant portfolio and constantly up-to-date online presence for themselves however this doesn’t mean that they don’t have the experience and references that you might need in order to back up what they say they can give you. You might just have to ask if its not there right in front of you. It is worth finding the agency that not only has the experience and expertise you require but to find people who you can imagine working with.
Why a relationship between a small agency and a big client works:
- Small design agencies can offer tailor made services
The thing with small agencies is that they generally do not have too many complicated guidelines that they need to stick to in order to keep each aspect of the work progressing. Small agencies tend to be able to communicate ideas clearly and efficiently due to their close knit relationships and clarity of the working process. This means that every single project within a small agency can be tailor made to your exact requirements. In bigger agencies ideas can often get lost in translation, meaning that complications can arise and it becomes tricky to follow through with consistently high quality work.
- The whole project can be followed through by the same person
When commissioning a small agency to produce work for you it is likely that you will be assigned one team member for all correspondence. This means that even if other team members are working on your project you can always be assured that you will be able to contact someone who has control and knowledge of the progress of the project as a whole. In small agencies, usually each team member is competent adjusting and adapting to different roles within the company, this makes the agency as a whole very flexible and dynamic.
- They know who they are, so they can represent you better
A small agency usually has to have quite a firm handle on who they are, and what they are about before they can approach big clients. This usually means that they know their boundaries as well as their areas of expertise and will offer you a service that is achievable. Small agencies are also less likely to take on too much work, meaning that your project won’t suffer as they often have a deeper understanding of their timescales and availability.
- Small agencies offers greater support to one another and therefore you
Small agencies are usually made up of professional creative people who can adapt and support each aspect of the design process. There will be specialist employed for specific tasks however the team is usually made up of extremely versatile and talented individuals. Within these teams there maybe a difference in taste, style and background, this offers a variety of ideas and approaches meaning that your work will be more likely to advance quickly from project pitch to product without the pressure of too many voices.
Equal give and take
It is important for large companies not to think they are doing a small agency a favour by choosing to work with them. It is also important that a small agency doesn’t put all their eggs in one basket with a large client. It is about having a mutual understanding and developing a relationship that allows the best work possible to be created. At the end of the day a small agency who produces great work for anyone, whether it be a large or small client will still apply the same heart and soul to the job in the hope that the work will stand alone as an impressive product.
Three things a large client can offer a small agency
- the ability to name drop
This may seem silly but often a name is all it takes. It is usual for large agencies who have large clients to list those clients along with the other big brands in their portfolio and it barely means anything to them. For a small agency, having a large client can be a really boost their credibility, even if it is just a name to mention in passing.
- the ability to be creative
Often large clients just don’t have the time to pour a lot of enthusiasm and ideas into their web design projects, so they can really benefit from working with a small creative design agency. The agency is often offered a lot of freedom over the design, functionality and overall aesthetics of the website which allows them to really thrive and do what they do best.
- a long-term relationship
It is sometimes difficult for a small agency to keep afloat in the quieter months, so a large client can often be a valuable source of ongoing work. This prospect ensures that the agency will work extremely hard to maintain and nurture this relationship. The give and take continues.
Big Clients that we have worked for
We worked with TFL to develop a newsletter and e-shot to keep fellow London dwellers up-to-date with the latest travel news.
Citibase are a large business centre provider in the UK. We redesigned and developed a new website for them that is responsive and optimised across all devices and browsers.
A new client! Watch this space for new projects and web development for the world famous LSE.
Phoenix Spree are quite a small company in terms of people but that have a massive client base and later on in the year they will be entered into the Stock Exchange’s Main Market for listed securities.
Design agencies far and wide have got a lot to offer big clients and lets be honest those big jobs are worth fighting for- but be sure to watch out for the underdog, the small agency with big ideas, delivering awesome results.
If you would like any more information about how small agencies work, or if you would like to employ us for your next job then please get in touch.