If there is one thing I can say with absolute conviction its that a small agency will out perform a large agency on a multitude of factors, this is mainly based on the culture. The culture of a small agency breeds creative innovation, and designer ownership of projects in a way that big agencies can’t. In a small agency collaboration is key in pooling skill sets to get the best outcome, in larger agencies often a creative designer may never speak directly to a client or to the account team. I know this because I’ve worked for large agencies and have been the owner of a small boutique creative agency for over 17 years. Fresco Creative isn’t one of the big guns but we’re happy about that and our clients like it that way too! There are many reasons why smaller agencies out trump large, I’ve broken this down to 3 main reasons.
1. Humble Beginnings = Create Great Outcomes Smaller agencies usually come from humble beginnings, Fresco for example has come a long way since starting up in a spare bedroom back in 1999. Since then we’ve built a successful, well-known agency and have helped countless businesses small and large with their design and advertising. From these humble beginnings we have maintained our hands on, personalised service. Mostly though success as a small agency has come from taking creative risks and being innovative, cookie cutter solutions for our clients would be detrimental to our survival. We don’t have a large number of staff pigeon holed into various roles and isolated from clients and each other. Collaboration is King, which means its not unusual for a client to deal direct with the owner of the company or with the designer working on their project. With smaller agencies the owners are hands on in all facets of the business, this means you will be dealing direct with the passion and focus that created and drives the business. Keeping clients happy is a matter of survival.
2. You’re Not Paying for the Fancy City Office just Resourceful Creative Smaller agencies often have the need to employ more senior staff, as there is less staff on board, resources available need to be experienced and expert. In addition designers of smaller agencies need to have more of a diversity of skill sets, it’s not possible just to be a digital designer or a print designer, there needs to be a wide range of skills and abilities which creates flexibility and resourcefulness. In our agency for example our design team have well over 15 years experience and have often come from larger creative agencies. This means you are getting big agency expertise and resources at smaller boutique fees. This is due to the fact that in smaller agencies overheads are lower so you get far more bang for your buck, in the end your fees aren’t paying from the Director’s BMW and fancy high profile city office, just great ideas and fantastic service. In smaller agencies we can do a lot more for much less. The success of a small agency is completely dependent on innovative creative ideas and you can bet your bottom dollar the owner will be ensuring only the best ideas reach you the client.
3. We’re Flexible, We Understand the Start Up and the Corporate Giant Boutique agencies don’t out price the smaller guy, infact we love a start up business, we understand the passion and drive to grow a great idea into a thriving business because we have done this ourselves. We want to help you reach your goals of building your business from the ground up. We also understand not everyone has a large marketing budget and we are happy to be flexible to help create great creative, infact its usually the smaller to medium businesses that have the juiciest creative projects. In saying that we are just as happy dealing with multinational corporations who need corporate style guides to be followed and protocols to be adhered to. Having come from this corporate background we get you, we’ve been there too! Big or small you will feel like a small agencies most important client, because probably you are!
To sum up a smaller agency will give you more bang for your buck with the same level of experience and expertise and a whole lot more personalised service and passion then the larger agencies. There’s flexibility and understanding that’s often missing from the larger agencies and you can be assured that the owner of the agency is totally across your project in a way that cant be matched by an employee hired in a similar role. In a small agency there are no small cogs in a big machine, its innovation and taking creative risks that give smaller agencies their edge and ensures survival, by both attracting the best staff and keeping clients returning for more. Churn and burn projects are the domain of the larger agencies who need to cover their much larger overheads with “safe” projects. It makes good sense to consider using a boutique agency for your next project, I believe hands down they are a better choice when looking at all your creative needs be it branding, print, digital or advertising/media. If the above has been of interest to you please like, share or comment!