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The Advantages of working with a smaller design and development team for your startup

By Alec Harrison

January 25, 2023

When it comes to designing and developing a web application for your startup, you have a few options: you can hire an in-house team, work with a large agency, partner with a smaller design and development agency, or hire a freelancer. Each option has its own set of pros and cons, but in this blog post, we'll be focusing on why working with a smaller agency may be the best choice for your startup.

Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/02SDUKEZMzU
Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/02SDUKEZMzU

Flexibility

Smaller agencies are typically more nimble and able to adapt to changes in direction or scope. This can be especially important for startups, which often need to pivot as they learn more about their customers and market. The ability to pivot quickly can be vital for a startup's success. A smaller agency can quickly adjust to a change in project direction, whereas a larger agency may have a more rigid process in place, which can slow down the process. We collaborate with our clients on a weekly basis using design tools such as Figma. We typically help manage the product management process, ensuring that we’re focused only on features that support the business goals and objectives such as user conversion and retention.

Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/JhU0w96iKoY
Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/JhU0w96iKoY

Specialization

Smaller agencies often specialize in specific areas of web development, such as user experience (UX) design or e-commerce. This can be a major advantage for startups that need specialized expertise to help them stand out from the competition. A specialized agency can bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to your project, which can be particularly beneficial for a startup that is trying to establish itself in a crowded market. We decided to focus on product strategy, design, and development for interactive websites, mobile and web applications, and software.

Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/A4CCLJYVflo
Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/A4CCLJYVflo

Cost-effectiveness

Hiring an in-house team can be expensive, especially for startups that are just getting off the ground. Smaller agencies, on the other hand, often have lower overhead costs, which can make them more affordable for startups with limited budgets. Additionally, a smaller agency may be more willing to work with a startup on an as-needed basis, which can be more cost-effective than hiring an in-house team. We happened to launch VisualBoston right before COVID-19 lockdown and it‘s one of the main reasons we ended up building a fully-remote and global team. This has given us an opportunity to work across many different cultures and improve our trust and communication while being fully remote. We do meet once per year in person at our annual retreat, but the rest of our expenses are invested back into the team’s skills and creative solutions to provide the best quality and service for our clients.

Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/uXuXXHDgMdM
Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/uXuXXHDgMdM

Access to a network of experts

Smaller agencies often have a network of experts that they can call on for specialized work, such as SEO, content creation, and branding. This can give startups access to a wider range of expertise than they would be able to afford with an in-house team. A smaller agency may have a pool of experts that they have worked with in the past, which can be beneficial for a startup that needs to tap into multiple areas of expertise. With over a decade of experience under our belts, we've meticulously curated a network of elite experts, available to empower our clients' success. Our network ranges from skilled freelancers to larger agencies.

Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/pumko2FFxY0
Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/pumko2FFxY0

Stronger relationships

Smaller agencies tend to have closer working relationships with their clients than larger agencies. This can be beneficial for startups, as it can lead to better communication and more effective collaboration. A smaller agency is more likely to be invested in the success of your project and therefore may be more responsive to your needs. We pride ourselves in treating our client’s projects as if they were our own. We tend to get to know our clients on a more personal level which we’ve found increases trust, ultimately enabling us to move faster and smarter as a team creating an end product that we can all be proud of.

Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/OYzbqk2y26c
Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/OYzbqk2y26c

Industry knowledge

Smaller agencies often have a more comprehensive understanding of industry trends and best practices. They are more likely to be aware of the latest technologies and design trends, which can be beneficial for a startup that wants to stay ahead of the curve. We are specialized experts that are constantly challenging ourselves to increase our skills and learn new things. We are passionate about this and are up-to-date with best practices so that you don’t have to be.

Overall, working with a smaller design and development agency can be a great choice for startups that need to be agile, cost-effective, and able to tap into specialized expertise. By partnering with a smaller agency, startups can focus on what they do best – developing their product and building their business – while leaving the web development to the experts.

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