Web agencies are becoming increasingly specialized, and this is a good thing. But at the same time, their customers’ needs are getting broader and more generalized while requiring more and more expertise to properly fulfill.
The average customer expects more from his or her web agency than ever before. Yet at the same time, web technologies are narrowing down into increasingly fragmented niches.
Developing your expertise in one key area is absolutely necessary for today’s environment, but there is another step you must take before you can truly establish your agency. You have to avoid chaotic, decentralized multi-agency projects and offer managed solutions that put you in charge.
The Pitfalls of Multi-Agency Projects
In today’s web development industry, specialization pays off. There is no more room for the jack-of-all-trades webmaster. Customers want to hire the very best, and they will do diligent research to find out which agencies deliver the best results.
Specialization, for all it’s worth, does not solve customer problems on its own. This is why customers often hire multiple agencies to coordinate on a single project.
From a customer’s point of view, web design and development is similar to photography in this sense. A serious entrepreneur opening an e-commerce store won’t hire a wedding photographer for product photos. Similarly, a wedding planner probably won’t hire a product photographer to create framed portraits of the bride and groom.
For web developers, this means that your agency will quickly be typecast into a certain role. If you know everything there is to know about react.js, that’s great – but your customer probably wants more than a user interface.
This means that you’ll end up working with a team of other agencies, all entrusted with different parts of the project. Unless the customer in question is an expert project manager, you will probably have little more than a clearly defined goal to meet.
This leads to confusion since there is no clear consensus or decision-making policy in place. If a project’s web designer, web developer, AdWords team, and SEO expert are all on different pages, inefficiency runs rampant and threatens the entire project.
If a few members of this ad-hoc team are in different time zones or don’t have a full technical understanding of what the others are doing, the project quickly derails. It’s only a matter of time before it deteriorates into recrimination and finger-pointing.
Managed Solutions Address the Specialization Problem
Customers who want the very best will always choose specialists over generalists. But web development projects are complex, and it doesn’t take much before you end up with too many cooks in the kitchen.
The key to completing bigger, more rewarding projects is effective management. Usually, customers quickly learn not to overlook this crucial aspect.
But not all customers have the time or talent to manage a complex technical project. This is where someone in the team has to step up. If you want to earn the lion’s share of the reward for the work and earn your customers’ return business long-term, that person should be you.
If you offer your customers a managed, full-scale solution that goes beyond the skills and resources you personally bring to the table, you can establish yourself as a trusted “go-to” problem-solver.
But how can you offer complete, full-scale solutions without being seen as a generalist, jack-of-all-trades web agency? The answer is through team-building and effective management.
This means you have to spend time putting together a team. You need a bench of partners that you can work with – so that instead of leaving your customer to choose the designers, developers, and marketers for a project, you are able to offer a handpicked team right from the start.
If you choose the right people for your team and sell their specialist expertise successfully, you will graduate from performing small tasks for big customers to taking on big projects on your own. You will be your customers’ primary point of contact, and you will spend most of your time making sure your team members complete their tasks successfully.
Good Management Makes All the Difference
At first glance, it might seem like giving up coding to manage projects is not an attractive outlook. If you got into web development because you like developing websites, spending the majority of your time managing other developers may not seem rewarding.
But the fact is that if you enjoy the challenge of learning new things and creating web solutions for customers, this approach will free up your time so that you can do more of the things you enjoy. Otherwise, you will end up wasting a great deal of time trying to accommodate your customers’ needs all by yourself – and it won’t always work out.
The key to maintaining the appropriate balance between your workload, your team’s responsibilities, and your personal life is good management. If you learn how to become an effective project manager, you will be able to set and follow deadlines, schedule project essentials, and create comprehensive design briefs.
This will give you more time to complete your goals, grow your business, and dedicate your own workload to the things you do best. At the same time, it will establish your as a capable, competent leader that serves its customers’ needs to the letter, and never backs down from a challenge.
Want to get started on the path to growing your agency through great management? There is no better place to start than with Ugurus Bootcamp. This course will provide the basics you need to start managing your agency more efficiently.
UnlimitedWP Can Help
The managed solutions path is the best way to solve multi-agency confusion while optimizing project headroom and keeping customers happy. This is the path that UnlimitedWP has taken for years, and it has put the team in contact with a broad range of highly skilled specialists.
For our part, we focus exclusively on WordPress and PHP. It’s what we do best, and our partners reward us with projects that make use of our highly specialized talent in that area. As a managed solutions provider, you can rely on our expertise to complete beautiful experiences for your customers.
Need help building your resource bench? Consider UnlimitedWP your go-to WordPress and PHP developer. Talk to us about white label web development today!