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Navigating Success: Business Strategy for Design & Web Development Services

Navigating Success: Business Strategy for Design & Web Development Services

This month, we had a fantastic opportunity to sit down with three other agencies to discuss business development and strategies for agencies. It was a unique chance to delve into the practical intricacies of the industry and beyond, offering valuable insights into the strategies and challenges encountered by business developers and managers.

The speakers joining the discussion were

Although we all have similar ways of working, we all have our particularities, and it was inspiring to see common ground and to explore our differences.

We had a very transparent and insightful discussion on the drivers of success for new businesses focused on design and engineering. We went from identifying your ideal type of client, outreach approaches, business development strategies, collaboration models and how we have adapted the business during the current economic crisis.

A few take-outs of the 1-hour chat we had were:

  • Having your ideal type of client well-established will help you fine-tune your strategy.

Well, this is business development one-one. If you are selling a service, a product or whatever, you need to know to whom you will be selling. More than that, this will help you have a clear set of criteria to qualify leads.

  • You must ensure the client is a good fit for you beyond budget and technical requirements.

It is important that you thoroughly evaluate a potential client beyond their budget and technical requirements to ensure that they are a good fit for your company. For instance, if your team thrives on fast pacing, iterations, and feedback, you must choose a client willing to do the same. Social compatibility can also play a significant role in your business relationship with the client. As Rui Sereno mentioned during the event, at Significa, they prefer clients with whom they can socialize over a beer.

While it may be challenging, it is crucial to guarantee that the client will not cause any future stress or negatively impact your team's morale. Now and then, you will have to make exceptions. Try to ensure this new relationship aligns with your company's values and culture as much as possible.

  • Cold Outreach is a challenging approach when we are selling a service.

Hiring an agency is like going into a marriage. You should have time to build a relationship and get to know each other. Creating specific proposals for targeted leads will mean massive hours of work and investment, and it can be very frustrating. Trying to approach a client for a first casual meeting over a coffee can help you establish a solid foundation for a fruitful relationship.

  • Open-source projects and awards are a great way to build a reputation and bring awareness to your agency.

As an agency, having a portfolio and customer reviews are essential to drive new business. But let's face it - it's not enough to build a solid reputation. You need to take things up a notch to stand out from the competition. One way to do this is by applying your projects to awards, especially for design.

Encouraging your team to build and contribute to open-source projects can be a good approach. This will not only help to promote your team's work in the tech scene but also improve their skills along the way. Plus, it might even give you a head start when approaching new potential clients or starting a new collaboration.

  • Investing in a marketing team is strategic to achieve your business goals

Working with a marketing team can be incredibly valuable for your brand. They can help you develop a strong positioning strategy and showcase your work in a clear and elegant manner.

It was interesting to see that both Significa and Pixelmatters have started to invest more in marketing in recent years. The good results were precise, and they agree this is an essential step towards building a well-known brand and reputation for your agency.

  • Collaboration models agencies use are very similar and related to how software development works.

One thing was evident among all agencies in the event: fixed prices are not the best way to work when designing and developing web products and software. Alternative pricing models provide more flexibility and value for both the agencies and their clients.

When building digital products, you need to be able to adapt and pivot. The Time and Materials approach can better accommodate the evolving needs and requirements of the client’s needs, ensuring that the final product is of the highest quality.

As Victoria from Evil Martians highlighted, you have 3 main pillars for product development: Money, time and scope. And you can’t fix all of them. If you set money and time, you must adapt the project’s scope.

  • Communication and managing expectations are critical to a successful delivery and a happy customer.

Transparent and fluid communication will strengthen your relationship with your client, making it easier to manage expectations and avoid potential misunderstandings and issues.

Try to deliver as often as possible so the client has something to see and work with. Never underestimate sharing your status and going on regular calls with your client.

  • The recent economic crises can mean a change in the way agencies work, but also an opportunity.

Last but not least, we discussed the challenges agencies are facing in the current uncertain environment. We all acknowledged that this may require a change in how we approach IT work, and agencies will need to adapt to the new reality. However, we also agreed with Victoria from Evil Martians when she said that chaos can be an opportunity for those who know how to navigate it. You can watch the video of our discussion on our YouTube channel by clicking on the link provided.

You can watch the video of our discussion on our YouTube channel:

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