Whether you’re a small business owner, product inventor or maybe even an R&D or marketing manager within a larger organisation, at some point you’ll probably be faced with the need to hire an external agency or consultant to assist with a project.
You may be reluctant to hire a consultancy. There may be some thoughts going through your mind:
- Agencies are expensive
- The consultant will take over the project and change its direction
- I had a bad experience with ‘ABC agency’ and it’s put me off using anyone else
Let’s face it, a lot of us have had experiences in the past with the ‘wrong’ agency.
But the truth is, when you find the RIGHT agency; they naturally become an extension of your organisation. They increase your workforce, skills and experience, and can even reduce the cost of your project.
So, if you’re asking yourself: do I really need to hire external resource? Take a look at some of the benefits of using the right agency:
1.) EXTRA RESOURCE WHEN YOUR INTERNAL TEAM IS STRETCHED
This is perhaps the most obvious benefit to hiring an outside agency. Quite often, R&D and marketing teams are stretched working on current projects. Add in internal meetings, calls, emails, other office distractions (including colleagues!) and it’s no surprise that a lot of teams are often at breaking point. When you have an important project, a new product development or an important product marketing launch, hiring an outside agency with the capacity to focus on the job in hand without distraction can release the pressure on your internal team. The outcome is a speedier project with better results.
2.) NOT LIMITED BY COMPANY CULTURE OR PAST PROJECTS
Innovation is limited by our past experiences. Your internal team is highly skilled but they may be influenced by previous projects, or they may be reluctant to push boundaries in fear of disturbing the status quo. An outside consultant can expand horizons; they aren’t bound by your company culture. This may mean some of their ideas are a bit “out there” but it’s good to break the rules sometimes.
3.) THEY CAN BRING FRESH IDEAS TO THE TABLE
Building on from the previous point, a good consultancy will bring new ideas to your company, after all, what are you paying them for? They may improve the design of the product or marketing campaign by suggesting ideas otherwise not thought of by your internal team. They’ll have had different experiences to your team, perhaps in different industries, which will bring new ways of thinking to the project.
4.) THEY WORK TO A DEFINED PROCESS
A good product design or marketing consultant will have an efficient working process with specific stages (take a look at our design and marketing processes). This will help to keep the project running to date, and may even help to reduce overall timescales.
5.) THEY HAVE ACCESS TO TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
Depending on the project, you may want the agency staff to use your equipment and software, but a decent agency will have their own professional equipment setup. This means that they can work either remotely or in your office, depending on your needs. A good consultancy will have a full suite of professional equipment that you may not have, such as 3D printers, enabling you to have prototypes made quickly for a reduced cost.
6.) THEY HAVE VALUABLE CONNECTIONS
Agencies work on lots of different projects and in doing so build a wide network of contacts. Their connections can be valuable to your project; they may help to reduce costs of materials, tooling, or perhaps advertising costs. They may have contacts at various publications to help with PR. As well saving money, these connections may also help to increase the scope on product designs.
7.) SUPPORT SERVICES ALL UNDER ONE ROOF
A holistic agency (like us!) will look at your whole product portfolio, design and marketing needs. They can support you along the whole product lifecycle – from concept to market launch and beyond – so that everything you need is all under one roof from one agency. This can be more effective (and cheaper!) than using multiple agencies for different areas of support.
8.) THEY CAN ACTUALLY REDUCE PROJECT COSTS
Hiring an agency can reduce timescales, open up connections to a wider network of suppliers and increase scope of design. All of this can actually help to reduce overall costs – result!
We’d love to hear your experiences of hiring agencies – do you have mostly positive or negative experiences?