You are a small business owner or a professional and you need to redesign your website. You’re not sure how much you’ll need to pay. Most importantly you’re not even sure how much value you’ll get from the redesign.
In the back of your mind you know you expect to invest between 5’000€/$ and 10’000€/$.
The problem is: the company/freelancer that made your existing site is out of business and now you need to find another service provider.
So you ask for recommendations to friends and partners. Then you reach out to one or two companies but found out that they’re too busy and/or expensive.
So now you’re looking for the right company online. And after googling “web design services” you quickly realise you’ve two options
- Hire an individual
- Hire an agency
You’re left wondering: who’s going to deliver more value for the same money? And the short answer is: it depends on what you value the most.
Let’s run through some points and evaluate pro’s and con’s.
But before doing that, let’s exclude
- Individuals working part-time or in the evenings. They might offer you good rates but trust me, they’ll give you nightmares when you’ll need them the most
- Individuals in business for less than 2 years. They’re just too risky.
- Agencies of 2-3 partners. They’re closer to an individual in the comparison.
- Agencies that requires 10’000$/€ to start anything. They’re just out of reach and you can’t expect to profit from such an investment
Now let’s go through some “value points” and evaluates PRO’s and CON’s for each.
With an agency you will speak with a manager of some sort. He won’t really know technical limits (he’ll have to ask all the time since he can’t waste developer’s time with meetings).
Individuals. They’ll be able to adapt more easily to new scope and opportunities. If he’s a good freelancer with a business mindset (like me 🙂 you’ll also deal directly with a “business owner” that understands your point of view and needs.
Agency: you’ll have access to specialised people. One designer, one developer, maybe even one strategist/marketer. This is good if you’re solving really complicate/advanced problems. But on the other hand it’ll mean more disconnection.
Individual: if the individual can handle strategy, design and development, like me :), it’ll mean you’ll have someone who keeps the big picture together. This will save you time and give you a better product. Of course if the project scope and goals are very unique you should go with an agency of specialists.
Agency: having 2-3 designers or developers on the same project can definitely speed it up.
Individual: they’ve limited bandwidth and often they also have weeks if not months of waiting time.
Agency for sure can give you a better impression of reliability and stability. But if you think at individuals and remove moonlighting freelancers and the ones who have been in business for less than 2 years, then you have freelancers as reliable as an agency.
A freelancer will save you money. You won’t have to pay for the secretary or for the project manager reporting to the developer.
My bet is that the right professional will deliver way more value to you.
(Provided that you fit in the initial frame. E.g. you are a business owner that needs a web presence to get leads and you can budget 5’000€ to 10’000€ for the job)
That’s it. I hope this is going to help you find the right help. Good luck with your business.