Every business, new and old, has made their fair share of mistakes, and tech agencies are no different. In fact, one could argue that web and mobile development shops have more opportunities to experience major hiccups than companies with other areas of expertise.
It’s a volatile industry—you have to deal with development issues, investors’ wishes, poor communication among teams, and clients that often don’t know what they want. To help you stay on your toes, here are some agency dos and don’ts:
1. Do: Ensure that your teams are communicating well.
There’s a reason this is number one. The level of communication among teams is a critical factor in determining the efficiency with which your company is operating. At a major tech agency like Codal Inc., management typically ensures two tiers of communication efficiency.
* Inter-team communication
* Intra-team communication
Inter-team communication is crucial. This is the communication that occurs between different teams within the same organization. This determines the efficiency with which a design, for example, makes it’s way to the development team. It’s important.
Intra-team communication is no less important than the former. It details the efficiency with which your teams are communicating within themselves. So, it is concerned with the ease with which tasks get accomplished within a team.
2. Don’t: Keep your clients in the dark.
I can’t believe I have to write this, but this is a big one. Tech agencies often do a sub-par job of communicating with the stakeholder, sometimes to the point where major errors go unreported, and the stakeholder takes his business elsewhere.
For a younger company, it can often be scary to inform a client that there is a problem—it’s human nature. But withholding such information is sure to ruin your reputation among tech agencies, not to mention put an end to the working relationship you have developed with the client.
3. Do: Expand overseas.
Businesses that outsource development to offshore branches of the organization get a bad rap. In truth, anyone that tells you it’s a bad idea simply doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Expanding overseas can be the best decision you’ve ever made.
Let’s start with the obvious.
Expanding overseas gives you the freedom to hire lot’s of employees, and pay them significantly more than the average salary in their home country, yet significantly lower than that of a full-time employee in the United States.
The not so obvious:
The quality of work does not go down when you expand overseas. This is a common misconception, and it often comes down to a matter of ethnocentrism (read: racism).
The fact of the matter is, many technology workers in countries like India (such as those employed by Codal) not only hold higher degrees than their American counterparts, but also have the advantage of shorter weekends (industry standard).
4. Don’t: Work with anyone and everyone.
As a newer tech company, you may be tempted to accept any and all offers of work. Don’t be tempted by the sweet fruit, my friend. Things are not always what they seem. Think about it this way: would you rather have four subpar projects, or one major project on your portfolio?
What I mean is, you may be approached by a number of small-budget, small-time, shady entrepreneurs with a number of failed businesses and dime-a-dozen ideas. Should you choose to accept their projects, your portfolio will immediately take on the characteristics of those projects, and thereby lower your credibility.
Furthermore, if you allocate your resources toward such projects, you will not have the resources to land the big-time projects when they come around. Not to mention the fact that they won’t be likely to work with you if the only names on your portfolio are small or failed projects.
5. Do: Give new hires anything they need to succeed.
This is another no-brainer that shouldn’t need to be talked about. Your new hires should not be getting “hand-me-downs” from other employees, poorly equipped desks, or subpar seating arrangements. There should never be an issue with equipping new hires.
Spend the extra money on a new computer, new monitors, any ergonomic peripherals that they might need. They’ll simply work better. The right thing to do, is to figure it into the cost of a new hire—right it off as an unavoidable cost.