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Creative Agencies: How to Handle Increased Project Workloads

It’s a general rule that most companies try to squeeze as much work out of as few employees as possible.  The more work fewer employees can handle, the higher overall productivity and gross margin is.  That’s great for building your company’s internal processes and contributing to the bottom line, but once a certain capacity is hit, an increased workload deters creative agencies from taking on additional projects – especially larger projects that require outsourced work such as development.

If you work at an agency and find yourself battling the thrill of taking on large projects with the fear of underperforming due to exceeding current resource capacity, you’re not alone.

Handling Increased Workloads as a Creative Agency

Often, the fear stems from a lack of in-house resources. Generally speaking, teams are capable of doubling down in their own departments and areas of expertise to put their best foot forward when a big project comes on board. However, if a big project requires resources and expertise outside the scope of what your in-house team is capable of, it gets intimidating to take on projects. If this feeling resonates with you, here are a few tips on how to handle increased project workloads as a creative agency:

Keep Your Contractors Close

Here’s a popular scenario amongst creative agencies: You have a meeting with a potential client. A big client – one you’d be proud of to have in your creative agency’s resume, and a project that would be fun to work on. However, you leave the meeting with a bit of weighted anxiety as you recognize the resources required to tackle the project will be difficult to manage.

Usually this comes down to outsourcing work to contractors. You want to give your potential client a ballpark estimate, but you can’t guarantee anything because you haven’t yet talked to your contractors on what they’ll charge you. Same applies for project timelines – you need answers before you can give them.

Here’s a tip – make your contractor circle smaller and closer to your agency. The more you give projects to a certain developer or designer, the more accurate you’ll be in estimates regarding overall pricing and timeline expectations. And of course, working closely with a small set of contractors has its own pricing benefits – the sheer volume of work you give to them can have positive implications on how much they charge you per project.

Find Contractors That Work Throughout the Project

Creative agencies often keep their entire in-house team “in the loop” on all aspects of a project, but treat their contractors as ad-hoc services to be completed in isolation of the big picture.

Bad idea. At least from a workload expansion standpoint.

Of course, in order to take this approach, you’ll need contractors that can work in this fashion. What we discovered at KudosCode is that development project timeline accuracy, reliability of communication, and expectations management is significantly easier when we come alongside our customers through the entirety of their clients’ projects.

When we work as a part of your team rather than an uninvolved ad-hoc service, projects are more efficient, and timelines and pricing are more accurate.

Summing It Up

Handling increased project loads is perfectly viable for most creative agencies – even with small teams. You know how to put your best foot forward with a new client, double down, and get the job done. But when a potential project’s scope of work extends beyond the expertise of your current team, most creative agency managers shy away from taking on the work.

Fear surrounding scope of work for your creative agency shouldn’t keep you from taking on the additional projects. Find contractors and developers that will work closely and frequently with you so your team can be more accurate with timeline and pricing estimates in the quoting stage with a new client. 

Also, find developers like KudosCode that work with you through the entirety of the project rather than coming along as an uninvolved 3rd party to execute an ad-hoc service. The closer your developer is to the communication of all details in a project, the higher their accountability to deliver results and accuracy with communication and expectations management will be.

Want to see if we’re a fit to bring into your agency’s circle?  Schedule a free 15-minute consultation call and let’s find out.

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