How to Go from Developer to Agency?
Many people decide to utilize their skills and their experience to start their own company. After all, why work for someone else when you can work for yourself? It goes without saying that being a developer today is a profitable career.
The demand for web developers is higher than ever. In other words, you could easily find a suitable and well-paid job if you wanted to and perhaps you already did but where’s the fun in that? Going from being a developer to starting your own agency is certainly an exciting challenge.
Although a difficult and bold step to make, a lot of people would prefer to at least try to have their own business than wonder how that would’ve turned out while sitting at a desk at some company. Needless to say, there’s a lot of work ahead of you, and you must prepare well for starting your agency. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to do just that.
Do your research
Working as a developer is not the same as owning an agency. If you want your business to succeed, before you launch your marketing strategy you’ll have to research the market well before you launch your agency. Even though you’ve worked as a developer and you know what potential clients would want or prefer, it’s still important to check where the market stands on the matter.
For example, one of the main aspects of market research is competitive analysis. You must know who your competitors are, what they do, how they do it and why. That way, you can analyze your competition and find a good way to gain a competitive advantage over them.
You might have a great idea for a digital agency but if your competitors offer something unique, they’ll most certainly outrun you. The purpose of the market research is to help you understand your target audience, your competition and the market itself so that you’ll know what to do and make more informed, as well as more strategic decisions.
Take care of your finances
As you may already know, to start a business, you’ll need the initial capital, as well as a solid budget. Starting an agency costs money. However, you must also be able to financially support your business until you start making profits. That includes covering all the business expenses ranging from marketing to development.
Therefore, research the ways you can ensure enough funds for your agency. For instance, you can take a bank loan, open up a line of credit for your business, seek investor aid and so on. More importantly, try not to quit your full-time job until you settle everything with starting an agency.
What’s more, you should also conduct a credit card comparison in order to determine the best credit for your line of business. Taking care of finances is extremely important. The main reason is that you must make sure you have enough capital so that your business doesn’t run out of cash. Keep in mind that 29% of startups fail because their owners ran out of funds, you don’t want to be one of them.
Work on your portfolio
While still working as a developer, make sure you work on your portfolio. A portfolio is your proof of work, as well as the proof of your skill and competence. Try to get as many projects as you can while in the position of a developer.
Whether it’s the project you worked on while employed or your freelancing gigs, make sure you include them all. That way, when you start your own agency, you’ll have something to show to your potential clients and have the leverage to encourage them to hire you.
When starting an agency, create an online portfolio, aside from your regular company website, where you’ll portray your work. The main reason is that you’ll be able to use it for promotional and other marketing purposes.
Promote your business
Even before you actually start your agency, it’s important to get the word out. You can leverage your existing network of contacts to promote your business. What’s more, you can start building your social media presence early on. For example, build an agency profile on LinkedIn to attract potential clients and promote your company.
In addition, consider what other social media platforms will be beneficial for your business, such as Facebook or Twitter, for instance. The fact of the matter is that the market is highly competitive. The sooner you start designing an effective marketing campaign, the better your chance to succeed.
Aside from all of that, strongly consider building a brand as early as possible. A brand can elevate your agency despite the fierce competition going on the market. Just make sure you do it right and that you create a compelling, unique selling proposition that will encourage potential clients to pick your agency over the others.
Going from developer to an agency is not a small step, to say the least. It’s a big responsibility that requires a lot of planning and dedication. Still, your experience as a developer will be a great advantage to you when starting your own agency, especially since you know what clients prefer, need and demand. The only thing left to do is learn the ropes of running a business.