Are you choosing the right tools for the job?

Are you choosing the right tools for the job?

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Trying to explain Push Code is tricky. What we are not is a full service corporate agency. We are also not a couple of freelancers. What we are is a boutique web design and development company. We specialise in web design, web app development, content strategy and creation.

“And?” I hear you asking. Well, the thing is that when most businesses and organisations are looking to get some hired help for a web project the default choices tend to be an agency or freelancer. But, there is another way. Small, specialist businesses, like Push Code, offer an alternative.

Swiss Army Knife

Stick with me on this… think about a Swiss Army Knife, sometimes you will need all the tools. Sometimes you just need the bottle opener. But, sometimes you need the bottle opener and the corkscrew. That’s where we come in. It’s about having the right tools for the job.

An agency tends to offer all the things you might possibly need, in one place. That’s perfect when your project demands all the skills they have at their disposal. If however, you have a more focused project, think about the tools that you really need for the job. An agency with its account managers, user experience consultants, search specialists, swish offices and high overheads can be like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

On the other hand, freelancers generally offer one or two related specialisms. This is great when those specialisms align perfectly with the project’s requirements, but we know from experience (we used to be freelancers) that it doesn’t take much for a project to fall outside an individual's comfort zone. If other experts with different skill sets are brought into the project, you can end up with people, who are not used to working together, working in isolation from one another and often pulling in different directions.

Oil change and pizza

For us, and many other specialist businesses - and not just in the world of the Web - narrowing focus and specialising in a very specific area is a proven way of attracting the right projects and the right clients, where everything just clicks. The right people with the right skills and enthusiasm doing the best work. In his article ‘Oil change and pizza’, inspired by a sign he once saw, Daniel Mall illustrates this point really well. He questions whether somewhere with such a diverse offering can actually be any good at either.

What makes a great agency are the things they don’t do.

Daniel Mall

That’s why at Push Code we’re definitely not a “full service” agency. We don’t pretend to do everything but what we do, we do well. Our clear focus is the Web, but our skills align perfectly to allow us to treat design, development and content as equal parts of our process - something that even many larger agencies still struggle with.

Decision time

This article isn’t meant to be freelancers versus agency scuffle. Each and every project is different and that’s why it’s important to think about exactly what you need to get it done. Sometimes you need all the tools a Swiss Army Knife has to offer and sometimes you don’t.  If you have a web project in the pipeline, think about doing things differently, get in touch and see what we can do for you. If it's not the right project for us, we'll let you know. But you might be surprised.

Photo credit: andrewtoskin via / CC BY

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