We love being a small and agile agency
We have been lucky at Strawberrysoup. Since we started back in 2005, we have achieved consistent growth from two to twelve employees and feel that we now have the perfect balance. There is no doubt that we found it very daunting when we hired our first employee, but we were lucky – we started them part-time, they had another job running their own business and eventually they became full-time, so it was a smooth transition with minimal risk.
From there, growing to twelve seemed less terrifying. For sure, if we think about our monthly salary bill, it can get a little scary, but we have more than enough work to cover our costs at the moment, so there’s no real panic.
We never really had a growth plan either to be honest. There was no magical number that we were aiming on achieving in terms of team members, we were just seeing how we went and if the more people wanted us to work with them and we didn’t have time in our project planner, we hired.
Staying ‘small’ is the way forward
We feel that there is real benefit in remaining small. Officially, we are no longer small (up to 5 employees) anymore, but classed as a medium, however we are still small enough to change with the times and make effective decisions without the bureaucracy of larger corporations or agencies.
Since our first employee joined us, we have worked really hard to make Strawberrysoup a fun place to work. We wanted people to wake up on a Monday morning and want to come to work, to look forward to seeing each other and also socialising outside of work. If people feel happy at work, it ultimately reflects on their work with a higher quality being produced with more creative results.
It becomes difficult for talent to shine amongst the hundreds of other employees. Some would argue that this is the responsibility of the heads of departments in larger agencies, but we know each of our employees as friends and understand their strengths and weaknesses, so projects and work can be apportioned appropriately.
Faster changes, better executed
In the current economic climate, things are changing. Customers want solutions to their problems faster than ever and for the best value. This coupled with the fact that our sector is one of the fastest advancing industries, with new technologies and ideas being generated all the time, we need to ensure that our business can keep up.
From experience, this becomes increasingly difficult to do as a larger agency. Multiple levels of management and a convoluted thought process mean that decisions can take weeks with all stakeholders needing to be involved and happy. This has been explained to us as the same concept with boats and ships.
A cruise ship is massive. It carries hundreds of people across wide open seas. In order for it to change its course, it needs planning, space and lots of resources. Compare this to a smaller yacht. Changing its planned route is simple, can be done in a small space and with minimal impact. We would without doubt prefer to be a smaller yacht.
Growth plans for Strawberrysoup
At the moment, we are planning on remaining small and agile. For the level of work and our project commitments in the near future, our team is more than capable of delivering fantastic creative, sound technical and friendly account management.
Don’t get us wrong – we work with some fantastic larger agencies who are doing great work. They have larger teams of individuals that focus on their core areas and do a really great job. We take our hats off to them for remaining stable and being able to grow as large as they have, it’s just that at this stage of our business, growth is our secondary objective, with quality being number one.