When we started as a web development agency back in 1996, from the very beginning we were a national company. We quickly built a strong client base in London, Leeds and Manchester and the account teams used to pile 30k miles each per year visiting clients from Bristol to Newcastle. In those days, face to face was how all business was done.
As remote working became more accepted it allowed us to spread our wings and we soon won clients in the USA, France, Spain, Australia and even Brazil. This is the norm for a modern web development agency, we go where the work is and support clients across the globe, regardless of timezone.
Add to that the growth of WordPress as the development framework of choice and the disappearance of conventional web development teams and we have found more and more clients are less reliant on the traditional web agency model of black-box development and tightly controlled change processes. This is having a dramatic impact on how our market works.
There are 3 distinct layers starting to appear:
- Flexible development team that work anywhere. Driven by technology and the ease of fast deployment that WordPress offers, the early-adopter agencies are dumping traditional web development teams in cubicles and moving to buddy-based small deployment teams that are focussed on agile delivery, quick turnaround and exist in a constant state of change.
- Local agencies. For local people. Built around tight geographical areas, we rarely find a Leeds agency competing for business in, say, Birmingham or London. And vice versa. These agencies work on strong personal relationships and a form of legacy tie-in that binds their clients tightly to them.
- National digital agencies. Built in the “noughties” around a conventional agency structure and billing mentality. They’re stuck with slightly out-moded development methodologies and suffer inertia issues when it comes to change – this presents a problem when we see the explosive growth of new technologies such as mobile, responsive and tablet.
We’re proud to be in the new vanguard, that of flexible development, agile deployment and flexible working. It’s rewarded us with new clients in the US, Switzerland, Spain, France and across the whole of the UK. We might be based in London and Yorkshire, but that’s only where we live – not where we operate.
By Martin Dower