Jack Of All Trades: How Malleable Should An Agency Be With Its Services?

Bojan Rendulic

April 13, 2020

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Jack Of All Trades: How Malleable Should An Agency Be With Its Services?

Like Clint Eastwood in so many Westerns, you’ve got to adapt to your environment to survive… and possibly hold your own in some kind of Spaghetti Western standoff while you’re at it. Fortunately, doing good business shouldn’t involve anything of the sort (unless you make a string of really bad decisions), but the principle of continuous adaptation stands strong. To survive the Wild West, you have to be something of a jack of all trades. But in the process, do you consign yourself to being a master of none, as the old saying goes?

The advent of digital commerce means the lines get blurred a lot easier these days. Yes, you want to please the client and do a good job for them, but you’re in danger of spreading yourself and your company too thin. So just how malleable should an agency be with its services?

What is the Price of Securing a New Client?

New clients are the name of the game. Your company won’t survive or expand without them. But in our endless quest to secure fresh business, can we go too far? The marketplace is competitive, seemingly getting more so by the year. There’s always a constant worry that your company or agency isn’t doing enough to stay ahead of the game. So exactly how far should companies go in order to land new clients?

The answer very much depends on your specific circumstances, and indeed the industry you operate in. If you’re a new company, you’ll probably want to try everything possible to get some clients through the door. This might mean offering new or separate services based on the client’s requirements. If you’re an established company, it can often be more prudent to cultivate the relationships you already have with your existing clients, rather than bending over backwards trying to acquire new ones.

How to Grow a Business

If you happen to be involved in a standoff, you want to take your opponent down with maximum efficiency. Any good cowboy will tell you that. It’s pretty much the same with business. In order to grow efficiently, you want to make as much impact as you can without overspending your resources. Trouble is, it can become all about the client chasing, leaving you stretched too thin and out of proverbial bullets.

This isn’t the optimum way to grow a business. However, sometimes you’ll need to step out of your comfort zone in order to land a big client or excel in a particular project. The key is in recognizing these opportunities when they come up and not exerting yourself and your team for every potential opportunity.

The Pros and Cons of Being a Jack

The advantages to adding new services or tailoring services to each client are obvious. Clients are unlikely to hear the word “no”, which will endear them to you and make them think highly of your operation. They’ll also feel like you are paying them special attention (which is true, you are), by offering a boutique service that suits their needs. This will make them more likely to stick with you for the long haul, which is invaluable for any business. On another note, you will be expanding your own repertoire, investing in services that you may be able to provide to other clients in the future.

These might all seem like great reasons to go ahead and offer any service you can to your clients, but there are also some disadvantages to consider. For starters, you can run yourself ragged trying to meet all the whims of a particular client. Your resources can be stretched too thin and you might end up neglecting other clients. Worse than that, you might agree to something in principle, in the interest of scoring the client, and not be able to follow through when it comes to the crunch.

What is Scope Creep?

The very name sounds insidious. Scope creep describes the trend of a project’s requirements to increase over time. Changes to a project over the course of its life are expected and oftentimes necessary. But when these changes are uncontrolled, the result is scope creep. This can result from a company promising too much and stretching its resources beyond its limits. Again, the trick is finding the balance; you have to be malleable when necessary, but not bend to every whim of the client. Too much unnecessary creep and you can undermine the whole project.

One of the best ways to avoid scope creep getting on top of you is by using a management app like Productive. It contains a unique feature specifically designed to help you manage your team, making sure no one’s falling behind or spending too long on a certain aspect. With Productive, you can ensure your team is all on the same page, and manage any scope creep as it comes up. By making informed decisions well ahead of time, you can make sure that the services you’re offering are within your capabilities, and that your resources remain balanced and accessible with no surprise creep. Remember, it’s the Wild West out there; you want to be the one who’s creeping up on things, not being crept up on!

Bojan Rendulic

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