Agency or Freelancer: who to choose for the project development?

Ihor Holovachenko
CEO at 13DIGITAL PRO
Today, on the market for Design and Digital services, there is a kind of confrontation between specialized agencies and freelancers. As you understand Agencies and freelancers have their advantages and disadvantages, and in this article I will try to reveal them as much as possible.
Suppose you need to create a website from scratch or develop a brand book.
What is worth knowing and what to look for when choosing between an Agency or a Freelancer?

1.Service:

Freelancers rarely arrange work meetings, they will not stand on ceremony with you. Most often, they adhere to an informal form of communication. Also, they will not invite you to their office, they will not treat you to a cup of coffee.
Agencies have more developed corporate ethics. Here you will have a personal manager who will answer all your questions, clarify incomprehensible points. A freelancer will not provide such a service.

Service: +1 in favor of the agency.


2.Price:

The cost of work for a freelancer in 85% of cases will be lower than that of an agency. I think many people understand that a freelancer works for himself, does not pay for office rent, most often pays fewer taxes, does not pay for training and development of employees, and does not pay them a salary.
The high price of agencies is also justified by expensive professional employees, whose work is estimated at an order of magnitude higher.

Price: +1 in favor of freelancers.


3.Risks and Warranties:

You risk everything by choosing a job with a remote freelance employee, namely, you can get poor-quality work, missed deadlines, the risk of not getting your order at all. For a freelancer, it may be in the order of things to go missing, not answering a call, agreeing to a job, and at the last moment quitting the job for unknown reasons.

Guarantees can be from a freelancer from specialized platforms, where it is important to have a rating and positive customer reviews.

Agencies can give any guarantees that eliminate risks. Agencies and design studios, in 100% of cases, are officially registered companies with which you conclude an agreement for the provision of services, referring to which they are responsible for the implementation of the project, meeting the deadlines. Agencies are stable: they maintain constant communication, do not disappear anywhere, and if they do not fulfill their promise, they offer pleasant bonuses in return.

Guarantees: +0.5 freelancer; +1 agency

4. Transparency of work:

It is impossible to give an objective assessment of this point. Each freelancer has his own style of work, not the fact that he does not delegate your order to a freelancer of a lower level. But also in agencies, the project can be entrusted to an intern.

In the first case, you will never know about it. In the second, you can come to the office and supervise the work yourself, plus in the agency, if they entrust the work to an intern, then his results will be checked by an experienced specialist and in the end, you will get the desired result. The agency values its reputation and its name.

Transparency of work: +1 Agency

5.Scale:

Large projects for freelancers will not be able to do as they work alone. At that time, the agencies have a well-coordinated team that has been doing this work for several months.

When ordering a website or design project, you would rather contact several freelancers to speed up the process. You, most likely, will not have time to constantly monitor their work, and in addition to everything, you will not have enough experience to competently establish the development process.

Scale: +1 Agency


6.Speed of work:

It is common that freelancers tend to miss deadlines. There are enough reasons for this: sudden illness, lack of internet, electricity, personal problems, children ... Common reasons are laziness and depression due to the home environment and lack of a team.
Of course, office workers can also get sick, and most likely they have children, personal lives. But the staff of most studios has more than one project manager, designer, copywriter, and programmer. And the Internet with electricity is more or less stable.
I draw your attention to the fact that a freelancer is a person who feeds himself. And the sooner he finishes the project, the sooner he gets the well-deserved payment and can start a new project.

Work speed: +1 freelancer and agency


7.Quality:

If we are talking, for example, about creating and filling a site, where an integrated approach is required, then the professionalism of one person will not be enough. There are practically no jacks of all trades who can program, draw design layouts, typeset, write good texts at the same time. And the chances of getting on such a person is 1: 10,000.
Agencies recruit people who meet certain requirements. These requirements correspond to the level of the agency and the more professional the employees are, the higher the price will be. But there is no need to doubt the quality of the work.

Quality: +1 to agencies.

After some simple math calculations, we get the following table:
The agency wins - 6 versus 2.5 for freelancers.


Whom do you choose in the end?

If you plan to invest an amount exceeding $ 4000 - $ 5000 in a project, you need guarantees, minimal risks, and the experience of a well-coordinated team that will think over every detail of your website or brand - contact the agency.

If this is a project with almost no budget, look for a smart freelancer. You can establish constant contact with him and the next time you need a similar service, you will contact this particular specialist.

I recommend remembering the simple truth that of the three parameters that are usually required by the customer: quickly, efficiently and cheaply, only two can be performed at a time . So choose which is more important.

So, a memo to the customer:
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