How to Grow Your Design Agency or Development Company Without Selling
Do you struggle to balance client work with finding new customers so you can maintain cash flow, meet payroll, and keep the lights on? There’s a better way to grow your business without having to continually generate leads & sell.
If your answer is yes. You’re not alone.
We’ve spoken to hundreds of design agencies, web and software development companies over the last year. Almost every single one said maintaining consistent lead generation and acquiring new customers was their #№1 biggest challenge.
I’d like to tell you about a better way to grow your company that doesn’t require constant lead generation and selling.
Before I do, let’s talk about the current realities of growing your business.
As you well know, having to always stop work to look for new clients is an expensive and time-consuming process.
It’s a pain in the ass.
You (or your business development team) have to trawl the internet and create lists of qualified prospects. You then have to find the right person to contact and try to find their email (to send a cold email) or connect and reach out via LinkedIn.
A great response rate for cold emails is considered to be anything over 15%. For most, the response rate sits at around 5%. Either, not so great! Of course, if you’re good at cold emailing, you could get more responses, but this is a skill in itself that takes time to master.
Of course, if you manage to get a response and book a video chat, the sales process is far from over. In fact, the really challenging part begins.
Selling your company’s services
Suppose you’re a technical person like a software engineer or designer. Sales aren’t really something you’re focused on (or good at).
This is probably the most significant issue most development companies and design agencies (especially the smaller ones) often fail to understand.
You can be great at building apps or designing user interfaces, but your company is doomed if you don’t have the time and skills needed to sell your services.
This reality runs contrary to the idea of being focused and working on projects you love, which is why many of you started your design or development company in the first place.
“I want to work on projects I’m passionate about. I want to use my skills to build apps — it’s what I’m good at. But I’m just ending up having to sell.”
We’ve heard variations of this time and time again.
Heck, we’ve said something similar ourselves. The Intrepid team has spent years selling services to companies worldwide and had lots of experience buying services.
The process of getting new customers simply sucks. PERIOD.
The need to sell is relentless.
Sift through the leads.
Try to make contact.
Set up meeting.
Sell your services.
Chase payments (sometimes).
Rinse and repeat.
Lead generation and customer acquisition are particularly challenging if you’re balancing it with servicing your current clients and project work (which is most often the case).
Timing is also an issue when it comes to finding new customers.
What are the odds you hit on a client that needs your services when you contact them?
You have no way of gauging whether a company needs your services. But then again, that’s part of the selling process, and what makes it so hard — to convince a potential client they need your services even when they don’t think so.
Let’s talk about the “back and forth”
If you manage to get on a call with an interested potential client, the back and forth begins.
The ins and outs of each service your offer must be explained to every new potential client- what’s involved, how they work, expected outcomes, and deliverables. This requires multiple phone calls and emails.
This prolonged communications process is frustrating for your client (and YOU). It also often confuses potential clients because they usually won’t have expertise on the topic at hand, resulting in conversations going cold and ultimately leading to nothing.
But wait, there’s more.
Getting paid for your services
You’ve just completed a project for a client. Everyone is happy. You did a great job. Yesssss!! Good times, right!?!
Well… almost, but now you have to get PAID.
Getting paid means administrative headaches.
- Is the administrative side of you business well organised?
- Do you have an ability to accept payments that are aligned with your clients preferences?
- Do you have the administrative capacity to work with larger clients?
- How do you invoice them?
It also often requires lots of waiting which means cashflow suffers.
Getting paid usually goes something like this:
Wait for confirmation invoice is received.
Wait 2 weeks/a month (or even longer) for payment.
Ooops, your invoice didn’t make it to accounts.
Wait another month until client’s next billing cycle.
Get payment (minus fees).
Rinse and repeat.
Getting a steady flow of high-value clients without selling
At Intrepid, we believe that remote teams who sell services deserve the same kind of tools as e-commerce businesses that sell goods. We believe anyone should be able to start and grow a global business from anywhere in the world without having to continually generate leads and sell.
We’ve taken these core beliefs, which have grown from our own experiences and frustrations as sellers of services, and put them into building a new marketplace.
Intrepid is a marketplace for on-demand technology and creative services. It provides everything a growing design or development company needs to reach a global customer base and sell their services to remote startups and global brands — all without spending countless hours searching for new clients and chasing down leads on LinkedIn and AngelList.
Join the waitlist — it’s free
As a partner on Intrepid, startups and leading brands worldwide can buy your design and software development services with confidence through our specially designed shopping cart and service catalogue — made specifically for creative technology businesses.
We also provide our partners with UI templates for service productisation. This is important because, as a service business, your ability to scale and grow depends on whether you can efficiently sell and deliver your services.
By enabling you to simply and efficiently showcase your services as a product with a defined and standardised roadmap and clear deliverables, the sales process (the “back and forth”) is significantly shortened.
You’ll spend significantly less time communicating what each of your services is about, leaving you with more time and resources to direct toward serving current customers, finding new avenues for growth, or just relaxing with your family and friends.
Please join us on our mission and follow us on:
If you’re a SMB design agency, software development company, or digital marketing agency, we welcome you to sign up.
If you’re interested in joining the marketplace to purchase on demand technology and creative services, and grow your business with an active group of professionals from around the world: We’re extending this invitation to remote first startups and SMBs as well.
Originally published at https://magazine.intrepid.technology on January 25, 2021.