For us, staying small is a conscious decision. A decision to select opportunities based on how they fit into our goals and strengths versus how many zeros they carry. A choice to stay flexible, to shift and evolve along with our needs and desires versus marrying a specific execution or specialty. A choice to blur lines, ignore boundaries and unite people behind a fearless determination to work smarter and bigger than the perceived limitations of our size and team.
We are not the first to realize the benefits of being small, but there is a large contingent who still take comfort in numbers. We believe quantity of staff does not equate to quality of work. In our experience, it equates only to a higher volume of mediocrity. Scale is a mindset – either your ideas are big or they’re not – and the ability to execute big ideas is not limited to the realm of big teams.
So, why the big talk about being small? Because small is the future. Like the banner ad and Bruce Jenner, AOR’s are a thing of the past. And who can blame companies? For years agencies have feasted on the gross profits of production, media, maintenance and the full suite of other services billed at full blended rates and farmed out to interns or offshore vendors. It’s high time companies starting taking that high volume, low cost work internal. But the one thing they can’t and won’t take internal is the one thing that has always set us apart as an industry – our ability to generate big ideas that impact our clients’ businesses and our culture. There will always be a market for those who can bridge the gap between people’s desires and dollars, especially those who value the success of the work over the profitability of the project.
One of the biggest choices we’ve made in staying small is working with our client partners to find the transition point in projects where our value is outweighed by our cost. Not only do we think it’s the best decision for our business, we think it’s the best decision for our clients’ businesses as well. Not the most profitable strategy, but the one that puts the client and their brand in the best position to succeed over the long haul. And that’s our bottom line.