Why Smaller Agencies Offer Bigger Advantages: The Benefits of Working with a Lean Team

When it comes to software development, the size of the agency you choose to work with can have a big impact on the success of your project. While large agencies may have a lot of resources and experience, smaller agencies, like Qualifast, can offer a number of advantages that make them a great choice for many businesses. In this blog post, we'll explore why working with a lean team can be beneficial.

No matter how big or small the business is, profitability depends on the number of people utilized on projects. For instance, a company must have at least X people at rate Y for the whole year, and this must be more than the expenses (Z) made.

Z < X * Y

In this example, some interesting rules and terms are seen in both small and big companies:

  • Account breakers: People who break the account to win the client's trust

  • The bench: People who are not on the project should not be more than X%. As X varies between 5 and 25 depending on the development strategy of a company

  • Diversification of customers: No customer should hold more than 30% of the company's revenue

At Qualifast, we are a team of just 11 engineers. One of the great advantages of a smaller team is that we can be more selective when hiring new colleagues, ensuring that they possess the right mindset of an account breaker along with the strong technical skills required. While larger companies may also seek out similar qualities in their hires, they often have to fill multiple roles to ensure the team covers these capabilities. On the contrary, we can actually focus on finding the perfect fit for our team. This approach enables us to quickly and efficiently take on projects while maintaining a high level of responsibility and realistic goal-setting for our clients. Of course, when we are just 11 people we often work on a few projects at a time. However, this limit helps us be selective and not rush to take on everything that is offered to us. 

For us, it’s about delivering quality, not quantity, hence Qualifast. All puns intended.

We’ve found that the ideal project size is a 3-person team. This size is particularly effective for startups, especially during the POC phase and up to the seed phase. However, managing a 3-person team can be challenging for larger companies due to their middle-level management structure. The advantage of larger companies lies in their ability to scale up when needed, with 2, 3, or 5 additional team members. On the other hand, this is not feasible for a company like Qualifast, as we follow the rules that we defined in the beginning. If we have to scale up with 5 people that means we have 5 people on the bench which is almost 50% of the company. Or if we add 3 people to a 3 person team then we will have more than 50% of the company working on a single project.

One of the most significant advantages of working with a smaller software agency is that they tend to have a more focused and specialized skill set. Although an agency of 10 people may not have more knowledge than a company of 500 per se, a company of 10 people will utilize its most qualified person for a given task much faster than a company of 500+. This focused approach makes it easier for an agency to deliver high-quality results faster, as they can focus on the specific skills and technologies needed for the project without cumbersome internal processes. 

Smaller agencies tend to have a greater sense of accountability to their clients. They rely on repeat businesses and referrals, which means they are highly motivated to provide excellent customer service and produce high-quality work. In Qualifast almost all our clients are referrals from our previous clients or they are simply returning customers. This is a sign that we are doing our job well.

Finally, working with a smaller software agency can also be cost-effective. Such agencies often have lower overhead costs, which means they can offer more competitive pricing for your project. This can be beneficial for businesses looking to keep costs low, while still getting high-quality results.

In conclusion, working with a smaller software agency like Qualifast can offer a number of advantages for businesses. We provide a more personalized and focused approach, our skill set is more specialized for startups, we are faster and more collaborative. We also offer more cost-effective solutions. It's not always about the size of the agency, but how well it can adapt to your specific needs and deliver the results you are looking for.