There seems to be an unlimited amount of lessons to learn when you run a business. As soon as you figure out how to get to one level, then comes the next. Think of it like a computer game… with infinite levels that are equally as hard. Hopefully, by the time you’re a bit old you’ve earned enough money to move to Spain.
Anyway… One thing you learn early on as a developer is what sort of work you actually enjoy. Some of us are born problem solvers… puzzle heads. Give them a massively broken, badly coded legacy site to fix and they’ll get their Haribo’s out of the fridge and zone in. Some of us enjoy being part of a large team, tinkering with specific components for weeks and joining all night hacks to get sprint #57 started with momentum. We had to do the same thing as a business — work out what makes us tick as a team, then make sure we win that sort of work. It keeps us happy. Huxley is a small team with a wide range of skills who like to collaborate with businesses who are just starting out, rebranding or re-launching. We stay with our clients long term of course, but the key word I suppose is new. If a job doesn’t initially offer something a new life, a fresh start, some new opportunities — it’s not for us. We’ve led several successful crowdfunding campaigns, built hundreds of websites from scratch, built and grown brands from concept to launch and beyond, and are continuously excited by new developments within our own business. New new new new new. Something that’s always really new is startups. We really like working with startups. Here’s why…
#1. We’re enthusiastic about our work — we like our clients to be enthusiastic too. Enthusiasm breeds productivity, and it’s a great combo! We go out of our way to have initial meetings face-to-face. Skype still hasn’t figured out how to replicate the same atmosphere of a room when a bunch of like minded people, all completely jacked up on coffee, have just had 10 epiphanies in a row. #2. Being involved at the start of something feels good. We love the feeling we get when we’ve contributed significantly to the shape and direction of a successful business. Imagine being given an egg, and you think it’s got a really good parrot inside, so you keep it warm and it hatches and it’s definitely a really good looking parrot, then it flies off and you watch it get big and have a great time and breed a whole crew of beautiful parrots that everyone in the area loves. Bit of a cliche but it’s accurate. #3. We know how founders feel. We’ve been there too. Huxley is the product of hard work! We started with an idea then did everything possible to make it work, kept it alive, then grew it to what we are today (parrot egg). We’re happy to put that experience to good use when we meet people about to tread a similar path. #4. Making something new is as creative as it gets, and that’s what makes us tick. We come into our studio to make things. We’re not interested in anything else. This is also why we’re about to launch the ‘Worthing & Beyond’ hub — a free resource that allows businesses to browse local creative talent who are available for project work. Watch this space! #5. With one eye always on business development, these sorts of projects make for the best case studies. And, as we all know — case studies are one of the best pieces of content an agency can have. Interesting case studies will keep people on our website for longer — increasing the likelihood that they’ll get in touch.
Of course, it isn’t always this simple and idyllic. Some agencies will actually avoid working with startups as a rule, because of budget issues. We would just advise that the fees and payment terms are clearly laid out before a project starts. Of course, it’s true that some new businesses are starting with zilch, but for some who launch off the back of successful crowdfunding campaigns, have found private investment or secured a bank loan, there’s often more than enough chicken in the pie.
It’s worth remembering that nothing kills a relationship more than misunderstandings over rates and terms. We found that having a small network of decent independent partners is really useful to offer certain jobs to if needed. These people tend to be able to work with smaller budgets due to having fewer operational business costs. Also, having that network comes in useful when you suddenly have to scale up and bring reliable people in. We never outsource, because that can be a false economy — but that’s for a different blog post. Actually, the last two paragraphs are for several different blog posts.
We like working with startups. Are you one? Contact us. Thanks.