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  • Writer's pictureStone Creative Consulting

Hiring an Employee VS Hiring an Agency

One of the many tasks, on the already full business owners plate, is marketing. While juggling it yourself may be overwhelming (I mean, you have to sleep at some point right?!), handing it over to someone else can be a bit scary. You’ve worked so hard to build your business, you want to make sure whoever you bring on has the same commitment to your brand. Thus begins the interview process. But first you must decide - will I hire a marketing employee or an agency?

While hiring an agency may seem like a costly undertaking, the reality is, a good agency can help save you money while streamlining your business! Seems counterintuitive? Stick with me and I’ll explain.

1. Multiple People Means More Skills and Expertise

When hiring an agency for your marketing needs, you are getting access to multiple people with diverse skill sets. Hiring multiple employees to gain all those same skill sets would be extremely costly. As a small business, you would need: a website designer, an SEO expert, a social media manager, a content writer/creator, an analytics expert, as well as others depending upon your marketing needs, strategy, and goals. Speaking of, you’ll need a marketing manager to create your marketing strategy as well as manage these new employees and keep the brand cohesive. That’s MINIMUM five employees… and none of this takes into account the time it will take to create the job requirements and overview, find candidates, interview them, and create the timeline with goals they will be executing against. If your business can afford this, GREAT! Most small businesses cannot however, therefore an agency would be in their best interest. When partnering with the right agency, you only need one to accomplish what it would take up to 5 employees to accomplish.

2. Employees = Great Overhead and Higher Costs

Hiring an agency instead of in-house employees helps to eliminate overhead. With an agency, a business does not have to pay all of the overhead that comes with hiring new employees (this includes training and onboarding costs, taxes, insurance, benefits, etc.). Most agencies work on a monthly or project basis, meaning you have a set budget throughout the year. If your marketing budget is $30,000, much if not all of that would be spent on one full time employee. Let’s say (to make for easy math), the agency fee is $1,000 per month (this can be more or less depending upon the agreement and terms discussed with the agency itself), leaving you $18,000 for other marketing expenses to grow your business such as advertising, events, and even customer loyalty programs. Save your marketing dollars and use them in other ways to increase your ROI (Don’t know what that means? You definitely need help with your marketing as this is the most important part!).

3. Employees are Greater Risk and Liability

Hiring an agency is less risky than hiring an internal employee. Becoming an employer exposes you and your business to liabilities you would not face by hiring an agency. Agencies also provide you with clear contracts so you know exactly what you are getting for an specific amount of money. Your business doesn't have to worry about the number of people it will take to execute, making sure you have experts to meet the goals of the strategy, or how the people executing will meet the deadlines. Not to mention, depending on the agency and agreement type, the question of how many hours you’ll have to pay in order to achieve those results may simply be part of the retainer (not all agencies work on a retainer or project basis, so be sure to read your contracts thoroughly to know what you are getting). You also are able to vet the agency, their completed projects and references, and their expertise/certificates/licenses more than an employee during the interview process. One of the biggest bonuses here is online reviews (thank you Google)!

4. Employees Need Focus and Time Taking you Away from Running your Business

Hiring an outside agency over individual employees allows you to focus on what you do best while the agency focuses on what they do best. Just like you live, eat and breathe your specialty, agencies do the same with marketing. They continue to study new digital trends and tips to help you reach your ideal customer base and increase your sales. Once the agency is familiar with your brand and your business goals, you are able to be as “hands-off” as you like! Leave the agency to implement the strategies they’ve developed in order to reach the marketing goals you have set.

It is worth noting, while the hands free approach is an option, the most successful businesses collaborate with their partners. Additionally, while my focus here has been marketing, hiring a full business consulting agency can take care of many business details that you don't have time for or don't want to focus on, including your marketing.

There are several different options when it comes to marketing your business, and we only scratched the surface. As with most things, we recommend doing additional research, talking to other small business owners, and evaluating the time and resources you have to dedicate to onboarding new employees. Other things to consider is the time it would take to build a marketing strategy in-house, the execution, as well as the ability to measure success and if needed. If you are able to hire internal employees, set them up in the office, train them and get them rolling on your business goals - go get 'em!! For small businesses who aren’t able to allocate that kind of time and money, hiring an agency is a great option. While there can be challenges and a learning curve, bringing more people and expertise to your company to help drive revenue is always worthwhile. If you’d like a fresh set of eyes to review your business goals and strategies, email us! Our experts would love to discuss how we can help, even if that means setting up your business operations for the seamless addition of new employees!

Have questions? Email us! We are here to help your business succeed - let us know how we can help!

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