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It's Not the Size of Your Agency That Matters
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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This week is the beginning of AdAge's Small Agency Conference and awards, the few days out of the year where small agencies get attention, are praised and given awards, and told how awesome the industry is for having them.

It's a short few days, but attention nonetheless.

After the first day, the #smallagency hashtag resembles much of the chatter and tweets from last year's. Yes, our industry needs more diversity. Yes, our value as a small agency lies in our ability to turn unconventional ideas around quickly, and to not have to worry (too much) about making mistakes. hen, we saw an interesting quote from Laurie Coots, an AdWoman who presented. She is quoted saying that we now live in the time where agency size doesn't matter anymore.

For the most part, that's true. 

In terms of the sheer number of bodies, agency size no longer matters. We did in the news about shops that have 1-10 people that are doing amazing things. But there's a reason why they get the chance to do amazing things.

Resources and a network.

Many of the big name small agencies have been founded by people who were at or near the top of big name big agencies. They took the opportunity and advantage to develop a name and relationship with big brands and big-time decision-makers. 

A big network can make a small agency look huge.

And that's great to see that brands can trust small shops with people who have big connections. Plus, the trust enables the small shop to produce great work, which will help create staying power and a name for itself for other brands looking for a small agency relationship.

Overall, the size of an agency- the number of people- is irrelevant. But the reach of the people of the agency, the resources they can gather and the doors they are able to open matters a great deal. For if the small shop is lacking in those resources and opportunities, it can possibly be a tougher road ahead.

But not impossible. All agencies had to start somewhere, right?


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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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