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When to Hire a Digital Agency

Posted by Tim Ballard at October 1st, 2013

Do you have ambitious plans for your business that could give you a significant advantage over your competition? Of course you do. You're itching to get started on your new software project and have the budget allocated to get it going. Now you are struggling to decide whether to assemble an in-house team or hire a digital agency. In this post I will go over the pros and cons of hiring a digital agency like Buena Digital vs. building a team in-house to complete your project.

Outsourcing Pros

  • The most important benefit of hiring a digital agency is the ability to hire an expert in the field you need
  • Increased profit margin for short term projects
  • No overhead costs for employees i.e. federal/state taxes

Outsourcing Cons

  • Less control of team in day to day operations

In-house Pros

  • Direct control of employees time and activities

In-house Cons

  • Decreased profit margin since overhead costs are higher
  • Depending on company location, experts may be difficult to find so they can command a high salary
  • Project start date must be delayed in order to find, hire and train talent 


The average salary of a developer is $75-100K annually. Don't forget you'll need a designer, that’s another $50K a year. Oh wait…you want your new eCommerce site to be launched by the holidays this year? You're going to need a team of developers to meet that release date. Are you, as CEO going to stop all of your duties that you currently have to manage to keep this project moving forward? Of course not! For most executives that is not an option. A project manager average salary is $80K annually. Let’s do the math so far:

Developer(x3) $225-300K
Designer (x1) $50K
Project Manager (x1) $80K
------------------------------------------
Total $805-880K


Well…that escalated quickly. While this estimate may seem high, it’s actually on the conservative side. The estimate assumes that you will be writing your own site content and handling your social media marketing independently. Federal and state taxes for each employee are not included as well. Keep in mind this is only 1 year. Do you have enough work to justify hiring a full team for more than 1 year? 

When deciding on outsourcing or hiring in-house, you must first define your project goals and requirements. What is the turnaround time of your project? What is the project budget? What technology expertise will be needed to complete this project? Do you have the talent pool to pull from in your geographic area? Once you have answered those questions about your project, the decision to hire a digital agency or hire in-house will be much easier and often times points to hiring a digital agency.

Category: Business , Programming , Software , Web