I’ve always been reasonably lucky when dealing with suppliers and freelancers. Be it fieldwork, transcription, creative, visualiser or viewing facilities they’ve usually delivered what they said they would, when they would – and sometimes gone well above and beyond the call of duty too.
I only realised just how lucky I’ve been earlier this year when an agency brought me in to help clear up the mess caused by a supplier over promising and hopelessly under delivering due to inexperience. It also brought home to me just how potentially dangerous it can be for any business to try and wing it in an area that isn’t a specialism of theirs.
I’ve never been a fan of winging it. I’ve never been one to say “that’ll be a nice problem to have” when faced with a client brief and no idea of how to actually fulfil it. In fact, one of the joys of freelance life is being able to turn down projects that are outside my comfort zone. I’ve had a lot less sleepless nights and anxiety related stomach cramps since I gained the authority to say No to unsuitable work.
For the agencies and suppliers whose client base, business plan or financial position insists that they find a way of dealing with every client brief that lands, Amelia’s ‘Agency and Friends’ model, ‘a loose network of partners, developers and producers who can work alongside the core agency hub’ seems to be the way forward. Once AgencyLand bites the bullet and ‘fesses up that not everyone who works on the client’s business will be a full time agency employee but might instead be a close ‘friend’, getting the right people involved at the right time in order to do the job properly will become a lot easier.