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The Agency Sweet Spot: Why We Want to Keep Scrum50 Small

By Michael LeBeau, Chris Parker & Jennifer Miller

Here at Scrum50, we very purposely chose our name to coincide with our thought process about our agency’s goals and objectives. You probably picked up on the rugby huddle reference with our Agile culture, but why the 50 after it? We think that 50 is the sweet spot for our small agency. 50 employees, specifically. After three years in business, we’re 25 people strong, and on track to what we believe is a critical point in our agency’s growth. As founders, we’ve been through it all at previous companies –agencies with just a few people, agencies that grew into hundreds of people, and everywhere in between. We’re confident that 50 is the ideal number, and here’s why:

Personal Touch
We love personally knowing each and every one of our clients. We know who our customers are and we WANT to be involved in their business directly. The founders play a significant, active role in the agency and client business, which is important to our agency philosophy. We want to have that personal touch at every level, which we believe allows for our clients to get the very best service — the benefit of having senior level thinking for all accounts.

Strong Culture
When starting up Scrum50, we wanted our internal group of employees to feel like a team and have a true level of closeness. We wanted everyone to know each other — not just know of each other, but really build a close comradery that results in a thriving culture of happy employees. It also builds internal trust, allowing for quicker “short-hand” as the teams work through projects. Ultimately, we want our employees to thrive and provide the best work possible for our clients through a strong workplace environment.

High-Level Thinking
We believe that a small agency setting is the best place to grow new ideas and bring them to fruition. Because everyone in our agency organically knows what is going on with our different clients, we often find teams sharing ideas or suggestions being passed along. In brainstorming, we’ve also found that smaller teams deliver breakthrough thinking, while big groups, bogged down by too many cooks in the kitchen, tend to produce ideas that are more vanilla.

Superior Work
With small agency teams like ours, we have experts in every level and have brought together some great minds. Together, co-workers have a healthy competitive edge between each other, but not a destructive one. Everyone works towards common goals and has a collective role in our achievements. At this level, we get the best work out of the staff and they feel as though their work is being valued by the rest of the team.

Flexibility
An agency must be able to pivot easily when needed, an idea that goes along nicely with our Agile mindset. With a team of 50, shifting gears and changing our process is immediate, because we don’t have to go up the ladder at each level to make decisions. Keeping our team small provides the flexibility we need to keep our Agile systems in place and service our clients with whatever they need at the highest level.

Speed
Another key element to our Agile philosophy is speed — again, made possible with our small team. We want to work as fast as we can without those layers of hierarchy. We are nimble and faster and can get our great ideas to market quickly and efficiently.

Our size is an integral part of our vision, not the result of any circumstance. By keeping Scrum50 in the realm of a smallish agency, we provide the most superior end results and work for our clients, while also creating the best work environment for our staff. To use common big agency lingo, “It’s Win-Win.” And… we promise never to do that again.

Check out our feature in the Ad Age Small Agency Guide!