A common mistake I’ve seen companies make is hiring an agency to do work that you shouldn’t hire an agency to do. The typical example is replacing lost members of an internal team. Sure, it’s easier to find an agency who is willing to provide lost velocity to your projects than it is to hire. But when all you need is production work, the costs can quickly eclipse the benefits.

What you should be looking to get from an agency partner is experience. At Soto we build dozens of software products a year - everything from complex platform tooling to the most delicate user-focused interfaces. Our team has seen every mistake, gone down every rabbit hole, and successfully launched under every possible condition. We know what to spend time on and where to take shortcuts. We can (and regularly do) talk clients out of building things because the end product would be better served spending that money elsewhere.

When you’re deciding whether to bring in an agency, here’s the question you should ask: is this a situation where we don’t have the experience in-house, and acquiring that experience can’t be built into the cost of the project. If so, you should go find a good agency and hire them. Rember, your relationship with an agency should be a high-ROI engagement.