The Best Way To Run a UX Agency

Dec 5, 2022Martín Etchegoyen

The trick to staying ahead of the curve is not thinking just about your role as a designer, project manager, or writer,  but absorbing as much information as you can from everyone around you. Be interested in how business works, and how the position is won, build relationships, and try to understand every part of the process. It takes years to master, so the sooner you start, the stronger position your UX agency will be in when the time comes.

UX Agency Process

In this section, we will describe some steps that you need to take to start running your own UX agency.

UX Agency

1. Remove all fear

We are taught from an early age to fear authority, whether that is our teacher, parents, or boss. This cycle needs to be broken. Clients are not scary, so do not fear them. Bosses want the best for you and will support you. Fear does not help, it delays, so throw yourself into client meetings and uncomfortable situations, this way, you remove the fear from an early age and see things for what they are.

2. Start on Day One

It is never too soon to start, so start on day one. Be inquisitive. Study people. Steal what is good and ignore what is bad. Understand how the whole project process works, not just your part of it. You can even be honest and say that you want to one day have your studio and ask to be mentored at an early age.

3. Go outside your swimlane

Whatever your role, do not stick to it. Do it to the best of your ability and study every other aspect of the business. Learn how to write a scope of work and understand how jobs are priced and resourced. Get stuck into workshops, strategy, writing, and thinking. Embrace the burden, and make yourself invaluable to the entire process beyond your role.

4. Be the best hour in your clients' calendar

Whatever the meeting, wherever you are in the process, we should be the highlight of a client's day. Remember, their day revolves around bar charts, powerpoints, metrics, and suits. Our job is to bring theatre, joy, and creativity. So bring your A-Game to every meeting, so they remember you. It surely will be invaluable later.

5. Build relationships

Having solid relationships with clients built over many years is the key to starting a business. You will turn to these people for work when you start. So make a good impression today. Listen, understand their challenges, and create work that helps them progress in their career. Most clients are incredibly loyal, so if you do this now, it will pay back later.

6. Leap without looking

When it is time, or it feels like something you want to do, just do it. To build a company, you only need a laptop, a bank account, and a registered company. All of which can be set up in a few hours. You do not need a master plan or a business strategy. Start small, dream big. I started in my living room designing restaurant menus. Everything else comes later. Co-working spaces are perfect as a first studio, and hiring young keeps the costs down. Make decisions quickly based on what you know.

4 Tips to Run a UX Agency

Here, we will present you some tips about running a UX agency that you definitely should take into consideration.

UX Design

1. Have one big goal

Having a singular goal provides clarity and gives focus to everything that you do. Set a goal that’s appropriate to you. Now with every new client or piece of work that comes along, ask yourself if doing this helps you reach your goal. Ask what you want from life, and then define a goal where your business can help you achieve this. For some, it may be financial security. For others, it might be the flexibility to spend time with family and friends.

2. Pitch to your clients regularly

Put yourself in your client's shoes and imagine that you are the owner of their businesses for a week. Using your knowledge, what would you do to improve their brand? What value could you add to their business? Write down everything that comes to mind and research each point. Now pitch it to your client.

Do not be discouraged if some of your clients do not initially respond or show interest. Remember that they are also working on their businesses and may have other things that take priority. That is fine. Record everything in your CRM or wherever you can easily reference it in the future. Some of your clients often return to these actions three, six, or even twelve months down the line. Keep pitching new ideas, even if you have only recently sent one to them.

3. Say No

It is easy to say yes. Yes to that highly demanding client. Yes to that deadline that will mean your team needs to work weekends for the foreseeable future. Yes after that overly frugal client beat your rate down even though you need the money this month. Saying no takes courage. The more you say yes to one type of work, the more you will be known for doing it. Your bad habits will become the new normal.

4. Profit is better than Revenue

Some brands are all about chasing revenue. For agencies with a low-profit margin or worse still no profit, just one client leaving might mean making someone redundant. Revenue is for the show, but profit is calm. No profitable business ever went out of business.  Use software to review cash flow, sales pipelines, and expenses regularly.

You want to be lean. Do you need that software license for that app or program you use once a year? Negotiate with your providers. If you ate the business owner, take a director’s salary with dividends. You can also pay into a stakeholders pension for tax efficiency.


If you are looking to run a UX agency, this guide will help you do so. Implement all the things mentioned above and you will be one step ahead of the competition.

Martín Etchegoyen

Martín Etchegoyen

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