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"Don’t be fearful of scaling." — A chat with agency founder Oleg Davydov

This article is part of the Wix Partner Awards series recognizing the exceptional work of Wix Partners. Today, meet the founder of the London-based agency Davydov Consulting, and get tips to help you scale your creative business confidently. Thanks to our friends at Wix for sponsoring this blog post! ✏️

When agency resources are limited, every hire represents a major decision point. Even more so when it’s your first recruit.

It raises multiple questions. Will a new team member possess the right skills to hit the ground running? Can they be trusted to work directly with clients? How will you manage them?

And when exactly is the right time to hire? If your agency moves too early, you could face cashflow problems and have a new team member with not enough to do. If you hire too late, you might find yourself swamped with client work that you can’t deliver.

I was very protective of my work and business, but it was blocking my agency’s growth.

These were questions facing London-based Oleg Davydov three years into running his web design business. It was early 2020, and the world was coming to terms with a global pandemic. Strict lockdowns and the rise of remote work skyrocketed the need for web design services. That coupled with an increasing number of leads coming through the Wix Partner Program, Oleg soon found himself burning the candle at both ends to keep up with demand, working 14-hour days, seven days a week, as a one-person company.

He knew something had to give.

“Looking back, I was so mistaken. I should have hired a long time before. I was very protective of my work and business, but it was blocking my agency’s growth.” — Oleg Davydov

Oleg Davydov, Founder of Davydov Consulting.

Oleg bit the bullet and began recruiting remote workers from his homeland Ukraine and began to scale.

His leap of faith paid off. Today, Davydov Consulting has a team of 16 spread across Europe, many having relocated from Ukraine after the war broke out. Its turnover has increased tenfold within two years, with a 200+ client site portfolio.

The agency covers the entire digital suite – from brand design and website development to SEO, mobile apps, content, social media and marketing campaigns. The team creates on Wix Editor and Editor X but works mainly with Wix’s full stack development platform Velo to deliver customized and technically demanding projects. Davydov Consulting serves SMBs, startups and influencers across all industries and uses organic SEO and Wix Marketplace to win business mainly in the UK, US, Europe, Canada and Australia.

Being an adaptable agency strengthens your portfolio

Something striking about Davydov Consulting’s work when you browse through its client websites is the breadth of different styles and approaches it takes, exhibiting its creative and technical adaptability to its clients’ needs.

“I love growing our portfolio. The reason for that is not the numbers, but actually, how many different ideas are implemented and the differences between them. A client is a very interesting creature. Some like luxury, some like minimal, some like old-school. All of them are correct. The enjoyable part for me is to extract their knowledge and vision, translate it for my team and make sure it is realized.”

One client for whom Davydov Consulting realized its vision this year is global training platform company Learning Advisers. It required a newly branded hub to match trainers with employers for a range of online courses – everything from starting your own YouTube channel to mastering Microsoft Powerpoint. Created on Editor X, the website earned Davydov Consulting this month’s Wix Partner Award for superior functionality.

Oleg managed the project and assigned a designer, coder, and tester to work alongside him. The website went through three rounds of iteration, and the build involved implementing a range of features including animation effects and member pages for trainer profiles. With hundreds of courses listed on the site, making them simple to navigate was one of Davydov Consulting’s biggest challenges, but incorporating the right filtering and sorting functions has made it a seamless browsing experience for visitors. The result is a modern, informative, and user-friendly site with a startup look and feel, fully responsive on desktop and mobile.

“We’re very pleased with the final version. It turned out to be a worthy project that is scalable and can be further developed according to the client’s needs.”

While Davydov Consulting picked up the Wix Partner Award for superior functionality, the agency is not afraid to flex its code development muscle too. The team is currently working on a website for a clever London startup called Pin To Be In. Aimed at influencers, it’s an online map highlighting the most Instagrammable places in London. Then there’s a financial advisory website for a Florida-based client called Middle Point – essentially Twitter for financial advisors where people pay a subscription to access their feed – with other exciting client projects in the pipeline.

Security in your pitch gives clients peace of mind

Having grown his team, Oleg has taken a step back from the day-to-day design work to focus on leading operations, managing clients, and bringing in business. He gains a deep insight into what’s front of mind for clients when choosing an agency.

“Every time I speak with clients I get asked about security. Especially in Europe, they’re obsessed with GDPR and data protection and are afraid not to be compliant. They want peace of mind, and it’s not always enough for someone like us to provide it.”

Oleg says he covers security in every client pitch, explaining how it is not only his agency that offers support, but that Wix provides the foundation. He shares his analogy that generally gets clients over the line.

“Wix is the art shop, somewhere you don’t buy the picture but the tools; like paper, brushes, and paints. We are the artists who can draw it for you. However, once we do, it gets transferred into the Wix art gallery, where they’re responsible for the security of the pictures… Then they get it. It gives them peace of mind and they put their trust in us.”

Regarding trends, Oleg is seeing more demand for landing pages instead of multi-page websites.

“I can see a lot of sense to it, and I’m a big supporter of a long page, clearly structured rather than a multi-page website.”

According to Oleg, it’s part of a greater understanding of the psychology of messaging – how you put information into a visitor’s mind to create a perfect picture of the business.

“When people land on a website for the first time, they know nothing about you. You need to tell them a story. The website tells the story, but a landing page tells the best story because you can drive the journey. With a multi-page website, you have less control.”

Oleg tells clients they have approximately five seconds to let a site visitor know what their business is about so don’t waste time using an ambiguous quote or text-heavy content. Get straight to the point because your prospect will probably have visited 20 competitor sites before yours. Oleg sees video as a great way to tell that story, and it’s something that features on many of his client sites, as well as his own.

“For the first screen, we prefer to use video. Very often, we produce the media for clients. So maybe we use five stock videos, take three seconds from each and produce a 15-second clip. It looks modern and it keeps people on the website. It means you can tell the story about the business without reading. That’s pretty powerful.”

Oleg points to Apple as a brand that does website navigation brilliantly but is bemused at how some major companies still get it wrong, like Tesla, which he says fails to consider the user journey. Nothing a tweet to Elon Musk can’t solve.

Protectionism hampers business growth

Reflecting on five demanding but successful years in business, Oleg ’s advice to other agencies is not surprising given his journey.

“Don’t be fearful of scaling. Don’t be afraid to hire a developer or a designer and build your agency. Some people keep everything to themselves. I was like that, but it only restricts you. I mean, look at us now, we’re continuing our growth trajectory and are very confident that’s not stopping any time soon.”

For the award win, Oleg is keen to give a shoutout to his Partner Success Manager who he says is “full of ideas, great at capturing information from within Wix, and providing advice on how to run my agency.”

He expresses pride in his team and how it continues to excel in challenging circumstances, some working while air raid sirens go off in the background. “I’m trying to be as flexible as I can. They appreciate it and pay it back with great work.”

And recognition for the superior functionality of its client sites? “Genuinely, I’m thrilled, he says. “We’re doing a lot of things with Wix that not all agencies can do. And we’re very, very pleased to be recognized for that.”

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