It seems I caused a little bit of a stir in my last post when I suggested you could potentially outsource some design tasks to cheaper labour in places like Manilla.
I do love a hearty discussion so I thought I’d quickly lay out my top 6 reasons why design outsourcing isn’t something to be feared. I’d love to hear what you think!
Sites like Fiverr are your resource as much as anyone’s.
Same goes for eLance or oDesk. Sure, they might seem like an abhorrent and evil competitor who steals your business, but stop and think about it: it’s your resource too.
It’s time we got smart.
You don’t have to offer cut price jobs on there (actually I wouldn’t recommend it), but maybe you can HIRE some of those cut priced people to take some pressure off you when you get busy.
We’re here, we’re not dear, get used to it.
Outsourcing is here to stay. You know it, your competitors know it, even your clients know it.
They also know it’s not perfect and it doesn’t suit every project or client.
So don’t close your eyes and hope it goes away; it won’t.
Embrace it and benefit from it, or ignore it and find yourself out-gunned by your competitor down the road who DOES use it.
Outsourcing ‘grunt work’ makes business sense.
If you’re going to be successful you need to be a business-owner first, and a designer second.
That’s why I stepped away from design work to focus on building a business and a lifestyle I love.
I employ several talented designers who work out of my Melbourne (Australia) office, and yes, I outsource some simple tasks offshore too.
I admit I was a little uncomfortable about it at first, and I still think local matters, but my clients are happy, my staff are happy, and I’m happy.
And I also feel good about making a difference to the lives of people less fortunate than us, it’s a great bonus.
You can’t run a business if you’re run by fear.
Fear makes you inelastic and less responsive to change.
It makes you focus on the threats and it stops you from seeing the opportunities. And, in the business world, if you can’t adapt you’re history.
As an example, think about the silent movie stars of yesteryear when ‘talkies’ were invented. Those who accepted and adapted to the new technology thrived, and those who didn’t quickly became a memory.
Who do you want to be?
Now, here’s the good news.
You’ll never be obsolete.
Not everyone buys on price; they buy on value, a good portfolio, they buy on word of mouth, they buy on reliability, but mostly, do you know what clients buy on?
A good old fashioned gut instinct as to whether they like you.
You are priceless.
If you let your light shine, let your confidence come through when you talk with clients and prospects, you’ll never be out of work.
Outsourcing makes your life easier (sometimes).
I know you need to pay the bills, but do you really want to work every hour of the day on the mind-numbingly repetitive low-value tasks?
Wouldn’t you prefer to work on the fun stuff?
It’s usually this fun stuff that is more high-value and will add more to your bottom line so create a list of what you love doing and delegate the rest. By outsourcing selected tasks YOU can choose your projects, and you can focus on what you enjoy.
Once you’ve found your outsourced worker (which I’ll talk about another time), the whole process is easy to manage with online project management software like Wrike, Basecamp or TeamworkPM.
I’m a firm believer that local still matters. I’m not telling you to sack your existing staff and contractors; I’m simply asking you to consider the opportunity that outsourcing could give your business.
So, what do you think? Let’s get this discussion started! Take a side and leave a comment on this post.