Outsourcing has negative connotations (at least here in the states). Whenever you mention outsourcing you immediately get comments like “Why would you send jobs overseas just to save a few dollars?” or “That’s the real problem with the global economy today!”.
To those of you who are about to read this post on outsourcing and leave a similar comment, I have just one word:
Whether or not I think first-world countries should send jobs to third-world countries is irrelevant, because as we discuss outsourcing here at GDB, what we really mean is hiring other people to help you accomplish a job you need to get done.
Let me explain:
Taking from another article published a while back here at GDB,
“Outsourcing in design is simply the act of transferring the workload from yourself to another person. If you lack time or skill to complete a particular project for a client, for example, you might hire another designer to do the work for you while you manage client relationships [and other important tasks].”
Getting started with outsourcing
So when is the best time to start looking for someone to outsource surplus work to? As soon as you feel like you can’t handle all the work you have coming in. That moment might be as soon as you start your own design business. Perhaps you’ll want to outsource your accounting or marketing to someone who you feel is more capable.
The right moment could be after years of hard work as a one-man show. Once the workload of finding clients, working for clients, learning new techniques, marketing your design business, and balancing your finances just becomes too overwhelming, perhaps you’ll want to outsource some of that work.
The timing is going to be different for everyone, but it’s usually the right time when your feelings of being overwhelmed with work meet your ability to pay someone else to do certain tasks.
There are lots of options as far as who you can hire to outsource some of your surplus design work. Here a few to get you started:
Growing more and more popular, virtual assistants are a great way to get some work done in your design business without sucking all your time away. Believe it or not, there are people who just love to do paperwork, balance finances, and simply manage a business. If you find a good V.A., you could transfer a lot of important responsibilities to them.
If you ever have a client approach you with a project that you fear you just don’t have time to handle or demands more talents or skills than you currently possess, you have two options: you can either overwhelm yourself with the extra work, or you can hire another designer to do the job faster and better.
Work to establish solid relationships with other designers, ilustrators, web gurus, bloggers, videographers, (and the list goes on and on) so that when tough assignments come up, you can work with them to fulfill your clients’ needs.
Family & Friends
I have a close friend who owns a successful small business. His brother is unemployed. At least until a few months ago. Now, my friends brother helps with marketing efforts for my friend’s small business and both my friend’s business and his brother are doing well. The moral of the story?
Help others who you trust and they will help you grow your business.
Who else do you recommend for outsourcing your various business tasks and design projects? For that matter, what other tips do you have to share with the rest of us on when and how to outsource your design work? Let us know in the comments.