6 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Fear Design Outsourcing

[img] don't be scared of outsourcing design work [img]

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.

Here’s the truth: sites like Fiverr can be a real resource for you and your company. 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. 

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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.

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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.


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  1. When I first stumbled upon outsourcing websites last year I panicked. I saw a future of me being absolutely unnecessary because I knew I could never compete with the prices that people in other economies are able to make a good living from.
    This is the first time I’ve honestly considered using it to my advantage. The idea of trusting someone else is still a bit scary, but as you said ” you can’t run a business if you’re run by fear”. I’ve also been learning the importance of business owner first, designer second.

    1. I’ve been there, it is really easy to get caught up in the trap that says you can’t charge what you are worth since there are others charging less. As popular as these sites are, there are still plenty of clients that would rather work with you! However, I agree you can use these services to your advantage to save time and money. Outsource projects that take to much time for you and that you can still turn a profit on after paying them.

  2. Bianca,

    You had to sell me, but you’ve done it. I really like the idea of outsourcing the menial tasks that take forever and don’t pay well.

    Also, your advice on not being an ostrich (burying your head in the sand) is priceless. Flexibility, as I wrote in a post earlier, is our most valuable asset. We have to adapt, we have to learn to use the tools available in an ever-changing world.

    I’m still a big proponent of local business and industry-standards for pricing, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use the best of both worlds.

    Thanks for stretching my mind to new possibilities!

    April

    1. For me to vectorize a design correctly could take me an hour to three hours depending on design. I have a guy on fiver that I love, gets the job done in a matter of hours and it’s only $5 dollars. So much better use of my time to work on other projects and pay $5 for that project. That is just one example. I have a part time designer from odesk on my team that I outsource some design work to and I have a marketing guy from Bangladesh that has been with me for years. It would cost me more in time than I pay for him to market for me.

  3. Hi,

    Grafics.Capital is a one stop shop where we provide excellent services
    to our clients for their graphic designing needs like digitizing,
    vector artwork, photo shop like Background removing, Creating clipping paths, Photo Editing.

    Yes you have to outsource your work so that you may get free and we people get business.

    Thank you,
    Kiran

  4. I absolutely agree! I don’t believe outsourcing is a negative thing. With competitors such as Fiverr, it’s best to find the opportunities to work with them rather than fight against. There is definitely quality that designers offer that cheap outsourcing can’t, and if clients are looking for cheap work…they will get what they pay for in the end.

    In any case, if a client wants to spend $5 on a website…is that the type of client a designer really wants to work with? I don’t think so.

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