First off, as a small agency or freelancer, you can’t be everywhere at one time. Scratching out websites while tracking down invoices or solving a malware issues not only causes frustration, but it can be time consuming.
Herein lies the concept of web design outsourcing.
Outsourcing certain areas of your business can supercharge your efficiency and give your mind a mental break it so desperately needs.
What is outsourcing?
By definition (according to dictionary.com), outsourcing means obtaining (goods or a service) from an outside or foreign supplier, especially in place of an internal source.
Essentially, it’s finding capable workers outside of an organization to assist in development or creation of a product or service.
For web design outsourcing, this means moving the time-consuming work (coding or templating) offshore to save precious time in your business.
Does outsourcing work?
Technically, yes. Although it can be challenging finding the right fit for your organization.
While finding the right worker might be difficult, it doesn’t have to be. Simply map out the specific qualities, traits, and skills you are looking for and start searching.
For web design outsourcing, we used onlinejobs.ph to find an excellent designer/developer located in the Philippines.
The Filipino culture is very loyal and hard-working and although we’ve had a few communication issues, overall it’s been outstanding.
Managing outsourced web design
Managing outsourced web design will depend on your specific needs and the availability of your worker.
Every day I send specific tasks to be completed for that day, usually around 3PM. Given the time difference, they get started around 8-9PM CST and work through the night.
Usually between 6-8AM CST I will get a daily report email of what has been done overnight, which is pretty freaking awesome.
A key part of web design outsourcing is being extremely detailed in the tasks you are sending to get done.
We also communicate through Skype on occasion, but for the most part, it’s simply through email.
One thing I’ve realized in paying them full-time is I honestly don’t care if they work the full 8 hours per day. If they can deliver excellent work on time, then great.
I don’t need to know exactly how many hours they’ve spent on specific tasks, I just want the tasks done in a reasonable amount of time.
Does that make me bad at business? Maybe, but I’d much rather base their value on the work they deliver than the hours they spend. Sound familiar?
Cons of Outsourcing
While web design outsourcing is great, there are some pitfalls to the process. Below I’ll list and explain a few:
Timing: In my experience, you should never send something that needs to be done immediately. While they’re work is fast and excellent, there are communication barriers that are present. Always give plenty of leeway to get your task done.
Communication: this may not be the case for everyone and it will probably depend on your situation, but my only communication is through email or skype chat. That’s their preference and that’s fine. Again, as long as the work get done, I don’t mind.
So how do you get started?
The first step would be determining the specific tasks you want to send over that have a defined process.
For example, when you mockup a website you may have a couple of inspiration sites that you pull ideas from to generate a custom design for your client.
Alternatively, you may have a defined step-by-step SEO process you’d like them to follow.
Mapping out the detailed process will prove very beneficial when searching for a hire and increase their ability to understand the task assigned.
The second step would be finding candidates. Like mentioned above, onlinejobs.ph is a great place to find candidates.
Vet them. Ask them to do a single job for you and pay them for your time.
Third, ALWAYS pay them AFTER the work is complete. Just like any business, their are scammers out there. So be careful and make sure the work is getting done.
Oh, and don’t take advantage and pay them less than agreed upon. They have lives and families that rely on them just like you. If the arrangement doesn’t work, that’s ok, keep searching until you find the right fit.
Lastly, expect to train them and integrate them into your organization. Make them feel a part of it. Appreciate their work. Give them compliments!
Web design outsourcing can be a huge efficiency boost to your business.
Finding the right hire is all about being organized, prepared, and patient, in order to effectively free up your time to work on other things.
Above all, just be a nice human being and treat them with respect.
Respect goes a long way in life and business, so do your best to practice that day in and day out.