Chances are that if you do web design in a smaller company or as a freelancer that you have had a project that required outside help in order to fulfill the client’s needs. Web design is an interesting field. Projects can range from mostly aesthetic to almost entirely mathematical. This wide range of demands that a project can take on means that being an expert in all facets of web design is impossible and you will eventually have to look outside your direct resources for expertise other than your own. This is where outsourcing naturally comes in, but at what cost?
THE BENEFITS OF OUTSOURCING
For one, outsourcing allows your company to take on more work and expand your range of services. Outsourcing also opens the potential of more a more enjoyable working environment. It allows you to focus on the work that you want to do while still taking on the work that may be less glamorous but still profitable.
THE NEGATIVES OF OUTSOURCING
There are always negatives associated with any possible decision and outsourcing is no different. If you are a small company or freelancer, agility is probably one of your strongest assets. Your ability to react and deliver in a shorter amount of time is what allows small firms to compete with the massive mega agencies and their endless resources. Outsourcing, however brings your company logistic and bureaucratic issues that you may not be ready to deal with. Not to mention that choosing to outsource to a company located overseas is going to add a large lag time into your information loop.
MINIMIZING THE NEGATIVES OF OUTSOURCING
Just like anything else, the negatives of outsourcing can be minimized. These tips have helped me run a smoother project and eliminate some of the stress that can accompany a project.
- Interview your vendor like you would an employee. Don’t make the mistake of over assuming the qualifications of your new vendor. Do a really thorough investigation of their capabilities and make sure they meet the level of quality you would expect. Unfortunately not all vendors are created equally, if they under deliver then it is you who over promised. Your client will not want to hear that it wasn’t your fault the end product isn’t what you said it would be.
- Learn who is in charge, and who gets things moving. Be the event that something does not go as was planned, it will be beneficial to know who your greatest ally is. This is especially true if you are under a time crunch, knowing who will get you back on track will minimize the time it takes to do so.
- Document everything. Just because it was said doesn’t mean that it was heard or remembered. If you haven’t put it into writing then chances are that it was never said. Poor communication is where agility is lost, so making sure everyone is on the same page will save you both time and money.
- Don’t give your true deadlines. Everyone makes mistakes and by giving some buffer time in your timeline you can make sure that the client never has to know they happened. This will also remove the stress of having to push the vendor to meet a deadline.
- Don’t put all your eggs into one basket. The great thing about outsourcing is that you can find an almost endless supply of resources. By finding a group of vendors that have different strengths and weaknesses you can ensure that you always have the strongest team for the job.
- Treat your vendors like you would like to be treated. Clients can place a ton of tension and stress on you, however should never push this off on to your vendor. Vendors are a part of your team just like your employees and deserve to be treated equally.