Outsourcing: The Path to Efficiency and Greater Income

Sun, Aug 23, 2009

Skills, Time Management

Outsourcing: The Path to Efficiency and Greater Income

It’s quite common for a potential client to approach you asking for a service that you may not offer, or an extension of your service which you don’t offer. For example, if a person requests you design a website for them, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be doing the (x)HTML/CSS for it or the back-end coding. What tends to happen in such a situation is the freelancer will simply do the section they can, and then refer someone they know who can do the rest.

It may be a little cynical to say that you’re not getting as much as you could out of this client, because you don’t offer the second service. There are two ways you can thus expand your income, you either obtain the skills required to fulfill the other task, or you outsource it to someone, whilst pocketing the difference between how much the client is paying and how much you’re paying the person you’re outsourcing to.

Many people look down at outsourcing, and I’ve never understood why. People feel it may be dishonest to the client that part of the work was not yours, but I see no problem whatsoever if you tell the client that you work with so-and-so and make it clear to them if you’re not going to do the project on your own. In fact, outsourcing is a very good thing, because not only are you building relationships with other people in your field, but you’re giving them a helping hand in terms of their earnings.

By outsourcing like this, you’ll earn a little extra from your clients – but how else can outsourcing work help you as a freelancer?

Well, let’s say you’re commissioned to do a web design which is un-coded, but you’re not particularly good at a certain aspect of design, such as creating icons. Instead, you could just hire someone else to create the icons for you. Not only will this improve the quality of the work as a whole, but it’ll prove to be much more efficient and quicker because you can choose a person who is swift and effective at creating good quality icons.

There are a lot of options open to freelancers if they’re struggling with work and feel they can’t get it done on time. If you don’t wish to hire somebody else, you could simply ask a contact who is a little more experienced in the field and ask for some pointers – people are willing to help you if you ask them, and get satisfaction from doing so without being paid to do it.

So, what’s the moral of this article? If you’re not confident with a piece of your project, or you’re swamped with work and need to offload some of it whilst still profiting a little, outsourcing is definitely something to consider.

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This post was written by:

- who has written 42 posts on Freelance Apple.

Taiyab Raja is a web designer and entrepreneur who runs an interesting, captivating freelance blog, designs awesome websites for 6creations.com, and in his spare time owns noobs at Halo.

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11 Responses to “Outsourcing: The Path to Efficiency and Greater Income”

  1. Chance Says:

    You have to be careful though.

    We looked at outsourcing a bit of code on DPD to another freelance developer overseas who came highly recommended. We picked out a quick, simple project so we could take a look at his work as a bit of a “test drive” before we had him attack larger projects. His rate was awesome, almost 1/3 of what we charge for freelance development and we were already thinking of the ways we could use him for PHP jobs we didn’t want to do ourselves.

    However, when we asked him how long it would take him he quoted us 25-30 hours for a project we knew would take 3-4. We would have ended up paying hundreds or thousands more than it would cost us to do ourselves.

  2. Taiyab Says:

    @Chance: Yea, that’s true, there are a few potholes I forgot to mention, i.e. what you’ve mentioned. So yea, you do need to be wary and pick out the right people to work with, as there are a lot of unskilled and unreliable people in the industry.

  3. Daquan Wright Says:

    Interesting article, there are two sides to outsourcing really. One is that you make less money, the other is that you can streamline our development process. I say leave outsourcing for more experienced people, after you’ve learned how to write up contracts in case you need to take legal action or something. At first you probably won’t get projects that require more than one person anyway (at least I didn’t).

    You also have to consider the location of the person. You can’t expect someone to charge a little if they live in New York, whilst in China or India things are so cheap over there you will get a cheap deal (not necessarily better). I would like to work with a logo/branding designer in the future, but I’d rather have a close partner I suppose than just random people. Someone I can trust and know on some sort of decent level.

  4. Daquan Wright Says:

    Sorry for the double post. xD

    I meant streamline “your” development process.

    I’d also like to clarify that my money comment is aimed at smaller projects and naturally where you get the outsourcing from.

  5. Scott @sydneydesign Says:

    yep quality is the issue, if you pay peanuts you’ll get monkeys

  6. Watford Web Designer Says:

    Yeah, I’m coming to the conclusion that it’s better to outsource within your friends – that way you at least have a basic understanding between you before you start. It seems that smaller design companies may eventually be replaced by loose networks of programming aquaintances.

    This may not necessarily be a bad thing…

  7. Amiel Says:

    The working principle evolving outsourcing is very difficult to phatom. This is because several factors are involved and you have to consider. To name some, the time, culture and work habits are just a few. But then again, you cannot held the outsourcing company you are working with totally liable for any project discrepancies or mishaps. The one who outsource has also the responsibility to fully describe in details the projects that he wanted to be done in accordance with his desired result. True, that the interpretations vary from one person to another, but can this not be cured by proper and constant communications and follow ups as well regarding the progress of the projects? Is talking about the details of the projects a hard thing to do? That is the reason why we have brains for us to think and rationalize things that are beneficial to us. We cannot always shift the responsibility from one party to another; in the same vein, we cannot also totally claim the work of others as our own should it turn out to be a magnificent piece. I would describe this as the “symbiosis” of outsourcing-related work. Selecting the outsourcing company to work with is not really that huge issue, as proper precaution should be observed in doing such to avoid failures.

  8. Jessica Taylor Says:

    There is a rapid growth of Outsorcing these days as manufactures try to cut cost and maximize profit.:.;

  9. Gabriella Adams Says:

    outsourcing is always essential to businesses coz it helps reduce the cost of production-~;

  10. outsource link building Says:

    Outsourcing is more crucial for competition nowadays. Online businesses are increasing and the best way to grab more customers is to make an outstanding promotional campaign online.


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