The current economy is causing most companies to tighten their belts. With limited staffing and a restricted budget, how do you continue to promote your business? The simple solution is the occasional or ongoing use of outside resources such as graphic designers, writers, webmasters, and other creative talent.
There are some real advantages to outsourcing.
First, your business only has to purchase the services you need, when you need them. This saves on overhead costs such as equipment, office space, salaries, and benefits. Project costs are specified in a contract and monitored on a regular basis.
Second, by outsourcing services to a firm, your organization can realize the expertise of an entire group of creative talent. With more resources, you can rest assured your deadlines are met without compromising quality. With an expanded network of creative experts, customized skills are focused on designated projects, providing a higher level of service.
You may also want to consider a retainer agreement. In a retainer agreement, you pay an outside firm a specified amount each month to retain their services for your company. This can be an advantage if your business has an ongoing need for project management for websites, publications, advertising placement, and ongoing campaigns and linkedin automated lead generation.
However, many people are not sure how to hire a firm. Here are some tips to help you evaluate any type of creative services:
Don’t just go with the first creative firm you find. Do your research. Ask colleagues, customers, and other professional organizations for suggestions. Visit the company’s website to view their online portfolio and read any articles they have written. This will help you understand the firm’s areas of expertise and their approach.
Meet in-person with a representative from the firm. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of the firm’s personality. When you meet with a creative firm for the first time, be sure to ask all the questions you might have about communication, workflow, billing, timelines, and so on.
When considering which firm you want to work with, take some time to review their list of clients and ask about past projects. Ask for references.
Every firm has a unique look and feel to their design pieces. Review a potential firm’s portfolio to see if you like their creative work. Ask the designer if they can help you develop a targeted product that will address your unique needs.
Do you feel comfortable with the person you will be working with? Will they be able to get back to you in a timely manner? Can they meet your deadlines?
Take time to discuss their pricing structure. When evaluating the cost, ask how value is added to justify certain pricing structures. For example, working with a freelancer will probably cost less than working with an entire firm. However, it may take more time and one person has a limited range of expertise, as well as time constraints. He or she may have to outsource certain components of your project. In the long run, you may be saving money by choosing to work with a team of experts who can provide a wide range of services under one roof.
Outsourcing can make your business easier to run and more profitable. You’ll free up time and resources so you can concentrate on your core business concerns. Creative firms offer a broad range of integrated services to move your company forward. More than ever, business survival depends upon the ability to effectively market and promote your services, as well as keeping costs down. For your next campaign, outsourcing may be the perfect solution to make the difference in your bottom line.