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Oct
29th

Outsourcing 101 – Why to Outsource your Design & Marketing Needs

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By John Jenks 29 October 2012, 8:45AM

It’s the American dream, right? Own a business and outsource all the work. Many people think outsourcing is only for giant corporations and Fortune 100 companies. I’m going to tell you they’re all wrong. Welcome to the age of the Internet where any service you could dream of outsourcing is as far away as your fingertips. All that’s required is a clear definition of what you need, a quick local Google search, and a few phone calls to compare your options. If you aren’t sure if outsourcing is for you yet, let me see if I can convince you otherwise.

Let’s say you own a flower shop. You know every last detail about the flowers you sell from its proper name to its genetic makeup. You know how and when to prune them, how long you have to sell them before they begin to wilt, and the best way to present the flowers depending on the occasion. You’ve lived and breathed your flower shop for decades, and don’t plan on stopping soon. But the economy has slowed and you want more people to hear about your shop. Last year, you hired a friend’s daughter who was home from college for the summer to design a basic website using a template and a few flyers. It came out looking decently nice, but took much longer than expected and no one called in about your special offer. You’ve tried writing a few blogs to drive traffic to your website, but got backed up on orders and ultimately gave up. Now you’ve spent your time and hard-earned money with no return, and become critical of digital marketing. Where did you go wrong?

1. Outsourcing is more efficient.

The first factor to keep in mind when deciding whether to outsource is determining if you have better things to do with your time. If you specialize in curing flowers, chances are that you are going to be more productive working in your shop. If you are a lawyer who bills hourly for consultations, focusing on your billable hours is going to be more profitable than blogging. The underlying point is you always have work to do for current customers. If an hour’s worth of work within your specialty will provide a $200 return, it doesn’t make sense to attempt tasks you could easily outsource anywhere from $50-100 per hour. If you focus on your specialty and allow another company to focus on theirs, you’re always coming out ahead. If you spent five hours on Tuesday morning struggling through writing a blog which was read by exactly three people when you could have cleared the open tickets off your to do list, you’ve essentially lost hundreds of dollars in productive time saved.

2. Professional quality means higher conversions.

The second factor to remember when determining whether to outsource is the quality of work you expect to receive. Sure, you can pay your friend’s son $100 to build a website using a free template or design some flyers and other graphics to promote your company. But you get what you pay for. If your marketing and advertising budget for your company is less than your phone bill, I’ll have to write another article for you (It is generally recommended that companies budget 5-10% of revenues towards marketing and advertising). The general value you will receive from a design and marketing firm is always going to be higher than what you will receive from someone who is inexperienced. Just as you know all of the subtle nuances of caring for flowers, a design firm will know the nuances of use of specific colors, fonts, shapes, words, sentence structure, and so on. So while professional quality work may cost more, we’ve already established you’re making more by focusing on your job and the higher quality is going to have a higher conversion rate, as well.

3. Outsourcing means fewer expenses.

Many companies make the mistake of hiring too early. They know they need some help promoting the company and have a little extra money to spend, so they hire someone part time to blog and manage social media. The hire has limited experience besides posting photos from the party from last weekend, and doesn’t know how to encourage purchasing decisions. Another possibility is you want to hire a salesman to generate new leads, but haven’t fully ironed out the details or don’t want the additional expense from taxes and benefits. An excellent next step for many is to contract a marketing firm before making the decision to hire part time or full time. When you hire internally, you have a mess of new concerns ranging from unemployment and payroll taxes to scheduling and bonuses. With a contractor, you don’t have to worry about any of it. With most, you set a monthly budget and specify deliverables, and the firm takes care of the rest. This saves you countless hours of management, crunching numbers, and stressing about how to make payroll in addition to the money you’ll save on extra taxes and employment benefits. Your time is better spent doing what you know and love to do.

To wrap up, there are three primary reasons why you should consider outsourcing your marketing and advertising needs. Chances are you have better, and more profitable things to do with your time, you will have a much higher conversion rate with the professional quality work, and you’re saved the hassle and expense of dealing with another employee. It’s usually a win-win for all parties involved. If you’ve considered outsourcing your marketing needs, call us today to discuss additional possibilities and ways we can help promote your business.

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Photograph Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.