Last updated on July 1st, 2018 at 11:38 am.
Web development and other Business outsourcing
Web development outsourcing is one of the big reasons Freelance Marketplaces such as Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, and PPH grew so big. I cannot rule out the large Market of writing among other services offered by Freelancers all over the world. This web development outsourcing post is targeted towards starting and fully grown entrepreneurs as a whole. If you want to learn to make your own WordPress website especially if you are on a low budget read the article I wrote concerning that.
This post is intended to look at the pros, cons and some expectations to be had when looking to outsource Web Development services. Strong opinions have been aired on the idea that outsourcing can be cheaper than to have an in house development team. Strong arguments have also been raised on the fact that outsourcing can be scams. When outsourcing work on Freelance Marketplaces, we have heard of Buyers crying foul . We have also heard of web dev outsourcing firms crying foul over cheap rate expectation customers. Little pay for too much work. Not good at all.
There is a lot to consider when you need to outsource Web Development and design services. The beauty of these services is that they can be done remotely. Personally I am a travel developer / UX designer/ Trainer as vindicated on my courses page. So with this in mind your job can be done by any developer from anywhere in the world. This should tell you how communication and availability to communicate will be very important throughout your project period.
The hurdle is in the initial trust. I can remember when I started outsourcing my Web development and WordPress Maintenance services. It was not easy for a new client to trust me. Most just thought the moment they made a money transaction with me this blog site would be pulled down and disappear. Yeah, however, with time relationships are formed. So the toughest hurdle is in the first business deal. Having to trust a new person is not easy.
So Let us take a look at some of the important things to consider when seeking outside help with web development services. As a matter of fact you may use these as a foundation of decision for any work you are outsourcing to another firm or individual.
Pros of outsourcing
Can be extremely affordable and cost effective
It is no secret that the number one reason most Companies (Especially American and European) outsource is because it just happens to be cheaper. Large companies like Apple manufacture offshore. It is cheaper. Working with an in-house team will be more expensive. Take a situation where you only need an ecommerce website. First thought is that you need to hire a good web developer .You will have to continue paying this guy (or team) in coming months, whether there is work to be done or not. With Development outsourcing you will find an affordable team the can work on your project to completion. Once the web dev project is completed, you will not pay a penny more till the next time you need a service from them.
The cost of outsourcing is cheaper. You find the right talent within your affordable budget. If you are lucky to find the good partner, you will never have web development hiring problems again. With a good development partner offshore, you are certain you will grow your website, ecommerce platform or Web App without too much hustle.
Unlimited access to a wide range of talent
We live in a world where there is no deficiency of talent. There are a lot of amazing people who can achieve the results you need. There is no scarcity of developers, designers or Marketers. Due to economic and regional variations you are able to get the best talent from anywhere in the world at very cost effective rates.
When you outsource web development services, often times you are lucky because you have tapped into a multi talent fellow or teams. Whether you need web development, internet Marketing, SEO or web consultancy, it is likely that the team you are dealing with have the capacity to do all that. Some skills go hand in hand.
It is a reality that Freelancers are more exposed to variable challenges as compared to in-house web developers. Freelancers get challenged with different tasks daily from different clients who need different solutions.
It is often the case that when you are starting out or seeking to grow within a small budget least expenditure to you is better. With that said, quality must come hand in hand with that affordability. Seek quality talent that will deliver on your expectations.
Reduce Labor cost and hustles that come as an employer (Reduce Turnover rates)
Every employer dreads that moment an employee they have groomed and trained, quits or gets another job offer. Most employers are very insecure about their technical and expert employees. When that employee goes and they are the only one who could do a particular task that requires a particular skill, you are in trouble my friend.
Labor costs that come with training the employee and doing payroll and all that kind of cost can be avoided by outsourcing to other independent contractors. Working with independent contractors within your country or offshore alleviates some of this costs and fear.
The hardest part is always in seeking new and training the new employee. And in the case of a Web developer, trying to spell out the web development requirements again is simply headache. So it is better to seek a well proven team with a good track record. Work with people whose business is focused towards outsourcing Development. Be very thorough in your search and you may get a long term partner.
Project management skills
One of the perks of working on Freelance websites is how fast you learn to manage projects. You learn to oversee how the project is fairing and how deadlines are being met. When projects are behind the schedules you come up with solutions to better manage the project as it passes the various stages.
You will gain these skills when working with outside help. You will be on toes of your project when you get involved in the process, D not be laid back about the project. You must be aware of all that is going on in the project.
Reduce dependency on your internal team
This partly goes hand in hand with reducing costs but is more inclined towards reliability on your employees. Relying too much on your employees is not good when there are diverse optional and opportunities you can explore. You might end up asking too much of them when there are too many tasks to be accomplished.
You can do hybrid kind of outsourcing whereby some jobs are done in house while others are outsourced. By so doing you will reduce dependency on your employees and have them work on other amazing projects. This will give them better concentration and bring out the best output.
Save time and grow your business and utilize talents
Okay you want to be superman managing everything, deciding everything .And building everything as well? Just hire outside help and get better time to concentrate on your business building.
When you outsource your development to other third parties, you will be able to Spend your time in building your business. You will be able to give your customers the best experiences possible without being destructed by the website you have to complete or the Mailchimp template you need to set up and send out.
Be at one place, concentrate their to the end. Focus on growth while outsourcing what you can.
Grow by outsourcing extra jobs you are unable to handle
When you have too much service requests or you have too much order, what are you going to do? Are you going to turn them down? Of course not, you will need to find independent contractors to help out with some of the work in hand. This is where long term partnerships with (offshore) outsourcing firms come in handy. If they are not able to do the jobs you need done, perhaps they can help you find someone else who does. This gets easier when you have outsourcing firms within your region when the products in question are physical goods.
Do not turn down extra jobs because you have insufficient staff, find strategic partners who outsource the services you are interested in.
Cons of outsourcing
Projects will be Out of your control
Are you the kind of guy who likes to scrutinize everything as it happens? Do you like to oversee everything as it unfolds and grows from one process to another? In that case outsourcing may be tough for you. You will not have control over the project. If you are that kind of person then the better option is to find an independent contractor who can work within your premises . Another option is finding an independent Contractor or freelancer within your area who can work with you and meet up with you frequently to show progress.
Keep in mind that most will not like the idea of being scrutinized all the time. Most people prefer to work without frequent distractions, in that case you must agree to what period you will be meeting or communicating. It must be agreeable between the both of you. If you feel that it will be difficult to work with a particular person , move on and try to find someone else. Hopeful you have the leisure f time to do that.
Information containment (Non Disclosures)
When you hire a web developer there are certain information you will provide them. Some people are skeptical about giving out this information. That’s the one side of it.
The other side of it is in the idea. You may not want your idea to be known to other people. This is common with web apps. People are scared that their idea might be stolen. In this case you can sign an NDA.
Sharing information is based on trust. The best way to get people you trust is to build the relationship gradually.
Risk of Poor quality products
Everybody is out here looking for money. The internet makes that very easy. You are definitely looking for people who can deliver on what you need. You do not want to be disappointed in the end. You might have to find another person to work on the project that you were happy had been completed.
Start by a test project to see how they deliver on that. Also look at some sample projects from previous clients. If they are new in the business they might be good but have no prior work they can show. Especially if you are working with an individual who was in a company and all their portfolio went under that company. You can ask them to describe what they have done.
Quality of output is very important and you must hire the right people who will give you the right product you are looking for. Whether it is a web app, ecommerce website or any kind of development product it must be done by the right people.
Just the dangers of the internet
The internet is full of scams. The same way you do not buy stuff from any ecommerce website, so should you not hire anyone blindly. Be wary. Any early warning signs should be assign enough. Inconsistency in the firm or individual you are trying to work with should help you do avoid the deal. Find the people you want to work with on social media and check them out. If they cannot be found on social media or are hiding everything about them, then don’t work with them. If one cannot be found on social media, what could they be hiding?
Reliability sums up the cons. Work with people who are reliable. Reliability is a test of track record. How many successes have they had. Can they communicate efficiently in your primary language? Communication is so important when it comes to developing the right product. You must work with people who understand your primary language or any language you are good at.
Reliability is how you will gauge for future projects.
Advice / What to consider when outsourcing Web Development
Avoid Marketplaces if you can
If you can afford to avoid Freelance MarketPlaces then that’s better. You can still find good workers there. For small projects then Freelance Marketplaces such as oDesk, Elance, PPH among others are not a bad idea.
If they are too cheap, stay away because
You are looking for good quality and there is a possibility that the cheapness comes at a big price of poor quality.
Maintenance on the table?
Ask about Maintenance in case they do not touch on it. You want to know whether they will be there for you when the website goes down unexpectedly. You are running a business and a fast solution is very critical when running an eCommerce website. This is one of the reasons that Freelance MarketPlces are not advisable for large website or web applications. Maintenance is not guaranteed. Maintenance is very important in Web Development. Web Maintenance must be discussed before making a decision.
Be precise with your requirements
When you meet a team or individual you would like to work with. Be very precise with what you need. Get rid of unintelligible items in your description. Accuracy is crucial for the requirements gathering phase.
I can’t emphasize this enough, be specific and use diagrams to make things easier to comprehend. SO the important thing is for you to understand what you need first. This will enable you to lay it out better for other people to work on it.
Outsource when it is the better option
There are things you can do in-house. When it is cheaper and more manageable to do things inhouse then do not outsource.
Do not fear what you do not understand, do your research and be knowledgeable in what you need
Understand what you need by doing thorough research. Have everything well laid out when you have to talk to the firm. Do not be in the dark. Research as best as you can.Drop the ‘This is not just for me’ mentality.
Do a test run
When unsure of the firm or individual you are about to hire, do attest run with them. You can give a smaller project for them to work on and see how they complete it. Once you have a level of trust in them, give out the full project. For the project test you can give a section of the project to be completed.
Outsourcing web development and any other services can help you save a lot of money and time. This will in turn give you a better opportunity to grow your business. Outsourcing has its advantages and disadvantages. If you are new to the process or the idea, it will be challenging getting the right people to work with. If you are familiar with the process and has done it a few or a lot of times, share your knowledge with other people in the comment below. If you have any web development opportunities and you are looking for a long term partner, it is possible to get trustworthy Freelancer who will always be there for you professionally.
- There is a great article on Forbes which was written by David Teten on hiring and outsourced web designer. On this post, David Teten talks about outsourcing a web designer successfully. You will also find other information on platforms where you can find people to outsource design jobs to. Be warned in advance these are basically freelance websites.
- This post is about the freelance websites and places you can find freelancers online. Links to some Freelance marketplaces that will help you find freelancer on UPwork (Formerly oDesk), Elance etc .