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Disadvantages of outsourcing graphic design

entrepreneur outsourcing virtual assistant cartoon illustration

I’ve been following some freelancers on social media. They brag about their earnings as a result of the dozens of clients they manage. While my bank account envies them, my entrepreneurial heart cries for the owners.

I hope they are receiving the quality of work for which they have paid.

Years ago, I worked as a virtual assistant for an Australian wedding photographer in need of SEO, a Russian start-up founder who was constantly on the road, and a Chinese hotel owner who was always booking meetings.

The pay was good, but I was tired. My tasks were administrative and required only a small amount of brainpower, which may explain why I was able to hang on for so long.

I was given more responsibilities as a result of my productivity. It was both a blessing and a curse. That was the start of the end of my freelance career. 

I began missing deadlines and meetings, and my mistakes began to pile up. I did a huge disservice to my clients.

You’re lucky if you hired a self-aware freelancer. But what if you hired people who were just after money? Those who are more concerned with quantity than with quality? Sorry, but you must let them go.

There are a few risks to outsourcing that you should be aware of as a business owner. It is always advantageous to be aware of the negative aspects of the game. 

This article will discuss the drawbacks of graphic design outsourcing and how to turn them around.

No absolute control over the process

When you outsource your design needs to a graphic designer, you trust them to follow a set of professional rules. This set of rules must work in tandem with the existing process in your company.

Due to distance and time differences, you and the freelancer may have trouble meeting deadlines and addressing urgent concerns. As a result, you run the risk of not meeting the client’s expectations and receiving negative feedback.

Turn it around by:

To avoid jeopardizing your reputation, select a reputable and experienced outsourcing service with battle-tested processes.

Professional procedures are already in place for on-demand design services such as Deer Designer. It is also critical that the process delivers speed and high-quality.

The freelance designer’s vision is different from yours

There is no guarantee that the graphic designer will create the exact image you have in mind.

No one will actually nail it in one go because design is subject to different interpretations. To be precise, you have to dedicate enough time for training and a fair number of revisions.

I doubt you have time for hand-holding. Isn’t this why you’re outsourcing in the first place? Hopefully, your freelancer will not charge you for extra time spent on training or revisions.

Turn it around by:

Make your design brief as clear as possible. It is preferable to invest time at the outset so that your design team can seamlessly implement your preferences.

Subscribe to a service that does not charge a fee for each revision. Revisions are required, and you should not be hesitant because of hidden fees.

Communication barriers

Communication barriers may occur if adequate communication tools and standards are not in place.

If you’re outsourcing from another country, make sure you have a good communication platform in place to keep you and your graphic designer up to date on the progress of the project.

Before hiring, specify your preferred work hours in the job description. If they work on their country’s standard time, you can meet halfway.

Turn it around by:

Choose the tools you’ll be using. Hopefully, your new employee will have unrestricted access to all equipment. You’ll have to pay to get them on board if they don’t have any.

If you subscribe to an on-demand design service, you won’t have to worry about design tool fees or clumsy messaging systems. To flatten your learning curve, the design service company you choose must communicate on agnostic platforms.

Risk of intellectual property loss

You put yourself at risk when you share information about your business with a third party. For example, if you share your logo, it may be misappropriated, harming your brand’s image.

Before agreeing to work with a designer, run a background check on them and ask for feedback from their previous clients. To keep your company safe, only give out the information that is absolutely necessary.

Turn it around by:

Make a well-written contract so you can pursue them if a legal battle arises. In this case, however, prevention is preferable to cure. It is safer to do business with a legitimate company rather than a freelancer.

Businesses are taking greater care with legal paperwork. They’d avoid breaking a contract on purpose. Freelancers, on the other hand, are more difficult to locate because they can easily conceal themselves anywhere on the internet.

Trust with caution

I understand that negativity is toxic, but the right amount of it can actually save a business from headaches. It’s better to be cautious and proactive rather than reacting to problems as they arise.

Due diligence is vital. Ask other entrepreneurs who have tried outsourcing design work.

Some tasks are easily assigned, but not design work. Graphic design involves creativity, processes, and intellectual property, all of which should be left to professionals.