Blog Post

Video Tutorial -- Outsource Web Design


In this video tutorial, HubShout President Adam Stetzer and CEO Chad Hill talk about the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing your web design and development. Not only do they provide you with solid reasons why you would or wouldn't want to go the reseller route, but they also explain how to build an effective relationship with your back-office. Watch the Video Tutorial to learn how you can free up your time to expand your service offerings and grow your business by having outsourced web design.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hey Adam.

How are you doing?

Good, Chad. Just sitting here thinking about our outsourcing business. Yeah. A lot about that. A lot of need for it out there.

Yeah well, that's today's question. I've got this one here. This is good. What are the top three reasons to outsource web design?

Great question. We talked a lot about this. And some of these are unique to web design, and some of these are probably ones that apply to a lot of outsourcing. But the three that come to mind are-- integrating with other marketing services, so whenever you build a website the first thing we always hear is people want to now drive the traffic to their website and get business from it. So when you work with us or someone that does both web development and online marketing, you can build out in from the very beginning.

The second thing is specialization. And this is really important because when you outsource, you're having someone put a full time resource on something that you might not be able to put full time into. So if you're a web developer or have a web developer working for you, it's hard to get them to really specialize in the processes and actually the expertise to build the websites you need.

And then the third one is that, sort of two benefits. One is that, by outsourcing the web development and web design, you're able to focus more on customer relationships, which should allow you to then sell a broader set of services and obviously increase the average revenue per project that you do. So those are the three reasons that I have, Adam, what do you think?

Oh, I like that. Well, so number three's very interesting So if you're working on the relationship, more time to talk to the customer, that sort of feeds into number one, which is, maybe you can offer this integrated suite of services rather than just web design. I know a lot of folks just don't have access to those products because they focus just on the design part. But if they outsourced their web design, web development to some back office shop, you're saying there's more products they can offer and there's more time to talk about those products and cross sell with the customer. So that makes a lot of sense.

I guess, to shift gears a little bit, what you think are the pitfalls that people are going to find in transition-- if you're used to doing your own work, selling your own web design, doing your own web dev in house, servicing the customers, that the typical small, web development setup, I would imagine the transition might be difficult for some of these guys.

I agree. The one thing that we see quite a bit there is that there's definitely overhead you add when you are adding more people to the team. So the small one man shop can basically gather requirements, build prototypes, and immediately feed in feedback right into their site development because it's all in their head. But you do have some pain when you, basically, bring in a larger team to get something done. But I think that goes back to the specialization, where, if you're working with the right team, they're going to give you all of the project management processes that you're going to need to actually add more structure to your development process.

And the thing that you really should think about is that-- do I want to take that pain on now or later? The problem people have is that when they're doing all that work themselves, it really is not scalable business. And I'll bet a lot of them are up late at night making choices about having a good work life balance and other things they're trying to do because they're doing it all, and it's not structured. So you're going to have to go through this pain at some point. You may as well do it now in a structured way than, rather than basically, delaying the inevitable.

That's a great point. I'm actually laughing because we've hired some of those people here at HubShout. They used to be their own one man shop, and they hit that ceiling on where their scale was just a limiting factor. And so what you're saying is, you need to be prepared that things are going to change and there'll be some bumps. And it's a new process. And I think you need to stress, Chad, that how you sell might have to be tweaked when you decide to outsource web design to a back office shop because now there are constraints that maybe you didn't used to have.

But those negatives, I think, will be far outweighed by the positives-- being able to grow your business much bigger, have time off, have more reliability, have a bigger bench. And people are going to reach for it. So those are some great reasons.

Excellent. Adam, one final question-- so what are some things that people should be thinking about. I mean, is it cheaper to outsource, and should I be outsourcing to someone near me or someone overseas? What are some things they might want to consider there.

Oh, that's a good one. Well, as you said, things get vastly more complicated when you have a team involved rather than just a one man show. So to me, communication is key. I think you want to lean towards the team that speaks your language. I personally have set up outsource shops in India, phoned over to Mumbai, and done that. And while you can get some fantastic rates over there, you need to be ready for some severe overhead in terms of both time zone differences and language barrier. And if you're not pretty good with documentation, which most small time web design outfits are not, it can really be a disaster. I know we've seen lots of examples of people pulling it back onshore after off shoring it.

So I think you need to really find a partner you feel like you can communicate with, and you need to go with the right mindset that it's not going to go perfectly. Don't expect that out of the shoot. This is the beginning of a new partnership, so it's going to take a while to really get the rhythm. And if you embrace that and know you'll have to be flexible in how you sell, hit a few bumps, but the end reward is worth it. That's the right attitude to try to do team building with your new partner.

Right, I agree. Well, this is a good discussion. We'll get it up on the website and hopefully people can join us in the discussion online.

Cool, have a good day.

All right.

Comments (8)

  • Rosewood Reply

    Great video guys, I have been struggling to scale my business because I have not been able to successfully outsource and have used companies in India etc. but that didn't work out for many of the reasons you stated.

    Hopefully I am now on the right path with you guys, and you can help me realise my goals and provided the 'outsourced' support I need in creating a range of services my local business clients need.

    11/14/12 at 02:05 AM
  • Adam Reply

    Thanks. Yeah - I've done the "outsource to India" thing. I even flew over to Mumbai with a team to set up a shop there back in 2006. It has definite price advantages, which most people focus on. But there are HUGE timezone, language and cultural disadvantages as well - which most people don't understand until they've done it...

    We might be crazy, but we believe there is an on-shore outsourcing play for website design. It will only work because of the scale we have and the integration with other marketing services. But we are excited because the websites look REALLY good and our price point is very competitive.

    11/14/12 at 09:04 AM
  • John Reply

    Great video, I will pass this on to a few resellers that are considering turning some business over to us!

    11/14/12 at 09:06 AM
  • Chad F Reply

    This was a great Video! Keep work in the U.S, better yet hire HubShout we live for this stuff!

    11/14/12 at 09:19 AM
  • Terrance Reply

    I have sent this out to many of my Resellers that are looking for our service for web design and I think that this will give them a good insight. I love the fact that you are 100% honest with the whole conversation giving the specs on both sides of the field and that gives people the real perspective on outsourcing. Thanks

    11/14/12 at 09:28 AM
  • Chris Reply

    I am the typical example of the one-man shop that hit the scalability barrier. When Chad and Adam talk about the structure necessary to increase your throughput they couldn't be more accurate. If you are a small but growing web dev shop you will eventually reach a point where you will either need to expand your workforce internally or find legitimate outsourcing options. Like Adam, I have tried off-shore solutions. I have used teams and individuals in India and Ukraine. Very rarely do off-shore projects end well.

    Now I am here at HubShout and I am very determined and excited to help make our web development product the best available option for our clients.

    11/14/12 at 09:45 AM
  • Nigel Reply

    I know the pain of the one-man shop, hey the fact that I'm now reading this post is testimony. I'm restructuring, should have a stronger system for 2013 that leverages the strength of Hubshout.

    11/19/12 at 08:38 PM
  • Matt Reply

    I had a reseller pull stuff back from India. She ended up doing about 10 sites with us. She would never go back off shore.

    11/19/12 at 09:11 PM

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