Unless you’re fabulously wealthy, everything in life involves trade-offs. If you choose the steak, then you can’t eat chicken. If you select the minivan, then you can’t own the sports car. If you stay up all night to binge watch the first season of Killing Eve (which you should), then you can’t go to work the next day because…well, what about season two?
At every moment, what you choose to do eliminates all the other possible things that could otherwise fill that time. So how you choose to spend your time directly affects everything else in life. This is particularly true in business, where time is money. If you aren’t spending your time effectively, your bottom line will show it.
Who Should Design That Sales Brochure?
Let’s imagine that you’re a small business owner. If you are a small business owner, this shouldn’t be difficult. You need a sales brochure designed for a new product you’re rolling out. Should you create it yourself or outsource it to a graphic designer?
More than likely, you have little to no skill in graphic design. Most people don’t. You might be able to cobble together something passable, but it won’t be nearly as effective as a brochure created by someone that understands the nuances of the process.
You could take the time to try and improve your skills, but that’s a much more significant time investment than what’s required for one sales brochure. Unless you plan on doing a lot of design work, it would be hard to rationalize such a great diversion from your regular duties. And then you have to ask yourself why you’re planning to do a lot of design work if you aren’t a designer.
If you do have some skill, it might seem reasonable to do the work yourself. But there are still opportunity costs to be considered. It will probably still take you longer to do the job than a skilled designer, and the final result won’t reflect the time you put in.
In each of these cases, you’re working inefficiently because you aren’t spending your time doing what you’re good at. Your expertise is what makes you money. Whatever time you spend working on the brochure you can’t spend running your business. If you were to compute the dollar value of an hour of your day, can you honestly say it’s worth less than the hourly rate of a decent designer?
To recontextualize this whole argument, consider whether your bottom line would be better served by hiring a maintenance specialist when your copier breaks or by trying to learn copy machine repair and then attempting to do the work yourself? If you answer the former (and you should), then get someone else to design your brochure.
Consider our team to fulfill your creative design needs. We’d love to share what we’ve done for others and what we can do for you. Schedule a call here.
But I Run a Marketing Department!
That may be true but are you a skilled designer? How about any of your team members? If not, then the situation above applies equally well to you. Marketers utilize graphic design regularly, but that doesn’t mean they’re qualified to create it.
You don’t want to spend an excessive amount of time working outside of your area of expertise. If it takes your department three times longer to design a logo than it would take a designer, you’re essentially paying three times as much as you should. Not directly, of course. But the time you spend not doing what you’re skilled at is time where you aren’t earning what you should be.
If you paid a designer $75 an hour and it took them four hours, that’s $300 out of pocket. But if it took your department twelve hours to do the work and they usually bill at $75 an hour, that means you couldn’t realize $900 in possible revenue. So not paying a designer costs you an additional $600, for almost undoubtedly lower-quality work. That’s not a good use of your team’s time.
It Can Make Sense, But it Usually Doesn’t
If you do a lot of design work, enough to keep a full-time graphic designer consistently busy, then you should hire someone. Having a dedicated designer on staff is undoubtedly less expensive than hiring out all of your design needs, but only when your design needs are enough to fill 40 hours a week, week in and week out.
For a company that doesn’t feature graphic design as one of its primary lines of business, the need for it will likely be spotty and inconsistent. Paying someone a full-time salary for part-time work is an excellent way to lose money. For most companies, it’s simply more cost-effective to outsource graphic design than to add staff members or devote unskilled internal labor to the task.
Other Reasons Why Outsourcing is the Best Choice
Poor graphic design has a negative value. It can damage your brand, and it won’t please customers. It’s penny wise and pound foolish. You may think you’re saving money by doing the work in-house, but as we’ve seen, you aren’t. And if the quality of the work isn’t up to snuff, the cost is much higher.
Outside designers also bring a fresh perspective. Frequently businesses are too close to the work they do to see ways that it could be different, and ways that it could be improved. Outsourcing brings new ideas that can help reinvigorate your marketing efforts and freshen up a portfolio that might be growing stale.
Additionally, the time it takes to find, interview, and hire talented employees has its opportunity costs. It doesn’t make sense to put in that time when graphic design agencies have already done it. By hiring an agency, you get instant access to skilled designers, and you only have to pay them when you need work done.
This grants you the benefit of scalability as well. If you need more design work than usual in a given month, you pay your agency for the time you need. Compare that to handling the work in-house. If your needs suddenly spiked, you would have to hire extra employees, and you may not be able to do that quickly enough to respond to the increased demand adequately.
In nearly every case, unless your company is a graphic design agency (it probably isn’t), you should hire a graphic design agency for your design needs. It’s the most cost-effective, time-efficient solution.
We Can Help
It just so happens that we are a design agency, and we help clients like you efficiently and profitably fulfill their graphic design needs daily. We’d love to share what we’ve done for others and what we can do for you. Schedule a call here.
And watch Killing Eve. Really. Give us a call first, of course, but then get to binging.