You might be working developing the best idea ever. You code days and nights until you get your app working like it’s supposed to. But suddenly you hit a roadblock. You want it to have the best look and feel possible, but you’re not really a designer.
Or perhaps you might be designing the best WordPress theme, but you have no idea how to market it. Will it gain traction just for its inherent qualities? Maybe. Maybe not. If you were an expert at social media marketing, too, then maybe you stand a chance at competing with the already-established premium themes out there.
If you’re working alone, then chances are you might not always be able to take care of all aspects of development. I know some crack developers who, time and again, have sourced out part of their projects to other developers and designers. Some would assign projects on a per-module basis, and then assemble these into a bigger project once complete. And since I opened my own outsourcing business with a few partners, I’ve handled a few inquiries for various jobs, like back-end development, theme design, marketing or content. It’s a matter of filling in for expertise that other people might need.
In some cases, it would cost you a lot of money to have experts do the work for you. I know designers who charge thousands of dollars just for a WordPress theme. But then again, I know some who would be happy to do a theme for $500 or less. The lower end of the pricing scheme is usually a result of being situated in places with lower costs of living. I know this for a fact, because I enjoy this situation myself. Compare Tokyo, New York and Manila. $500 goes a long way in Manila, but would only get you a few lattes and sandwiches in New York, and probably an order of sushi and sake in Tokyo. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating here, but my point is that cost of living is relatively cheaper in some places.
Sometimes it’s a question of quality. Would you entrust programming and design work to people overseas? More importantly, would you entrust these to people who are complete strangers? And sometimes there are quirks and nuances that you have to consider. Is someone living in Mumbai familiar with the colloquialisms used by someone living in the west coast USA? This might not be an issue when you’re paying someone to convert your PSD graphic into CSS. But if you’re ordering articles, blog posts or other content, this would play a big part, especially if you’re building content meant to be read by humans (rather than, say, search engines).
Have you considered outsourcing development? It might be a good business move, but only if you can do it right. Outsourcing does not mean you can just pass on a task to someone else in its entirety, without much monitoring and interaction. Similarly, micromanaging outsourced work would be too much work for you, that you would probably be better off doing it yourself. Strike a balance. Build trust and keep communication lines open.
Have you outsourced development work before? Share your experiences.