Business BootStrapping Tips – 08. Outsourcing 101

Business BootStrapping Tips – 08. Outsourcing 101

Business BootStrapping Tips – 08. Outsourcing 101

This article originally appeared in issue 213 of .net magazine – the world’s
best-selling magazine for web designers and developers.

Great online resources for outsourcing

When you can’t complete a project on your own, you’ll need to get some help.
When working on a shoestring, only the most cost-effective will do

This is the part of the feature guaranteed to set off the controversy alarm.
Outsourcing is commonplace in the web industry, enabling agencies and freelancers
to take on jobs they’d otherwise have to turn down. However, add ‘on a shoestring’
after ‘outsource’ and you can get perilously close to ‘exploitation’, so make sure you tread carefully.

A good first port of call for odd jobs you need to farm out for a low cost is
freelancer.co.uk, which boasts two million signed-up ‘freelance professionals’,
covering every web oriented field. All you need to do is post a project, await bids,
select a freelancer and pay them when the job’s done. Similar sites include Elance
and Guru Employer. Take care when using such services, though – clear communication is key,
and they’re best for clearly defined targets rather than the more subjective aspects of
website creation (such as visual design). Still, if you want to brave the murky waters of
cheap competition oriented design outsourcing, point your browser at crowdspring.com and 99designs.com.

Less controversial services include the gem tidypsd.com, which for $9 takes a
messy PSD and organizes its myriad layers into usefully named ones in folders,
and a couple of services recommended by Sjors Timmer: psd2html.com offers an affordable
(although not exactly cheap) service for converting Photoshop documents into website templates.