Confused about what are offshore design agencies? Every business tries to reduce its operational costs. It is getting common these days for many companies to outsource their design projects to offshore agencies. Hiring an offshore design agency can be troublesome if you have never had this experience. Luckily, this offshore design agency guide will explain what offshore agencies are and whether they are a good choice for your business.
Let’s first start by understanding what an offshore design agency is.
What Is an Offshore Design Agency?
An offshore design agency is a design company that offers design services like product design, UI/UX design, web design, etc., but is located in another country. Many companies outsource their design projects to an offshore design agency to avoid going through the hassle of the recruitment process or to save expenses. Hiring an offshore design agency is often less expensive than having an in-house team of designers.
A report by TKM Consultants shows that 76% of agencies in the US and Europe outsource their creative production services, and this rate is subjected to grow in the future. There are several reasons why design agencies opt for outsourcing their services, mainly because it pays well. In some countries, the minimum wage for design services is inadequate. Therefore, these companies are willing to provide quality work to foreign clients that pay them enough for the value of their work.
Meanwhile, wages for graphic designers or web designers are very high in the US and Europe, and new startups cannot afford those costs. Instead, they outsource their design projects to these offshore design agencies to get slack in their budget. This trade-off benefits both parties.
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When Should You Hire an Offshore Design Agency?
Certain factors should influence your decision while thinking about whether to hire an offshore design agency. Small companies and even big companies are now resorting to hiring offshore agencies for their work. So to answer the question “when to hire an offshore design agency?” it depends upon these factors:
- Cost Saving: Outsourcing will help you cut your business’s operational costs. So if you find it dire to have necessary budget cuts while maintaining the quality of your products, you should opt for an offshore design agency. But remember that there is a small risk in this process that you might compromise your design quality if you don’t choose the right agency. Always ensure the quality of your projects when you hand them to outsourced agencies.
- Resources and Technology: If you don’t have enough resources and technology required to execute your project, the most viable option is to hire an offshore design agency.
- Deadlines: If you have a lot of work piled up and you are finding it hard to meet the deadlines, then perhaps it is time to hire offshore designers to do the job. That way, you will not have to worry about hiring additional staff, and all your deadlines will be met.
Benefits of Hiring an Offshore Design Agency
Hiring local developers might seem more convenient because discussions are more fruitful, keeping track of all the tasks is simpler and problem-solving is quicker. But by this point, most of us are aware of the challenges in finding local development teams. There aren’t always high enough trained developers, it’s expensive, and the competition is fierce, especially for small enterprises.
Offshore design agency comes with lots of benefits apart from saving costs. Read this list of benefits that you get from an outsourced design agency and learn why they are a good option:
1) Specialized Talent
If you live in a tech hub like Silicon Valley, New York, or Atlanta, then it’s easier to find talented individuals for your projects. But you should be ready to pay them high salaries because this talent comes at a cost. But what if you are not located in these cities and can’t pay high salaries to design professionals?
You should turn to offshore design agencies because they can provide nearly the same expertise at less cost. You might select different kinds of individuals depending on your compensation and the qualifications you require. For example, designers and developers in nations like Ukraine, the Czech Republic, China, and India, among others, live in cities with affordable living expenses, so you may expect to pay inexpensive salaries for top-notch outsourced software development and design services.
Scaling your business is necessary to handle and monitor the growth in different areas. Keeping your team on the right track and scaling their progress is sometimes challenging. This task is not so difficult with an offshore design agency.
You can have experts who will help you understand what technologies you should invest in to stay competitive if you hire remote designers. To stay competitive, you will also be able to develop and create various design products. If you’re hiring full-time workers rather than independent contractors, you’ll have a team of experts who are familiar with your procedures and culture and can reflect it in everything they do.
3) Competitive Advantage
Your business should evolve with technology to grow in this fast-paced world. You must keep up with current trends, what the competition is doing, and global events if you want your firm to prosper. The best way to find untapped talent is to hire remote workers. Additionally, it works well for accessing professional graphic designers.
Employees are interested in continuing to work remotely, according to recent studies. While income is important, so is the quality of life, and working remotely gives designers the flexibility they require to be content and successful. Therefore, with an offshore agency, you will have a more intuitive and productive team of individuals that could serve as a component for your competitive edge over your rivals in the industry.
4) Cultural Diversity
A study in Harvard Business Review suggests that culturally diverse teams produce better outcomes. These teams have more creative potential because they consist of individuals from many nations, cultures, and traditions.
Each participant brings a unique viewpoint and set of ideas to the discussion. And even though design thinking is not easy, problem-solving always requires creativity.
When you hire offshore design teams, you get a set of professionals who have various viewpoints and original methods and are prepared to handle any challenge that may arise.
Also, Read about How to Build an Effective Product Design Team?
5) Cost Savvy
Lastly, how can we forget to mention the cost-effective advantage of hiring an offshore design agency? The cost of employing designers in the United States is nothing new. Hiring a product designer can have a significant influence on your budget, especially in regions like Silicon Valley. When hiring a designer, you must consider several factors besides the salary, such as their workplace, tools, and amenities. However, charges will drop considerably if you work with an offshore design team. Not only will you avoid spending on infrastructure, but you’ll also be able to hire skilled designers from nations with cheaper living costs.
Read More: Common Problems of Outsourcing.
Offshore Design Agency Guide: What Things to Consider While Hiring?
Certain things should be kept in mind before hiring an offshore design agency. These things will ensure that you choose the right one for your projects. Read this list of steps that you should follow before hiring an offshore agency:
- List Down Your Requirements
- Consider the Location
- Find the Agencies
- Shortlist the Potential Ones
- Get in Contact With Them
1- List Down Your Requirements
The first step before searching for a design agency is to list down the requirements of your project. Ask yourself these questions:
- What is our budget?
- How much staff is required? Do we need an individual or a whole team?
- Do we need unique graphic designers, illustrators, or animators?
- What is the deadline for each part of the project?
These questions will help you determine the main requirements of your design projects. To ensure that you get the work delivered according to your desired requirements, you must be able to communicate it with the design agency.
2- Consider the Location
Moving on to the next step, consider the location of the agency you want to hire. Would you like the agency to be closer to your range so you can get in-person follow-ups, or are you willing to outsource the process to a foreign country? The choice is yours! Following this step beforehand is vital to narrow your list of offshore agencies.
3- Find the Agencies
Coming to the primary step, “finding the agencies”. There are numerous approaches to finding your offshore design firm. A simple Google search can be used to find relevant agencies, or you can publish your job postings on a platform like Upwork, Freelancer, or PeoplePerHour.
4- Shortlist the Potential Ones
After creating a list of relevant offshore design agencies according to your requirements and location, shortlist the potential ones. Visit their websites to look at their previous work and shortlist those with a good track record.
5- Get in Contact With Them
The last step is to get in contact with your shortlisted agencies. Remember the list of requirements you made, and communicate these requirements clearly to these agencies. Before choosing your preferred design firm, you should approach them to discuss their experience and your needs. Consider scheduling a face-to-face chat using Skype or another video conferencing form to obtain a sense of the organization and meet the people, t.
How to Select the Best Graphic Design Agency for Your Company?
Now you are familiar with choosing a graphic design agency for your business. But we have some tips if you are still confused about choosing the best one. Knowing your goals and analyzing your options are the two most essential steps in selecting the best graphic design firm for your business. Consider the following factors as you approach the candidates you’ve shortlisted to aid in making the best decision:
1- Estimate Project Size and Budget
Now that you have your shortlist prepared, it’s time to evaluate your project and its requirements so you can carefully consider any potential offshore design agency. Does the business have the freedom or options necessary to handle things correctly? Think about the following choices:
For small or ad hoc projects, you can choose an hourly-based compensation. It is less expensive and doesn’t require any formal documentation.
If you want to avoid the inconvenience of hourly pricing fluctuations, you can choose the pay-per-project method. Look into the offshore design agency list you’ve narrowed down to see if there’s a pay-per-project option.
FTE (Full-time Equivalent)
This option is for long and more detailed projects. Make sure the business you choose has this choice if you already know you’re in it for the long run and a full-time equivalent is what you require. It entails assigning designers and resources directly to your project. Therefore, it’s critical to understand whether the offshore design agency can handle the demand.
2- Check Their Experience and Compare
Another critical factor for choosing the best offshore design agency is to check their experience and compare your options. Ask these questions:
- How long has the agency been operating?
- How long have you been designing?
- How long have you been designing?
- Do they possess the knowledge and abilities you require?
3- Pick Your Agency
Review the criteria you established, compare the candidates on your shortlist to one another, and choose the one most closely matches your goals. Even if there was no perfect match, you would find the closest match if your criteria were predetermined.
How to Finalize the Deal With Your Offshore Design Agency?
Don’t forget that legal documentation is required with your agreement with an offshore agency. The last step is to finalize the agreement once you have chosen the ideal agency for your business. This involves reviewing every binding legal agreement related to a partnership that benefits both parties. They consist of the following:
- Legal Documentation
- Labor Law Documentation
- Finalize Financial Documentation
- Check if You Need Government Approval
Legal documentation includes the contracts and other legally binding papers that specify roles, goals, parameters, delivery schedules, transition terms, etc.
Labor Law Documentation
You must comprehend the distinctive characteristics of various geographical areas and their associated labor rules, as they could differ from what you are accustomed to. This will ensure that you don’t end up agreeing to something against your organization’s or country’s rules. You can also make separate protocols in collaboration with the design agency for the contract period.
Finalize Financial Documentation
The documents about the supply of designs and payments must be signed and reviewed. Included in this are withdrawals, automatic payments, and payment schedules.
Check if You Need Government Approval
Government approval can be necessary in certain nations. You and your new offshore design agency must review the relevant documentation.
Non-disclosure agreements can be created and signed by both parties if data security is an issue. This is a simple procedure that will add extra security to your agreement.
Which One Is Better: Freelancers or Design Agencies?
The two best options companies have nowadays for outsourcing their projects are freelancers and design agencies. Both have their perks, but which one is better? We think hiring a design agency is a safer and more reliable option.
With an agency, you can be sure that several individuals are working on your behalf and that the final result has multiple levels of accountability. Large-scale projects may be beyond the means of a studio or freelancer, who may also lack the expertise to oversee professionals like photographers and artists. While freelance graphic design jobs have increased significantly in recent years, you should stick to an offshore design agency to avoid the risk of hiring the wrong ones.
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Hiring an offshore design agency is common due to its many proven benefits. Startups are specially suggested to hire offshore designers for their important design projects as it gives them a competitive edge and budget savings. While hiring an outsourced design agency, you should check for specific boxes. This decision should be made carefully if you are hiring for the first time. If you have a good experience with your chosen company, you should build long-term relationships with them so that you can rely on their resources whenever needed.
What Is Web Design Outsourcing?
Web design outsourcing means hiring an external web designer for your design project. It saves time and budget and lets you focus on other essential parts of your design project. You only have to hire a designer within your budget and provide them with your requirements for the project.
What Is Offshore Software Development?
Offshore software development is the practice of outsourcing your software development to countries where development costs are low. Companies temporarily hire a dedicated software development team located in another country.