Custom Embroidery Outsourcing

Custom Embroidery Outsourcing

How to Grow Your Business Using Custom Embroidery Contractors

Let’s say you own a business and have a limited amount of time.  And like the rest of us, you have a limited set of skills that you know how to do well right now.

Maybe, on some things, the time it takes you to do things may be a little longer than someone else.  Or, you also may not be at the point in your business where you can hire a part-time or full-time employee.

It may not be right for your business – you may be content to work out of your home, and it doesn’t make sense to hire someone. But very often, It makes sense to explore your options and give part-time contractors a try.

Maximize Your Best Skills and SubContract the Rest

Why would you take one of your greatest skills and outsource it someone else? Sometimes it’s about grasping the bigger picture for your business.

You may have started this business by yourself and become good at creating designs. But you’re also trying to grow your business. In this example, you have two options:

1. You become the artist, and you hire someone to run your business.

2. You manage the business and bring someone in to do the artwork.

What are a few of the jobs/tasks you can outsource?

  • Web Development
  • Web Design
  • Digitizing
  • Accounting
  • Writing
  • Art
  • Design
  • Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Sales

Lessons I’ve Learned

In our many years of hiring outsourcers, there have been some lessons. If you hire contractors, chances are you’ll experience similar pain points. We want to help you to avoid as many as possible.

One of the signs of a good contractor is that they ask you questions about the job. They realize the rules and expectations were going to talk about below.

Have a clear, defined description of what you want to be done

“I want a t-shirt about rabbits. Give me something funny.” Is not clear and defined. In a few sentences (5 or less) do a description of the job. Later you’ll create a more lengthy description, but when you’re initially looking for a person, you want this brief description to help you weed away all the people who aren’t qualified.

Examples: if you’re hiring an accountant, you would want to specify that they need to be an expert in QuickBooks (if that is the program you’re going to use). Perhaps they need to be local so they can come to you.

Have a budget

How much are you willing to or can afford to pay? But also, figure out how much you should expect to pay.

If you decide you want to outsource the digitizing of artwork, do the research to find out what the range is. Then determine if you can afford it.

Be as open-minded as you can. You might be thinking about outsourcing someone to do your books. Looking at the numbers you’re concerned about how much it will cost.

Why are you considering outsourcing in the first place? Have you made mistakes in the past that have cost you money?

Does it take too much of your time? What has doing it yourself cost you in the past (labor and error cost)? That helps to define whether the cost is worth it.

Put a good job description together

Is this going to be a one time job or ongoing work? Do you need someone to provide work on a regular basis or occasionally and not on any regular schedule?

“I’m looking for a partner to help me develop the graphic image for my company, by producing t-shirt designs on a regular basis. Likely have 5-15 different jobs per month. Looking for someone who’s available long-term.” or “I have one big job and need help with x, y, z.”

Depending on the type of job and the task, the job description may be a few extra bullet points or may go into more details – the days of the week they need to be available or expected delivery dates of work. You can also put technical specs in the description.

If you were to hand this job description over to someone else, they would be able to find the right person for the job based on what you wrote.

Timeframe

Define when you want the whole project done and when you want parts of the project done (if it’s a big enough project).

For example: If you’re getting a new website done and you want it to launch in two months, you don’t want to say “I want the website done by X date.” You want to put some milestones in between.  – Review the outline/wireframes within two weeks.  – E-commerce part ready by x date

Communication Standards

Do you need to hear from them every day to give you a progress report? Or a weekly check-in for bigger projects.

What you want to avoid is if you need a project done in 10 days and you hear from them on day nine that they haven’t even started yet.

Now they have all these questions. Or they had another project come up, and now your project is going to be late. Or they disappear completely. You may also want to set expectations that if you email them, they need to reply within 24 hours, and you’ll do the same if they email you.

100% agreement of expectations

Everyone signs off on the work that’s being done, how much is being paid, when the delivery date is, and the other terms of the agreement.

One good tip is to ask the contractor to describe back to you the job in their own words. This could be formal like a contract or verbal if you are working with a local artist on a small project.
If someone does this for a living, they may have a customer expectation document/contract.

Another big thing is that friends and family do not get a pass on this process. This is where the potential for real issues takes place. It could be your son who’s doing some graphic design for you, and they mess up.

Unfortunately, now it’s a business issue. If you late pay your own family, it’s now a personal issue. You may want to give your family a shot, but you also may need a professional and the ability to fire that person if it doesn’t work out.

Protect your private information

This includes passwords, bank account information, etc. Be wary about when it’s okay to give out passwords and to what.

Do they need access? Often you can create secondary accounts that provide contractors access to only what they need. For example WordPress, Bing Ads, Facebook Advertising, and Google Ad Words.

If you’re unsure of how to set up accounts for sub-contractors, you can always contact the service and get more information.

Where can you find contractors?

  • Ask for referrals – Talk to other business professionals and see who they work with. Then do your research to find out if that contractor will work for what you need. Ask questions such as: How long have you worked with them? Did they make any major mistakes that have cost you money?
  • Go to Craigslist – We have found good people to work with on Craigslist. With any source or service, you go through you need to ensure you’re following all the steps above and asking for referrals to ensure they are a professional.
  • Outsourcing services – Freelancer.com, Upwork. – The benefit of sites like this is that you have a 3rd party go-between. You put the funds into Escrow (holding place), and you have some recourse if the contractor disappears or doesn’t do the work properly.
  • The contractor has a vested interest in completing the work. Plus there is the opportunity to leave reviews about the contractor. They want a good review so that other companies will want to hire them.

Tackling Your To Do List

Take a look at your To Do List. What is something that needs to get done that you don’t have time for? What’s been on the list for the past month that you haven’t been able to get done? What eats up a lot of your time?

What would happen if you hired someone to do one of those tasks? What’s the opportunity you would gain? How would that help your business?

Hiring a contractor is a bit of a mindset shift. People look at it as something they’ve spent money on. Remember that this is for the betterment of your business, it’s an investment.

Can you afford not to hire that contractor? Are you turning away jobs because you’re spending too much time digitizing? Are your accounting mistakes costing you fines?

Look at the hours you’re spending on tasks. Can you pay someone else the same amount of money (or slightly more) to do the task in less time and with better quality?

Be Bold and Go For It

You may be hesitant to hire people from outside the USA. You can easily hire from other countries, and they do great work.

They’re not necessarily inexpensive, but we sometimes can’t find people with those particular skills locally. Or they’re just more available or their time works better for us. I’ve worked with contractors because they’re working overnight. We can give them a job during our day, they work on it “overnight,” and when we get to work in the morning, it’s done.

To help you get your feet wet in hiring contractors, you may want to find something simple in your business, like digitizing and hire someone to do it for you. It may be one time that you get them to do this for you, or you try it out for a month. It also gives you that connection so if you’re ever in a pinch you’ve potentially got someone to reach out to for that particular task. Either way, you know how to go about hiring a contractor for another job.

Ready to Start or Expand Your Embroidery Business?

Chat with us below, call us at 877-793-3278 or click button and let us help you get your business growing.