4 Positions It's Worth It to Outsource

As a design build professional, there is probably a specific skill set or passion you had that led you to start a business around it. Maybe it was the exterior design – the art and structure of outdoor architecture. Or maybe it was the execution of projects – the ability to take the bare bones of a design and bring it to life with elaborate stone work.

But along the way, we know it’s easy to get swept up in all the other aspects of the business – probably the aspects you don’t know how to manage and aren’t very interested in. Before you know it, you’re doing everything and there is no time for what you’re truly passionate about. Stop trying to do it all. It’s perfectly reasonable (and sensible) to outsource work to professionals who are dedicated to each of the aspects you don’t have the time or skill to fulfill.

In the interest of keeping the design build pros out there sane and healthy, we’ve compiled a list. You're welcome. These are a few of the positions we think are best for design build businesses to outsource, and why. Take a look:

1. Photography

Marketing Photography

Why it needs to be done right:

The design build industry is built (pun intended) upon the idea of outdoor appearance and functionality. Without flawless photos of your work, you can pretty much cross off any hopes of making sales and growing your business. This is why photography is such an integral cornerstone of this industry – your photos need to CONVINCE homeowners that they need their backyard revamped or that their current retaining wall is not as good as it could be. 

Why it’s a good position to outsource:

If photography isn’t your thing, don’t try to make it your thing. Leave this skill to the pros. You will end up wasting your time and money to create something that might not showcase your best work. Instead, if you outsource photography of your projects to a professional, there's a way greater chance it'll illustrate the work your customers are looking to see. Freelance photographers are often great hires; you can instruct them to come directly to a job site while you’re there to oversee the process. Skilled photography and editing are crucial to your marketing and sales, so why take a risk doing it yourself when you can leave it to the pros?

2. Web Design & Development

Responsive Web Design

Why it needs to be done right:

As we’re sure you know, a website is the modern-day storefront. Potential customers often spend only seconds on a site before deciding whether or not it’s worth any more of their time (Source). In an industry that is all about aesthetic, your website needs to demonstrate the appearance that your customers will expect from your work. In order for your website to be the sales tool that it should be, it requires thought-out design and easy navigation. Can you execute that all yourself?  

Why it’s a good position to outsource:

Since a beautiful, planned-out, easy-to-use website is so important to your sales and marketing processes, the design and development of your website should be left in good hands. Even if you have some idea about what goes into the process of designing and programming a website, we still highly recommend outsourcing it to a professional. Web designers and developers are often freelanced for private work, and they can also be hired to provide periodic updates to ensure your website retains cutting-edge functionality. Once they've successfully built and programmed your beautiful website, they're great connections to have when you want to revamp your site (which we suggest you do at least every couple of years).

Keep in mind, however, that this is not the same as IT (although tech support is another great position to outsource).  

3. Writing

Content Writing

Why it needs to be done right:

While visuals, especially in the design build industry, are extremely valuable, you still need text. And not just text – you need compelling text that will differentiate your business from the crowd. A majority of the content marketing materials being pushed into the faces of searchers today is text, so you need written content that is going to make you stand out. You need service page content, blog posts, brochures, emails, all of which require compelling content written specifically for your audience. Without text that encourages and incentivizes potential customers to contact you, fewer and fewer people will find themselves on your site, and you’ll find fewer and fewer dollars in your pocket.

Why it’s a good position to outsource:

Freelance writers are great for outsourcing the kind of content that searchers will devour. By outsourcing this job to a freelancer, you will most likely get someone who has a seasoned writing background, and will therefore easily adapt to the tone of your desired target demographic. The research required for you to personally figure out what to write, how to write, and when to write, is too time-consuming for you to waste your own resources on. Outsourcing your written content to a professional writer will provide you more time to focus on your role in your business and more bang for your buck.

4. SEO

SEO Expert

Why it needs to be done right:

Having stunning photography, a brilliant website, and mind-blowing written content is very good. Don’t get us wrong. But if no one can find all these amazing resources you have, what’s the point? That’s where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in. With the growing popularity of design build businesses, Google becomes more and more crowded with companies just like yours trying to make it to the top ranks. Why? Because the top 3 spots on Google get 50% of the clicks on the page, and that number is only growing (Source). If your content is optimized for search engines, it will arguably make the biggest difference for your sales.

Why it’s a good position to outsource:

If you don’t understand all the ins and outs of SEO, the entire search engine optimization process will likely just be a guessing game. Freelance SEO experts, however, can analyze, track, and measure all the factors that affect your web traffic, and subsequent leads. They can test exactly what is being searched and optimize your content for specific keywords and locations, instead of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks. By outsourcing this niche work to an SEO expert/freelancer, you will save yourself inconceivable amounts of time and research.

Outsourcing: Well Worth It

When it comes right down to it (and please ignore the cliché), this business is your livelihood. Why spend it working tirelessly fulfilling aspects of your business that you’re not interested in and probably aren’t trained for? You’re the design build pro, and we leave that work to you. Leave the other work, the photography, writing, web design, SEO, etc. to the pros, as well. You’ll be happier doing more of what you love, and the expense will pay off in the quality of work you receive.

Caitlin Weiner