Outsourcing can be a great option for UK interior designers as their businesses develop. It can free up the business owner to concentrate on their passion: designing. Alternatively, hiring another designer does the opposite. That’s to say, the company owner spends less time on design, and more time on business operations – often contrary to why they started their own studio in the first place.

Although outsourcing can bring great benefits to an interior design studio, it also has limits and pitfalls. This article gives you the knowledge you need to make the right outsourcing choices for your business. 

But first things first, what is outsourcing?

What is outsourcing for UK interior designers?

Outsourcing is hiring a company to carry out some of your business activity for you. Typical examples include branding, marketing, web design, and copywriting. Put another way, outsourcing companies supply a service.

How UK interior design studios can benefit from outsourcing

People often describe the benefits of outsourcing using baffling business jargon. Namely, the ability to concentrate on core business activities, flexibility, and efficiency. Although correct definitions, they’re not especially useful for those who don’t speak ‘business lingo’. So, to explain each:

  • Concentrate on core business activities. We’ve already touched on this. The core business activity for an interior design studio is: interior design! Invariably, interior designers strike out on their own to pursue their creative passion, rather than because of a hankering for digital marketing, or a fascination with bookkeeping. Outsourcing means you focus on what you enjoy, and spend less time on social media or lost in spreadsheets.
  • Flexibility. In comparison to hiring an employee, a project run by outsourced resources is easier to start and stop. Because hiring and training often takes longer than finding an outsource company. Moreover, reducing the number of staff takes a lot longer than ending a service agreement, if you have the right arrangements in place. That said, if the company’s only employee is the owner, then a firm is unlikely to gain the same advantage.
  • Efficiency. There’s no getting away from the fact we can’t be good at everything. This means those to whom we outsource should be able to complete the job quicker and better than we can. Because they’re experts.

For all the flowery business language, we can describe the true benefit of outsourcing for UK interior designers in just one word: expertise. Moreover, forming relationships with the right outsourcers will bring benefits that extend far beyond getting rid of unwanted, troublesome tasks. 

Limits of outsourcing

Despite being obvious, it’s worth saying. You define the service you receive from an outsourcer in the arrangement you put in place with them. Put another way, the service is limited to what you have agreed between you. And as a responsible business owner, it’s crucial you read and understand any agreement you put in place. Because not having the same understanding at the outset will only lead to problems later.

To give a practical example, don’t hire a copy editor and expect them to write your blogs. The role of a copy editor is to check and correct errors in other’s writing. If you want someone to write your blogs, find a copywriter.

Common outsourcing pitfalls

  • Not understanding what you will get for your money. To continue in the same theme, a lack of understanding of what the outsource company will do. More importantly, the benefit they’ll give your business. This lack of understanding can, at best, lead to misaligned expectations. In turn, disappointment. At worst, allow unscrupulous outfits, which unfortunately blight every industry, to take advantage of you.
  • Not measuring success. Outsourcing an activity often means more than just getting it done. What impact will outsourcing have on you and your business? More leads, higher engagement, better work-life balance? Once you know what you want to gain from outsourcing, regularly check your progress against those aims. This way you can ensure what you spend on outsourcing is an investment in your business, not just a cost.
  • A lack of respect for what your outsourcer brings. Like you, many outsource business owners have struck out on their own, to pave their own way. And a ‘I pay you, do as I say’ approach will get you nothing more than the minimum level of service. Or even removed from their client list. Likewise, don’t assume that you know more about someone’s field of expertise than they do, as this could stifle your opportunity for growth. Challenge your outsourcers, absolutely. Equally, recognise the knowledge and skills they bring.

Get the most from outsourcing for your interior design business.

To make the most of outsourcing, find those experts that’ll help your interior design studio to progress. To find the right experts, ensure you understand not just what they do, but also what measurable advantages they’ll bring to your business. Finally, to harness the power of their expertise, think of those you outsource to as strategic partners. Because mutual respect, over any other approach, will motivate them to give you their best service.

Would you like outsourcing to be part of the business growth strategy for your UK interior design studio, but you’re not sure how to go about it? Then discover how YourCoachApproach can help your design studio progress.

Andrew Brown, founder of YourCoachApproach, is an online business coach and advisor specifically for UK interior designers. But more than that, he’s passionate about what he does, and about helping you make your interior design business successful.