Why It’s Cheaper to Hire A Third Party Design Company
Believe it or not, hiring a third party design company is usually cheaper than in-house designing. Every small business hits a point where they realize they can’t do it themselves anymore. Deciding which marketing materials you need then getting them designed and coordinating their production takes a lot of time and effort. Time = money. Effort = burnout. The obvious solution is to outsource this task.
But do you hire a designer and have it all done in-house, or do you hire a third party design company?
The Cost of In-House Designing
In-house design can be surprisingly expensive! To make it worth an employee’s time, you have to offer at least 20 hours a week. The cost of living these days does not allow for super light part-time gigs and employees expect work that will allow them to pay their bills.
Industry-standard is $15-$25/hour, depending on experience and your location. That means on the low end ($15/hour, part-time), you’re paying $1200 a month to hire an in-house designer, and on the high end ($25/hour, full-time) you’re paying $4000 a month.
That doesn’t account for employee overhead. Employee/payroll taxes (speak to your accountant for how much that costs), equipment (upfront cost of $1000+ for a computer, monitor, mouse, desk, chair, etc.), software subscriptions/programs ($60+ a month), and office space (varies by location). And, employees, especially younger ones, may expect benefits such as the ability to work from home, insurance, PTO, etc.
These costs vary but add up quickly.
An Added Wrench
Depending on what you need, you may also need your designer to have a passing knowledge of the print industry. This shortens your hiring pool, as it is not covered in many education programs, and increases their salary worth.
And, depending on experience, projects may take longer. This is especially true if you hire a fresh graduate. Fresh graduates lack the experience to get something done quickly with few revisions. Some things just take time, and that is one of them. Trust the designers who used to be newbies on this one.
Many companies will work around some of this by hiring a contractor. Contractors are hard because they dictate their price and expectations. They’re also busy and trying to work every assignment around their other responsibilities, so yours may fall to the wayside. If they’re not used to a fast paced environment requiring quick turnarounds, your cost per project has the potential to skyrocket due to it taking so long. They may not communicate vacations, time off, or hiccups along the way as closely as you would like.
The Cost of A Third Party Design Company
You can count on saving several fixed costs when hiring a third party design company. When hiring one, you have no employee overhead. You don’t have to pay a dime for payroll, taxes, software, office space, or benefits.
Most will have an understanding of the print industry, which is already baked into their cost so you don’t need to give raises based on that experience. Their experience working with several brands at once means they’re used to quick turnarounds. They’re strong in communication so they’re able to figure out what you’re looking for sooner, leading to a higher satisfaction rate in less time. What does this mean for you as a business owner? An ultimate decrease in cost per project as well as saved resources.
Another benefit is that by hiring a company rather than one employee, you’ll get multiple viewpoints on any given project. If one designer is struggling with a concept, they can get another pair of eyes on it to move it in the right direction.
A third party design company is harder to quantify right off the bat, since every agency has a slightly different price plan. However, the biggest benefit is that you only pay for what you need. Even if the cost per project is higher, it’s likely to still come in less expensive if you don’t need constant design work. If you need a large project one month, but the next month is slow (feast or famine design), you’re spending a lot of money in the slow month for a designer to twiddle their thumbs.
The Bottom Line
Hiring an employee is expensive. Some money can be saved by hiring a contractor rather than an employee. However, there are drawbacks to the turnaround time, experience, and employee/contractor expectations for both options.
However, the cost of hiring help does not outweigh the benefits of saving the time of resources spent doing it yourself. Hiring a third party design company can help by ultimately saving money, time, and headache. At Polarity Design, we’re comfortable working with multiple companies at one time and are used to quick turn around times. If you’re ready to outsource some of your workload, you know where to find us.