Cutting Corners: 6 Dangers of Hiring Over Seas Designers
We have all done it, or thought about it at some point. Hiring a designer from over seas to reduce costs. While it may seem like a good option to get good work done on a budget, hiring abroad simply to cut costs can be prove to be a risky endeavor.
Keep the following issues in mind when evaluating whether to outsource to an over seas free lance designer.
Ensure the designer or design firm is reputable. It is always a risk to invest in someone that you’ve never seen face to face. If you hire locally, you can interview in person and contact past clients to make sure the candidate doesn’t have a bad reputation in the business.
You also run a higher risk of being ripped off. If something goes wrong, there is an ocean between you and your employee, making it more difficult to resolve issues.
2. Time Zones
Different time zones can slow down work. The geographical distance does play a role in communicating with your designers. During your busiest work day hours, your designer may be sleeping. You may have a competent designer, but still have to wait hours just to get a response, slowing your entire process down.
3. Dollar Fluctuation
Dollar fluctuation is a huge factor when dealing with contractors over seas. The US dollar changes daily. It may seem minor, but the strength of the dollar will make a difference when dealing with an employee long term.
This plays a big role in your payment. As the dollar changes, your contractor may start to ask for more money to compensate. Make sure to make the fluctuating dollar a part of your negotiating terms to protect your business.
4. Tax Issues
The U.S. has a fairly simple tax process for hiring, however; hiring over seas is a whole different story. When you hire a designer on a free lance basis within the US you are required to fill out a IRS Form 1099-MISC if you pay more than $600 to one contractor a year.
Because every country has a different standard for taxes, over seas hiring may require much more paperwork. You may then need to budget time and money for a specialized tax expert who will know how to handle the paperwork required to hire over seas.
5. Language Barriers
Ensure there are mechanisms in place for effective communication. Have you even seen a website with text written incorrectly? A difference in language is a difficult wall to overcome. If communication is flawed, the rest of your work may go downhill from there. Difficulty in communicating can lead to issues in the final design as well as time wasted on edits.
Some times over seas contractors may not be actual designers. It is important that you can spot the difference. They may only show you a final design with no sketches. That leaves you with no idea as to how they got to that point. And in some scenarios, the design may have been duplicated from previous clients while you think you are receiving an original design. While their price may be lower, you may not be receiving a custom design tailored to meet your needs. There have been many instances where a company wanted to get their logo copyrighted, but they have found out the design was not original.
Your business is important and it is crucial that you do not cut corners to save money. In the end, you will end up spending more money correcting avoidable mistakes. Great design takes time and money, and if you hire the right person, it will be well spent.
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**EDITOR’S NOTE: This blog post is concerning and inspired by clients who have hired graphic designers in other countries through third party websites to reduce project cost and the ensuing challenges they faced in those projects. By no means is this post meant to discredit or demean the reputation or quality of services attainable from design firms or designers outside of the United States. It is meant to give a greater understanding of the risks associated with stepping out into the global marketplace.