Outsourced or In-house – Which Is Right For You?

image of forked path to 2 buildings with signs pointing to each, named 'In House' and 'Outsourced'

Whether you’re:

  • – A small business owner wanting to expand your product offerings
  • – A home crafter looking to expand and grow into a business
  • – An entrepreneur starting out in the garment decoration or signage field

deciding how much work to take on can be difficult.

If you don’t have a lot of cash to spend on new equipment or time to learn all the steps of the decoration process, there is another option. Outsourcing the work.

Now, many people may shy away from this choice, thinking that they will not make any money. But outsourcing some of your work, especially new decoration processes, can be an excellent way to ‘get your foot in the door’ in a new market.

So what are the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing? When should I outsource my work? When is bringing the work in-house a better option? How can Wellington House help you do both?

What Are The Advantages of Outsourcing?

  • Time.
    •    If you are a one man (or women) show, then you have many tasks to perform already. Adding more work to your plate could be too much. Generally speaking, the more tasks you have to juggle, the less time you have to do those tasks effectively. Eventually mistakes will be made and that could mean losing more time, money, and even your reputation. So consider outsourcing as a way to give yourself more time to focus on what you are already doing, and doing it well.
         In the garment decoration business specifically, do your research for any new process you’re considering adding (Screen Printing, Heat Transfer Vinyl, Sublimation, etc..). This will give you an idea of not only how much time the steps take, but also the time it takes to learn and become proficient at it.
         Outsourcing to a professional could save you the time of having to learn a new process, and typically the pros will be able to complete the work faster.
    •    When learning a new skill, your work generally doesn’t compare to the professionals. Even if you have some spectacular artwork to put on a t-shirt, getting it onto the t-shirt could change it from a spectacular illustration to looking like a kid’s drawing. More than that, making sure the decoration process is done right so it’s durable and doesn’t wash away, could take you many attempts and possible failures.
         This is where outsourcing your work comes in. Sending your work (artwork) to a professional and having them produce a quality product, that not only looks good but is durable, can mean the difference between a satisfied and dissatisfied customer.

What Are The Disadvantages of Outsourcing?

  • Time.
    •    Yes, time is not only an advantage but also a disadvantage of outsourcing. While outsourcing can give you more time to focus on other tasks, you are at the mercy of the other company’s schedule. So if you need some jobs fulfilled right away, and the outsource company is backed up with other orders, you may not be able to deliver on time. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to wait longer than normal or pay extra to rush the order through (if that’s an option).
    •    Clear communication is a key to success. And sometimes things get forgotten or lost when you correspond with another company. This is especially true when discussing artwork, colors, materials, etc… It can also take extra time to communicate and discuss ‘what you and your customer expect’ vs. ‘what the outsource company can realistically produce’. This can cause frustration, delays in production, and leaves the door open for mistakes.

When Should I Outsource My Work?

Do you have time? If you find yourself busy with the basics of your business (i.e. Customer Service, Finances, etc..) and don’t have much free time to take on more work or other decoration processes, it may be a good idea to start outsourcing.

Are you unsure of how your customers will respond to this new offering? Rather than taking a risk and investing lots of money on new equipment in an unknown market, outsource the work. Though the initial profit may be less than doing the work in-house, outsourcing can be an effective way to test the market. Then later, if the response is good with the outsourced work, you can decide to bring it in-house.

When should I bring work In-House?

Do you have the time? If you or a co-worker/employee have enough time to ‘learn the ropes’ of a new decoration technique, then now might be a good time to expand your business. Though there will be an initial investment of time to learn and perfect your new skill, having the work in-house will ultimately put you in control of turn-around/delivery times.

Have you become familiar with the new decoration process while outsourcing? Perhaps you or a co-worker have educated yourselves on the steps involved while sending the work out and now feel confident enough to do it yourself. If there is a consistent demand for the work you’ve outsourced, and you have the money to invest in the needed equipment, now would be the perfect time to add this new process to your in-house production.

How can Wellington House help?

Whether you decide to outsource your work or start production in-house, Wellington House is here to help you and your business succeed.

How can Wellington House help with outsourcing?

You may not know that Wellington House has a custom art department that produces custom designs, logos, and artwork in the form of vinyl heat transfersfull color printed transfersstickersbanners, and more. You can send us your custom artwork or pick from our various text/logo options and our team will produce your design using the media of your choice.
This is an excellent way to add new offerings to your customers, without the need to invest in expensive equipment or spend lots of time with training.

How can Wellington House help with bringing work in-house?

Wellington House has a warehouse stocked full of bulk materials, equipment, and all the accessories needed for working with heat transfersvinyl cuttingdigital printing, sign vinyl/stickers, banners, and other processes. Our experts and equipment technicians can give you recommendations on which material and equipment would fill your needs the best, and how to use them.

Having considered both the pros and cons of outsourcing and bringing production in-house, hopefully you are in a better position to decide which is right for you. Either way, we at Wellington House are here to help because we want your business to succeed. So feel free to reach out to us using the links below or tell us what you think in the comments.

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