For Startups: Design Outsourcing vs. In-House Designers

Developing and maintaining a startup company is hard work. Resources tend to be limited so it’s important to plan accordingly and inevitable to take advantage of whatever is available. When it comes to manpower who will handle design projects, is it more advantageous to outsource the design projects or to have an in-house designer? The ongoing debate between outsourcing and in-house design has plagued the startup community for years, most especially the companies that handle and launch mobile applications. Obviously, both strategies will work and there are startup companies that have had success in either, but how do you know which works for you?


Startup companies need designers with the right experience and expertise that match with their vision and this is not an easy task since having a designer with ten years of experience in print might not be the right match for a mobile app startup (for example).


To help you identify whether you should outsource or hire an in-house designer, take note of the following:


Know what type of designer you need

Know exactly what type of designer you need. In an event when you do not know what exactly fits with your company, make use of online forums like Hacker News or the /r/Startups thread discussions on Reddit, and try the Job Search option on AngelList.


Consider the budget you have

With startups, it’s important to keep costs low. Outsourcing seems to be a popular choice if you want the more cost-effective option since it can let you hire the right person to do the job without worrying about long-term expenses, such as overhead costs, resources, and benefits. Also note that if your budget isn’t enough to hire the right person to do the job, it can put the startup at risk and can affect the quality of the work.


Consider the time you have

For tech startups, hiring a new designer to work on your app can be a huge time commitment compared to a designer working on simpler designs. The project can be unexpectedly delayed due to a couple unforeseen occurrences. This can apply both to hiring in-house and outsourced designers. Reduce all time wasted by getting to know a designer through their work to learn who has verified experience before hiring them.


Know the industry you’re in

The final point worth considering is the competitive industry. Take note that it isn’t always about finding someone who can produce the prettiest output, it’s finding the right designer who’ll consistently find solutions to a problem and who’ll produce something beyond what’s being asked of them to do. Those who have the ability to set their work apart from the competition are always the best choice.



All in all, we know hiring outsourced and in-house designers have advantages on their own and a lot of startup companies have all taken their own avenues in an effort to find the perfect solution for their needs. Of course, you are allowed to pick which one you think is better but keep in mind that there’s an outsourcing design team available to take on creative tasks! MicroCreatives is a full-time creative design comprised of extremely talented web developers, web designers, animators, and copywriters who follow creative briefs to the T! Find out more about the team and our work, talk to us!