I am really torn between the outsourcing vs keeping work in Australia argument. I hear about it a lot as my industry is split between the two (especially with the introduction of crowd sourcing) and have been thinking about it quite a lot over the past couple of days.
At the moment, I am organising to have a client's eCommerce website moved from one host and domain to another. The technical skill is beyond my level and so I have someone else doing the work for me. The job has ended up being quite long and arduous, as the previous developer who originally did the website (the previous company owner I now have) seems to have put the website together in a fashion that makes it impossible for anyone to go in and make necessary changes, especially structural.
I felt bad, because what should have been a simple job is not. Unfortunately it isn't the client's problem (even though this guy manages to be a real dick in general) and problems have technically arisen due to the previous staff of the same company be had the website built by. I have managed to remove all design and admin chargers (ie. anything I do) and only charge him for the development work (ie. what I need to pay someone to do, so I'm not paying for it out of my own pocket with cold, hard cash).
Two problems. First, the job is one that basically ensures that most of the time spent is troubleshooting and sifting through templates and code. So the poor girl who's doing it for me cannot give me an end date. Other than driving the client wild with rage that I can't give him a black and white answer on a completion date it makes problem two a very expensive one. At $100 per hour development time, I am left hoping that I am strong enough to deliver a bill that would send most into an early grave.
So far, we're two weeks into this thing.
So, in between the client reminding me how late I am, how he's suffering and so forth, he's also putting pressure on me to complete another website for him basically straight afterwards. So I decided I'd have someone else do it.
Now, this person is a local and someone I have worked with before. But I'm paying the rate I charge, so I'm only better off time wise. It got me thinking about sending it elsewhere - India, Bangladesh - offloading the work, leaving me with admin and customer service, and reducing the actual development rate to a) allow much more room for problems or to offer something more and ensure I receive payment for my time. Part of me thinks this is wonderful. This is how millions of people made business work, by focusing on one part and having other people do the rest.
The other half of me thinks I'm evil, because it boils down to:
I think I need to find a middle point. Outsource some work, and find a balance with pricing structure. I need to build the business so it's paying me a wage, and of course I don't want to work my guts out every single day. I want to be able to choose not to work. I feel really bad for considering it, but then again no one will look after me in the long run. I have to do it myself.