By Dave Young, Professional Writer and Founder, Young Copy
I bring this article to you courtesy of Dave Young, as I think it adds enormous pertinence to what I do and I also endorse his opinions in this regard.
The following ten reasons are based on Young Copy’s years of experience providing outsourced technical writing services to highly successful technology companies. The ten (10) reasons you see below provide real results to real companies everyday.
1. You get an expert or a team of experts.
A professional technical writing services firm will be able to handle every aspect of your technical writing. For example, when you outsource to Young Copy, you get a combination of senior level technical writing consultants, editors, developers, and system engineers who pull together to learn and document your products. Combining the various levels of expertise provides a powerful technical writing team that delivers solid results.
2. You save money.
Hiring even one employee in-house can be expensive. Consider the following expenses for bringing at least one employee on-site to do all your technical writing projects.
Personal Expenses per Employee:
- Insurance – Health, dental, life insurance?
- Vacation/Sick/Personal – A minimum of 14 days plus holidays?
- Retirement – Do you match retirement, 3%, 6% or more?
Resources per Employee:
- Software – Are you aware of how much technical writing software cost to purchase and maintain?
- Training – Do you have to train your technical writer on the latest software?
- Computer equipment – To get a good computer, and hopefully multiple monitors, for optimum work efficiency, are you aware of the cost?
- Office – Have you added the cost of office space, cubicles, desks, chairs, phones, paper, sticky notes, pens, pencils, ink, heating and air conditioning, and more?
A professional technical writing services firm will already have all of the above. When you outsource technical writing services to an established firm, they will have the necessary tools to complete your project effectively. You will not need to concern yourself with finding and paying for the appropriate software and all those other costly expenses.
In the end, hiring an outsourced technical writing services firm cost less than an in-house employee.
3. You pay when you need the work done.
When you outsource, you do not pay someone to sit at a desk like you would an on-site employee. If you pay for a document to be produced, you only pay for the document, not the technical writer spending time chatting with an office member, taking a break, or anything that in-house employees do while at work.
4. You can scale your technical writing services team up or down as needed.
Successful software companies typically produce many versions of many different products. If you have an influx of new documentation that needs to be written, an outsourced technical writing team can handle the workload. Whether you need to increase productivity to handle multiple projects or back down to a few projects, you can scale an outsourced technical writing services team as needed.
5. You get an extension of your sales, support, and development teams.
We see sales, support, and development teams referring to documentation we have produced for their company’s products on a daily basis. For example, sales teams refer to documentation when customers have specific pre-sales, upgrade, or general questions about the functionality or user-friendliness of their products. Support teams refer customers to documentation to answer specific questions after they have purchased the product. And development teams refer to documentation to learn how a previous feature worked developed by another programmer.
6. You get a communications expert.
Your technical writing services team provides knowledge of the most effective methods for communicating with customers. Technical writing can be in the form of a searchable online help document, a downloadable PDF file, a knowledge base or a printed manual. Regardless, your technical writing services team will be able to develop documentation that communicates to your clients and customers effectively.
7. You get a fresh, innovative, and experienced perspective on your technical writing needs.
When you outsource to a technical writing services firm, you get a customized documentation solution. Your new outsourced team will have experience in implementing a variety of technical writing plans for previous clients and can adapt, modify, or implement solutions that work best for your products. Best of all, you get a fresh perspective on your technical writing needs. Outsourcing your technical writing projects will be a great opportunity to get a new perspective on your technical writing goals.
8. You have full control.
You get to set expectations, deliverables, timelines, and even budget. In fact, you have more control over an outsourced technical writing consultant than you do an in-house employee. When you outsource writing services, you are paying for the end product.
9. You can try before you buy.
Start with a small technical writing project such as a how-to guide or installation document and learn how effective it can be for your business. Outsourcing technical writing services is not for everybody. But if time and money are important to you, allocate a project to an outsourced technical writing services firm. A typical project takes about 4 to 6 weeks to complete, giving both parties a chance to see if the outsourcing relationship will work in the long run.
10. You get a team of passionate people.
When you outsource to a technical writing services firm, you get a team of people who want to be working on your documentation, not just people sitting at a desk collecting a paycheck. Writing services are our business and we go the extra mile to make sure the end product exceeds your expectations.