When your furnace breaks in your house, do you crawl into your dusty crawl space and try to fix it yourself? Or do you call a professional than can take care of the issue quickly and correctly?
What about when your website goes down or you need new marketing materials at work? Is your answer the same?
It’s easy to get stuck in a mindset that as a small business owner, there is no task too big or too small that you can’t handle. While this mindset can help overcome obstacles and build amazing products, it can also suck up valuable time and resources that would be better used elsewhere.
When considering hiring a professional, for instance a photographer to create a virtual tour for a new real estate listing, it’s natural to weigh the cost to benefit ratio.
“I can just take pictures with my cell phone and post them, then I don’t have to pay anyone.” While you may be saving obvious cash by not paying someone else to do the work, there are several less obvious costs that are occurring.
Your Time is Valuable
The first indirect cost of doing it yourself, is your time. Obviously, the work needs to get done and if you are the one doing it, the time that you could be spending on your other priorities is being used up. What other activities could you be doing with your time? Following leads? Billable work? Seeing your family? Though working with a profession requires oversight, experienced professional will complete projects more efficiently.
Quality is Everything
The second cost is quality. Using our earlier example, pictures taken with a cell phone will never look as good as the pictures taken with a professional camera. That’s a given. But, what else are you losing by putting less appealing pictures out to the public? In the age of the internet, buyers are more and more motivated by visual information. They say a picture says a thousand words, but what if your pictures are only saying two hundred. Are you losing sales because the first impression of your product doesn’t represent the actual quality of the product or service?
You’re an Expert in Your Industry
The third hidden cost of DIY is industry knowledge. Every industry has little quirks and tricks. Do you know all of the little deductions you could be claiming on your taxes? Probably not. Think about some of the odd touches that you do in your business and the value that your experience adds.
Time and money are valuable resources in every company, but are even more valuable to small business owners. By focusing on core business areas, like making money, and delegating other work, your company can be more profitable. Even if hiring a professional does cost more, you may find that the non-financial benefits of delegating make it a very wise investment.