Do You Know What You Don’t Know?
We live in a DIY (Do It Yourself) world; therefore, many attempt to do almost everything themselves when it comes to a business or hobby. If it’s a hobby, there’s really no reason to NOT do it yourself; however, when it’s for a business, do you know what you don’t know?
The DIY Revolution
This has led to many tools being created by savvy entrepreneurs who see the trend and capitalize on it. Legal DIY services, self-publishing of eBooks, templates of all sorts, 1-2-3 logo design tools and website creation services that look fantastic at first glance. What they don’t tell you is they hired consultants and designers to create the so-called easy-and-simple tool, and the results are misleading. Quite often the site built by these tools are not very effective.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer if one can do something themselves, effectively, why spend the money – unless it makes more sense to outsource the task, because your time is better spent on what you do best? Which is why I give away the farm on my blog. I tell everyone how to do what I do, what pitfalls to beware of, tips for effectiveness, examples of what to do and not to do, and much more. But if you cannot do what you need done, effectively (user experience, functionality, look and feel, streamlined conversion strategy, etc.) you risk losing a ton of money in your pursuit of saving it!
The money you lose will not just be lost sales and opportunities, but:
- Lost referrals
- The cost of time and energy spent creating the ineffective tool and infrastructure.
- Lost revenue of downtime to correct the situation a second time.
With all that loss, add the money you will pay to your solution provider (attorney, designer, copy writer, etc.) and the price tag keeps growing. So what can you do?
Count the Cost Before You Start Your Project
Let’s say you have an idea for a business. While many think they only need to create the product or service to actually BE in business, it’s more complicated than that. There are legal issues, office requirements, equipment costs, packaging, marketing, branding and communications. So first take stock of what you actually need.
Once you know what you need, find out what it takes to effectively implement each aspect of your infrastructure.
- How long would it take?
- What special requirements might be needed?
- How much would it cost?
- Is there a talent factor?
By a talent factor, I mean are there any special skills or talents needed for it to be effective? For example, just because someone can play the guitar and mimic other’s music perfectly, doesn’t mean he or she has the creativity to write a great original music score. Not everyone can be Adelle!
One big mistake people make is thinking if they have the tools, they can do it themselves. Having wrenches allows you to tinker with an engine, but it doesn’t make you a mechanic.
Now this doesn’t mean you may not be able to do SOME parts, but you first need to know what they all are. How can you find out? Ask someone!
A Small Investment in Knowledge Saves Thousands of Dollars
Experience has high value! This is why companies go to great lengths to recruit the right talent. If a company you want to be like does this, wouldn’t it be wise to do the same?
However, you don’t have to hire the talent if it’s not in your budget; you can pay for advice. Find out what you need to know about YOUR particular project and how to get effective results:
What are the technical requirements?
- What other considerations need to be taken into account?
- What are the artistic considerations – after all, you are trying to persuade your audience!
- What specifics should be part of the planning process?
- Are there any legal issues that need to be handled?
- What are the timeframes of implementation and costs?
- Can the process be compartmentalized or not?
Then take the information and see what can be done in-house effectively. Ask yourself:What should be outsourced?
- What’s my timeline?
- What can my budget support?
…and create a plan that will avoid the pitfalls that typically are the root cause of a business failing.
Therefore, find out what you don’t know and then decide whether to outsource what you need until you DO know, or whether it’s even worth your time to learn it – as you could earn more than you would save by doing what you do best.