Doing It Yourself Is Not Always Doing It Right
Should you do it yourself?
I recently attended a wedding. It was a nice wedding. Not large; only 40-50 guests.
I noticed everyone going to the bride to ask questions about where to place this, when to do that. Rather than hiring a wedding planner, the bride had decided to save money and plan the wedding herself. She did a nice job. However, on what was the most wonderful day of her life, she was handling hundreds of minor details that someone else could have easily handled. While she was getting ready with her bridesmaids, she was routinely interrupted about where to place the plates for the dinner; what time should they plan to eat; when will you be cutting the cake; and so forth.
She hired a professional disk jockey to play the music for the ceremony and the party afterward. She didn’t hire a photographer. Ten minutes before the ceremony began, her teenage son from a previous marriage got a camera out and began to learn how to operate it. He was able to turn it on, but wasn’t sure how to get the flash to pop-up. A kind, knowledgeable person gave him a few quick tips such as taking pictures from in front of people instead of behind them, and taking plenty of extra shots. Her son did ok.
A professional doesn’t cost, it pays
How does this apply to business? How many times do we not hire a professional because we think we cannot afford one? We sometimes spend money on the temporary and not think about the long term value of our decisions. While a professional disk jockey is nice, when the party is over, there is nothing else left. Having professional photographs to look at for years to come has more lasting value.
When you hire the proper professional, you get professional results. You pay a little more up front, but you get a return on the investment you made. Forbes produced a great write-up on how outsourcing can do much more than just cut costs. In the article, they talk about 5 reasons to reach outside your organization in order to improve your capabilities.
Where most businesses struggle
For example, an area of weakness for most businesses is their customer follow-up. They have no mechanism for consistently expressing customer appreciation, getting customer feedback, or improving customer engagement after the sale or service is complete. Some companies try to handle this in-house but it’s short-lived because of the demands of their “more urgent” business operations. It doesn’t produce the desired results because it wasn’t executed consistently or systematically like it should have been. A business owner will then conclude that customer retention efforts have little to no ROI for their business. Rather, things like customer gifts and surveys should be outsourced to a professional. You hire a marketing firm or advertising agency to do your customer acquisition. Why would you not also hire an outside firm to help with customer retention?
How are we most efficient at growing our business? We do the tasks that we can do best or that only we can do; we hire a professional to handle the tasks that we are either inefficient at doing, or don’t have the time or knowledge to do properly.
The most valuable asset a business owner can have is the knowledge of which tasks to do themselves, and which to delegate to a professional.