When Doing It Yourself Makes Rotten Business Sense

You already know that one of the many benefits of doing business online means that it is possible – and for many people preferable – to bootstrap and do it all yourself.

But there’s a particular breed of online entrepreneurs who are used to bootstrapping everything, opting for free services whenever they can and who insist that learning how to do almost everything themselves is the only way they’re going to make it work.

The kinds of things that run through their head which keep them in this mindset include:

  • “I’m learning new skills so what does it matter? It’s a win-win.”
  • “I’ve got way more time than money so it’s really ok to spend my time doing this.”
  • “I can’t afford to get professional advice or support yet – besides, there’s so much available for free that I don’t need it.”

Unfortunately what they may not realise is that these justifications can make rotten business sense and, if you take a closer look, you’ll often find that these are the business owners who are spinning on their heels, going in circles and making very little actual progress with their business ventures, year on year.

Here’s why what they tell themselves simply isn’t working and why it makes absolutely rotten business sense…

“I’m learning new skills so what does it matter? It’s a win-win.”

If those skills can be re-used time & time again, re-sold or transferable to other ventures, then perhaps it is worth spending the 10-12 hours it might have taken you to research which online appointment scheduling service is the most suitable for you.

If not, that one time investment of time, energy and attention is likely to have been better spent elsewhere.

Imagine how many new customers/clients you could have been generating (or learning how to by brushing up on your sales & marketing skills – the ones that really matter) with those 10-12 hours – likely more than enough to have paid for a savvy online business adviser to have pointed you in the right direction and shortcut your research on the technical side of things.

“I’ve got way more time than money.”

No matter how you slice it, when you run your own business, time is money.

While you’re faffing around fiddling away for hours trying to do your own website graphics, you could have been spending that time working on a strategy to get more visitors to your website to see said graphics.

Or planning how to optimise your site so that those visitors actually buy something when they’re there, outsourcing the creation of those graphics to someone who can do them in 1/10th of the time it takes you (and with far better results!).

You may tell yourself you’ll have time to do both but what you’ll often find is that people spend time on the tasks they find fun, simpler to do and easy to get started on (yet yield the least rewards), versus spending that time on the tasks which they find more difficult and can never get going with (yet would yield the most rewards)…with the end result being that those more difficult, boring tasks never actually get done.

“I can’t afford to get professional advice or support yet.”

The “I can’t afford it” mindset can often be an excuse too.

It’s easier and more comfortable to tell themselves they can’t afford it – and to spend hours and hours trying to figure things out themselves (see #2) – than bite the bullet and invest in the kind of support they so desperately need to set up the solid foundations for a profitable business online in the long term.

As soon as something becomes valuable enough – read: painful enough – it’s often too late to bring in the support they need.

Investing in the support you need, before you believe you can afford it, can often be the fastest route to generating what you need to more than afford it.

Knowing when to invest and bring in outside support for your business is an important skill to have – the following are questions to help you decide whether the time is ripe for you to invest:

  • Is what’s blocking my progress tactical or strategic? i.e. is it something which is relatively simple to change and not fundamental to my overall business success (tactical) or is it actually fundamental and foundational to my business success (strategic)?
  • Do I know and trust someone in my immediate network who can help me sort this out quickly and easily?
  • Can I afford NOT to get this right, this time round?

The last question is probably the most important:

Can you afford not to get this right, this time round? And what is it going to cost you if you don’t?

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