Do it yourself or full service?

After a decade of working with hundreds of small businesses of all sizes, I have discovered that there are really only two types of clients. Of course, there is a small percentage of those that are a combination of both, but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

What type are you?

They are either DIY or those that require full service. Neither one is wrong overall and each has its applications. When I started my business, not only did I not know what business I wanted to set up, but I was starting in a recession so funds were somewhat limited. My skills in small business marketing were also limited as I was coming from a corporate environment where all that was done for me. So I started with the do it yourself approach; ‘fake it to make it.’ It was at that point I learned the power of experts and the expectations of better results using their skills and time.

Why a DIY approach?

When you start a small business, you may like me, have a shoestring budget so doing it yourself may be your only option. For myself, I had the time to work on setup and online training so I could gain some insight into design and marketing. However, many times my results were meager at best and frustration usually followed as I lost projects to those more refined. Having said that, you may like the challenge of doing your own work. Just be aware that it does take up your time which is your money as well. In that light, may want to also consider losses from the core aspects of your business. For example. if you’ve decided to design your own website, you’ll soon learn that there are many DIY website builders out there claiming you can build your own website. Why this may be true, I have also seen my share of bad websites designed by business owners who don’t understand the principles of design or marketing. It’s more than just the tools that web design requires.

Why consider full service?

If you have the funds or your business is bringing good revenues, this option will usually yield the best results. Hiring the experts that have the training and experience in their field of expertise means the task will usually get done sooner and with better results. It also means you can focus on your core competencies and accomplish more of your own work and goals. Following the same example, if you allow a professional to design your website they will listen to your objectives, understand you business, insert your colour palette, make your story flow on the pages and provide the correct call to actions to prompt good customer response.

Which one are you?

Having looked at the two polar opposites, the question is “Which one are you?” The answer doesn’t really matter as you are what you are, but wisdom is knowing when to walk away and when to run. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of both will give you the right solution for your business start up requirements My words of wisdom to my clients are this: If you have the time, the skills and need to save the money, then a DIY is the right answer. In contrast, if your time is limited, your abilities for the tasks are limited at best and you have the funds, then hiring the experts just might be the right choice.

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