One of the toughest things about being in business for yourself is seeing how much it costs. You know how much you’re bringing in, but it still hurts to see those numbers go out even on necessary things like your website hosting, rent for your shop, payroll, insurance, or countless other things that are required just to keep the doors open.
With every dollar that you have to spend, you feel a little twinge of frustration because it feels like a dollar taken straight from your pocket.
But what if we flip the record and change the perspective? Look at it this way: it’s not actually your dollar YET.
It costs money to be in business and just like you use your hard-earned money to feed your family, you have you also feed your business. Without doing that, your business won’t thrive and grow, or even survive, and you’ll have to find another way to feed your family.
As a fellow business owner, I know how you're feeling. My income isn't always consistent and it makes me want to hang on to every single dollar SO DANG tightly. So believe me when I say, I GET YOU.
But I also get how exhausting that is. You feel like you have to do everything yourself and you’re left feeling stretched so thin you can’t even think straight. You’re exhausted, and frustrated because the results that you’re getting don’t feel as good as you want them to be, which in turn, leaves you feeling unmotivated and insecure about your business. If you're nodding your head, this is your sign — it's time to stop DIY-ing and invest in upgrading your business.
There are many reasons people try to DIY their business:
- Maybe it’s to save time. Training another person to understand your business feels like a daunting task that would take too long.
- Maybe it’s to retain control. Your business is your baby and you want to make sure nobody does anything that could mess it up.
- Maybe it’s to save money. You want to outsource more but you just can’t swing it. Until your business gets more revenue your only option is to DIY.
Any of that sound familiar? Read on.
You’re trying to save time.
You’ve heard the old saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together,” right? You feel like stopping and asking for help will slow you down, but we were not designed to go at full speed without stopping. But even your phone needs to be turned off and then back on for the occasional reboot! You may be able to go faster by yourself, but you could be going 100mph in the wrong direction. By slowing down and asking for help you’re not only making sure that you’re staying on track and going the the right way, but you’re giving yourself time to recharge fill your inspiration cup so you have the energy to keep going so you can go farther.
You don’t want to give up control.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I have had those isolating thoughts. You know the ones. The ones that tell you you’re the only one doing it right. That no one else knows what they’re talking about. That they just don’t understand you or what you’re trying to do. Admittedly there have been times when I lived in those thoughts. And nothing healthy came from it.
What I’ve discovered as I’ve gone on in my business is quite the opposite, actually. Areas of knowledge are not black and white but instead are more like a gradient than can overlap with other areas. Someone may have a strong concentration of knowledge in one topic but it sort of starts to fringe out into another area until it drops off. For example, as as designer I have a very strong knowledge in branding, I also know a lot about web design, and I know enough about web ads and marketing to hold an intelligent conversation about it. But, I don't know much at all about web development or implementing a strategic ad campaign. I can admit when I’ve reached the end of my knowledge and have lots of trusted contacts I can rely on who can better serve our clients when they need help beyond my realm of knowledge.
The same thing holds true for other fields. (This is also where niches can come into play.) For example, I recently worked with a copywriter who not only has a strong knowledge in best copywriting practices, but was well-versed in understanding the design process. Working with designers is her niche. Not only that, but she has a crazy-strong grasp on email marketing and funnels which is where my knowledge started to fade and I was so grateful she was able to get me pointed in the right direction.
I know it’s hard to hand over control to someone else, but you’ll find you’re better off for it. You’ll not only walk away with renewed creativity and an outside perspective of your business, but you’ll find that your realm of knowledge has grown a little bit, too!
You need to save money.
It’s important to first look at your money perspective. Are you holding on tightly to your money because of a scarcity mindset and you want to save every single nickel and dime that you can? Are you using money as an excuse so that you don’t have to admit that you don’t want to slow down or give up control? Or is saving a money a legitimate concern because your business doesn’t have the revenue to support extra outside help right now? Sometimes there’s just no way around it and we simply can’t afford the help we know we need.
LISTEN UP! If this is you, I DO NOT want you to feel ashamed for DIY-ing aspects of your business. You are doing what you have to do to pay your bills and that hustle is something to be proud of!
But, I hate the word hustle and I think it’s a fast track to burnout. So, instead of living in that hustle long-term, here are a couple of ideas that might help you think creatively about some unconventional ways to get the help you desperately need without breaking the bank.
- See if you can find a “done-with-you” service instead of “done-for-you” service. By having some of your research done up front, you may be able to find a service provider who will partner with you and fill in your gaps with their professional skills while saving you a bit of cash in the process.
- Find a service provider with some smaller offerings. Kind of like ordering an appetizer as your entree at a fancy restaurant. If you're just starting out, maybe you can skip the full brand design for now and get get the basics created to tide your business over until you can swing the complete branding experience (Ask us about our Basic Brand package!). Find a copywriter who offers a “quick-edit” or "power hour" type of service where you write the content and they polish it up for you. Many service-based businesses only list their primary services on their websites, when in reality they are capable of so much more. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.
- Reach out to a service provider you admire and respect and see if they would be interested in a trade. It’s tricky, but when outlined clearly and treated respectfully, a trade can be really beneficial for both parties.
Just like clothes that are too small, you can feel it when you've outgrown the DIY stage of your business. It's uncomfortable. Don't let your homemade brand hold you back from growing your business. And if you're ready to get the grown up brand you're dreaming about, we're here to help!