This is the do-it- yourself era—the age of DIY. From home improvement to starting a business, there’s a way to do just about anything on your own and from scratch. Not only is DIY fun, but it results in a product that’s uniquely yours. The best part? It usually costs significantly less to create something yourself than it does to have something made for you. Triple win, right?
Today’s entrepreneurs have recognized the value of DIY and taken full advantage of its place in business. Startup owners “DIY” just about every part of building a business, and they’re proud of
it; there’s a special sort of pride in having “hustled” to forge something new on their own. Small business forums and blogs often encourage entrepreneurs to take the DIY route whenever they can for the reasons outlined above. But what we don’t talk about often enough are the disadvantages to doing everything yourself. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t DIY every part of your business, no matter how tight of a budget you’re working with.
- Resorting to DIY puts an enormous amount of pressure on yourself as an entrepreneur. Think about it: You’re already taking on a task few people can manage—starting a business—and more than likely making it your life’s work. Building a startup comes with a slew of tasks and responsibilities, and every time you assign one of those responsibilities to yourself, you’re giving up time and a considerable amount of energy. These resources are especially scarce if you plan on fulfilling these responsibilities well—which is a given, because if you’re an entrepreneur, you’re probably a perfectionist of sorts. And you simply can’t give every task your all.
- To succeed as an entrepreneur, you have to recognize which tasks you’re best at and which ones you could use a little help with. For many business owners, one of the latter tasks is building a website: In 2016, a quarter of small businesses surveyed by Clutch possessed websites that were incompatible with mobile devices, and many needed improvements in the areas of SEO, content, and design. It was with this realization that I started Orange & Bergamot, a company that builds branded websites for small businesses. It seems that few entrepreneurs are natural web developers. And with how much they already have on their plates, how can they be expected to build professional-level landing pages that offer every detail a potential customer could want? As a seasoned entrepreneur myself, I know it’s impossible to DIY every facet of a startup. It’s a huge part of my motivation to help.
- Websites aren’t the only facet of entrepreneurship that you probably shouldn’t DIY. From graphic design and blog writing to social media and newsletters, there are a variety of entrepreneurial responsibilities that are best left to the pros. Websites like ClearVoice and Fiverr exist to help business owners find artists, writers, and other trained freelancers for project-based or ongoing work. It costs a little more than doing all of those things yourself, but it’s worth price. You’ll find that many freelancers are flexible, anyway, and the end product is of a much higher caliber if a pro takes care of it.
- You’ll also free up a good amount of time and energy for things you’re truly good at if you outsource some of those trickier responsibilities. You probably started a business because you had a great idea—by refusing to DIY a few things, you can focus more on developing that product or service and bringing it to market. Maybe you pride yourself on your people skills, which can be used to provide improved customer service and achieve higher sales. If you want to change the world with your business, you now have a few more minutes in the day (at minimum) to support your cause. A company like Orange & Bergamot will take care of your website, or a freelancer you discovered on a handy website will cover your blog. You have better focus and enhanced mental clarity when you’re not trying to perfect every little part of your business on your own.
While DIY is a valuable strategy for many areas of entrepreneurship, it simply doesn’t have its place in the areas in which you struggle or don’t totally love. I’m an advocate for doing what you’re good at and letting someone else do the rest. You don’t have to be a martyr; it’s why freelancers and businesses like Orange & Bergamot pick up the hard work for you. How do you handle the tasks you struggle with?