When my wife and I first bought our house, I wasn’t exactly the do it yourself type. There were a lot of things I just didn’t know how to do, but I rolled up my sleeves and jumped in anyway. I picked up some pointers from my more handy friends and learned a lot more by trial and error. I spackled, sanded, and painted the entire interior of our house. I learned how to disassemble a bathroom faucet, sink, and vanity so I could install brand new ones. I had to replace the trap under every sink in the house. I installed new light fixtures and dimmer switches. I learned how to quickly slap up window blinds and repair torn window screens. I installed a new railing for the basement steps. I even installed new vinyl floor tiles in our kitchen.
All in all, I’ve learned to do quite a bit around the house and that has saved me thousands of dollars. But I know my limits. When our roof was leaking we called in the experts to get a new roof done right. We did the same when we wanted to add a new half bathroom in our basement.
Could I have done either of those projects myself? With enough time to learn how to do it and then actually complete the work I probably could have managed it myself. But it would have taken forever to do and the results would not have been to the same standard. Sometimes it just makes sense to pay a specialist to get a job done quickly and easily so you can concentrate on more important matters.
Of course this goes for business as well as home projects. Let me use my own online ventures as an example.
I started building websites as a hobby. Making money online wasn’t really my motivation; I just thought it would be cool to learn how to make a website all by myself. Of course once I realized there was money to be made I charged in full steam ahead!
It was slow going at first. I was on a tight budget and couldn’t afford to take any shortcuts. I painstakingly coded my first niche sites by hand in Notepad. That means typing all those silly characters where one missing < or / could make your whole site implode.
The worst part is that even after I spent hours perfecting my site’s coding, it still looked amateurish. Eventually I realized that I had to work smarter, not harder. So I started using tools like WordPress (free) and XSitepro (not free) to create sites in a fraction of the time it used to take me. Ridding myself of the painful coding process gave me a lot more time to work on more important tasks.
As my sites grew so did my income, and before you know it I was able to invest more money back into my business. I purchased keyword tools that help me find hot topics to focus on instead of just writing blindly and hoping for the best. I found some neat plugins that were able to automatically do things that used to take forever.
Still, I hit a wall. No matter how hard and how efficiently you work, there’s a limit to what you can do on your own. Take writing for example. I enjoy writing and I have no shortage of article ideas to keep me busy for a long time to come. But I’m not a machine. I have a family and other responsibilities to look after too…and sometimes I’m just lazy and don’t feel like writing.
That’s where outsourcing plays such a huge role. I’ve recently started hiring some ghostwriters to create articles for some of my niche sites. That has taken a huge burden off my back as I don’t feel the constant pressure of having to do it all by myself. And a team of writers can create a lot more content than I can ever hope to create all on my own.
Another area where I don’t mind paying for help is graphic design. I did learn the basics of Gimp and I created the simple header I’m currently using at Money Matters Guy, but that’s about the most I can do right now. If I need a header or an ecover designed there are plenty of people who can do a much better job than me for a reasonable fee. And I’m glad to pay for it because the time it saves me can be used for something else instead.
So if you feel like your business is hitting a wall and you just don’t have the time to get everything done, it may be time to look into outsourcing some of the more mundane tasks. Whether it is writing articles, creating graphics, customer service, submitting to blog carnivals, or commenting on other blogs…outsourcing can help you take your business to the next level.