I’m a DIY gal, born into a DIY family. Growing up, my mom did everything for us from haircuts to Halloween costumes and everything in between. My, dad as a contractor, continues to do all of the architecture, framing, roofing, drywall, etc on his building projects. Our family motto might as well be “If you can do it yourself, then do it yourself – even if it takes twice as long.” While this stance is partly due to pride (no one builds a house quite as quality and unique as my dad), it’s also because we’re
economical cheap. Why spend money when you could do it yourself for free?
While the DIY route has saved our family a ton of money throughout my lifetime, which was necessary for raising five kids under one income, I wouldn’t suggest it as a solopreneur. Trust me, I’ve tried!
No matter how many free webinars you watch, podcasts you listen to or blog posts you read, those aren't enough to help you build a successful business.
The depth of this didn’t fully sink in until attending the Savvy Experience conference in August! There were 16 amazing speakers from all different fields – marketers, designers, lawyers, copywriters… every aspect of business was represented. Each expert shared so much wisdom, which comes from their years of experience. Experience that I will never have, because I’m not a lawyer, marketer, copywriter, financial planner…
After leaving the conference, I’ve discovered three main stages of business delegation:
1. The Juggler
You juggle #allthethings — your logo, copywriting, packaging, social media, finances, marketing. Most solopreneur startups find themselves as jugglers (also known as bootstrappers). Unless you take out a loan, find investors, or have a chunk of savings set aside, you can’t afford to hire things out. I totally get it, and I’ve definitely been there!
Benefits: Jugglers can start a business with little to no costs. By doing things yourself, you learn a lot about other aspects of business (while you may not become an expert in them, it’s helpful to have a working knowledge). Most likely your offerings, values, and business direction will change as you grow and figure out exactly what you want to do, so you avoid spending money on things that you’ll end up changing soon after.
Downsides: It can take forever to get your business off the ground. Growth will be slow, as you won’t have the time to take on a lot of clients. You also won’t have as professional of a presence and might not be optimized for your ideal clients. #sorrynotsorry, but no matter how hard you try, you just don’t have the knowledge or talent of experienced specialists.
Conclusion: Being a juggler is a great way to start, but stay there too long and you risk burning out or hindering your growth. It’s important to invest the money you bring in back into your business to develop a professional presence, get help for your weak areas, and free up time for what you do best.
2. The Taste-Tester
You’ve realized that you can’t do #allthethings and want to outsource your least favorite tasks or the thing you struggle with the most. You sample a few services – some paid and some free. A chunk of copywriting, a logo design, a free 30-minute coaching call… and then hire a VA to piece everything together.
Benefits: It’s hard to surrender control over tasks in your business, so taste-testing will break the ice when it comes to hiring. You’ll start to build relationships with other business owners and get a feel for what you want at a low-risk pace.
Downsides: By purchasing only small chunks of services, you may have inconsistencies between things. Your logo may not flow well with the feeling evoked by your copy. Or your DIY blog images may clash with your shiny new website. When purchasing in smaller or cheaper chunks, you may not find the best fit for your business, and it may feel like a waste of money.
Conclusion: If you’re a taste-tester, you’re definitely heading in the right direction! However, this piecemeal approach could leave a sour taste in your mouth. Give me a bite of an avocado and I’ll spit it out… give me a scoop of guacamole and I’ll clean the bowl! It’s all about finding the right portion and ingredients to make for the perfect business. So if your new website isn’t drawing traffic, don’t deem it a “waste of money” until you’ve evaluated whether your copy, branding, and marketing are up to par.
3. The Delegator
You’ve mastered the art of delegation and have found it oh so beneficial to hire out the tasks you dread and the things you’re not an expert in. Congratulations – the rest of us envy you! But for those who haven’t reached the stage of ultimate delegation, do a heart check as to what you need the most, and what will have the best ROI. Start there, and work your way up as your business grows.
Benefits: You’ll have an expert hand to cover all aspects of your business, (hopefully) giving you a professional and cohesive presence. You’ll be able to focus on what you love best, making your job more fulfilling. Your business will be able to grow faster, as you and your team can handle more customers and clients.
Downsides: This is definitely the costliest option, so you’ll need to ensure your sales are enough to cover your team and still bring home a profit. You’ll also need to learn good leadership and organizational skills to effectively manage and oversee each delegation. Sometimes the time spent supervising is equivalent to the time saved on the task, rending the delegation useless.
Conclusion: The most important part of delegation is making sure you hire out the right tasks for your business. If you spend 10 hours a week writing blog posts, while a copywriter could do the same in 5, hire it out! If you absolutely hate posting to social media, find a VA or social media manager to create and post your content! Work with a coach, mentor or strategist to help you evaluate the most critical areas for you to delegate.
Have you been trying to DIY your branding, logo or graphics? Is it working for you?
Since my specialty is branding, I’d love to work with you to create a beautiful and cohesive brand presence! Not just a logo or a website — nothing piecemeal – but an entire brand suite! With almost 10 years of experience, I have the talent and expertise to design a strategic, intentional brand that will be as effective as it is beautiful! Contact me here to get the conversation started!