— April 25, 2018
“You are not rich enough to be cheap.”
This is one of my favorite quotes. It’s also something many entrepreneurs need to pay attention to. Why? It sums up why you shouldn’t try to do it all yourself and hire an expert for your some, if not many, of your business needs. When you invest in your business and pay the industry standard fee for expert help, you will save money in the long term. Not to mention time, headaches and gray hair!
In my work with entrepreneurs, I have experienced several situations where not hiring someone who is trained and experienced ended up costing double or triple in the long run. Here are a few.
Building Your Website
Mistake: Building a website is expensive, but I found this great deal! Mr. Obscure, unknown person will build a site on his platform and host it for only $ 200!
Yikes! Before you pay Mr. Obscure, ask yourself a few questions and do your research.
- Will Mr. Obscure be around and available after the project is complete? In five years?
- What type of customer service is provided? If your site is down, will you be able to contact the company and receive prompt courteous service?
- In regards to hosting, can you easily transfer the site to another hosting company? What about the domain? Is it easy to transfer and will the hosting be compatible?
These may seem like no-brainers but make sure you ask the questions and get answers that make common sense.
Here’s what happened to a friend of mine when she didn’t ask questions and do her research.
Sarah has had a site with ABS web hosting for five years. When she initially set it up, it was a great deal. Website design $ 200 and $ 8-month hosting.
Over the years, her site has been “down” several times without reason. And, since her email was included with the site, it was down as well. When she contacted ABC web hosting by email, since that was the only method provided, it took several days to receive an answer. Then they wanted to send site information to her email address – the one that was down with the site! There was no other option provided. (Not even an alternative address because they didn’t have a record of it on file.).
When she told ABC web hosting she would like access to her files so she could resolve the issue and move the hosting, she received rude replies, finger pointing, and delays.
The bottom line? Sarah had to pay for a newly designed, professional website and she has incurred unnecessary costs and wasted countless hours of her time.
Having a site built and maintained by a recommended expert and hosted by a nationally recognized hosting service is worth the higher initial investment.
For our purpose, business systems include email marketing systems, contact management systems, shopping carts, etc. While some of these programs are very user-friendly, as you move up the ladder to the high-end programs, installation and maintenance require some knowledge and training. If training by the provider is required or “highly recommended,” it’s a pretty good bet you are looking at one of these and should not try to do it yourself.
Mistake: My inexperienced friend will be setting up my new CRM system.
I recently had a client tell me she was moving her CRM (Customer Relationship Management) to one of the premier systems available. No problem. But then she told me her friend would be setting it all up. This friend, while a marketing professional, had no experience with this particular CRM.
I felt like I’d been punched in the gut. Why should I care? Well, first of all, I care about all my clients and want what’s best for them and their business. Second, I’d seen this happen with the exact CRM several times and it always turned out bad.
You are spending $ 2000+ initially for the system and approximately $ 200 a month for the caviar of CRM’s. If you don’t invest in getting it set up and maintained by an expert, you are throwing that money down the toilet.
Here’s how this story turned out:
Janice paid over $ 2500 to get started with a new CRM and now it’s time to set it up and migrate her information. A trained expert with this system starts at $ 75 per hour. Deciding that’s not in her budget, she enlists a friend at $ 20 per hour. The friend not only has no experience with this system but no CRM experience at all. Five years later, Janice has spent many thousands of dollars on the CRM system and IT STILL DOESN’T WORK.
Have your business systems set up by an expert who is knowledgeable of the systems. The extra money you spend up front will pay off with a business that runs efficiently and effectively.
Now let’s turn to something near and dear to my heart. Have you seen these ads?
Rates vary greatly for Virtual Assistants. So what’s the difference between a $ 10 an hour virtual assistant and one that is priced at the industry average of $ 30- $ 40 an hour or more? One word: experience.
There are excellent VA’s in the United States that you can hire for $ 15 an hour. Heck, eight years ago when I started out, that was my rate. However, I was totally new to the work, didn’t know 10% or what I do now nor was I able to recommend the systems and processes that would work for you. At that level, it’s pretty much, you give them a list of specific tasks and I check them off.
Do you need a task checker or do you need a partner who can advise you on areas that aren’t your expertise? You don’t need to know everything about email marketing, social media, blogging or program management etc. because your experienced virtual assistant does know and will advise the best approach.
Mistake: Luanne decided to hire a $ 15/hour VA he found on the internet.
To illustrate, here’s a tale from my “OMG!” file. I was contacted by an entrepreneur for support with customer management, webinars, and content marketing. We had a great conversation and it seemed like a great fit. Our initial consultation ended with her agreeing to the fee and asking to get the setup process going with a contract. Great. But then….nothing.
When I followed up, I discovered she has “went with someone else.” A little investigation reveals the VA who got the gig was less experienced and therefore “cheaper.” Fast forward 6 months later and Luanne was still spinning her wheels in the same place. She decided to work with me.
Hire a VA that will fit where you are in business now and where you want to be five years from now. An experienced and knowledgeable virtual assistant will be a larger investment but the increase in efficiency and productivity will pay off.
Hopefully, you can see how investing in your business by outsourcing to an expert will ultimately pay off for your bottom line. Have questions about outsourcing? Leave a comment.