When Should Small Business Owners Loan Time to DIY Projects?
Within a small business, it’s often the case that capital is tied up, meaning that in order to pursue more comprehensive projects, business owners will either have to take resources that would otherwise be applied elsewhere or find a way to get things done themselves. In certain cases, DIY is a great option that can allow business owners to save money and loan themselves the opportunity to learn a new skill. In other cases, trying to go for a DIY fix can lead to bad results that might wind up actually costing your business money in the event that you need to hire a contractor anyway who has to also fix whatever problem was created. In order to help business owners decide what they should leave to the pros and what elements of their business they can DIY, here are few rules of thumb that can be referenced.
Do you or someone close to you know an expert in the field? If you are close to someone who can give you some professional advice and a place to start out, then there is a much better chance that you will be able to successfully manage a DIY project. Having someone to ask for advice can help you clear hurdles that you may have been able to get over by yourself, but much faster and with less mistakes. This is important considering that your business will not necessarily have the luxury of time with which to make mistakes (also known as learning). Make no mistake, a little guidance doesn’t detract from the purity of your DIY efforts, in fact, the more people who you can consult for advice, the better.
Is there a precedent for people managing this project on a DIY basis? Sometimes, it can help to know that a technique works before you try it out for yourself. If you have doubts about being able to pull off a project, then simply doing some research to see if people have been able to do it in the past can give you better perspective surrounding your undertaking. You may even find resources including step by step how to’s or forums concerning the subject you are interested in, so doing some research on who has been able to DIY what you are going to attempt is pretty much mandatory. An example for this concept can be found in social media marketing. There is a pretty long list of people who have been able to successfully market their business by using social media without the need for official managers or auxiliary staff members. Based off of these successes, and the tips they have left behind, one could assume that if you put enough effort and creativity into DIY social media management, then you would stand a pretty solid chance of being able to pull it off. On the other hand, if your DIY project is something more complicated or technically involved, such as creating an app, if you don’t have the expertise or the time to spend developing it, you may be better off paying for a sure thing.
What would be the damage done if your efforts fell through? Ultimately, your answer to this question will probably have more weight than those before it. In all reality, if messing up a DIY project has the potential to seriously harm your business, then get a professional unless you really feel that you have the expertise on your side o get it done. When it comes to risk reward, ask yourself if risking your primary source of income is worth saving the money needed to contract out your improvement. It may be the case that you decide it is, in which case, be careful to back up your efforts with emergency preparedness as best you can. Back up any files involved on a safe hard drive if the project is digital. If you are renovating a website, you may want to move your code to a test server in order to tinker with it and protect your current website.