“I can save money by doing it myself!” Have you heard this sassy statement before?
If you’re a Generation Y twenty-something, then the odds are that your parents have imprinted this ethic onto your very soul: ‘Work hard and you’ll save money.’ The illusion behind this is revealed when you examine the ratio of just how many bucks you save against what value you place on your time. The ‘do it yourself’ theory is deeply flawed.
What’s the problem?
Let’s say that you’re launching a new business. You will of course, want a quality digital shopfront in the form of a well-designed and user-friendly website. Rather than hiring a web designer you think to yourself: ’I can save money by doing it myself.’
So begin the hours pouring over code and templates; writing content and sourcing images; living on forums to find out how to fix all the little bugs you inevitably create. You might eventually knock together a reasonable website but probably at the expense of losing two weeks or more of your time.
What dollar amount do you place on your work hours? What could you have done in those two weeks that would actually have made you money? If your regular working hours earn you around $15 an hour, for example, then you just spent $1000 of your time creating that mediocre website when a professional could have handed you an extremely high-quality, finished site for a fraction of the price!
Doing things yourself to save money rarely actually saves you any money if it uses up your own finite work hours!
How do we fix it?
Outsource and crowdsource as much as you can!
Outsourcing is a simple, cost-effective and win-win arrangement between you and a professional. You pay for a job and get on with doing what you’re good at while they do the job they’re good at. They deliver, you pay and still have time to do your own work – and everybody’s happy!
Today it’s so easy to access the online plethora of global talent. People to manage social media, handle your accounts, filter emails, run marketing campaigns, design publicity and so much more!
You can also crowdsource to groups of people through viral media to test your websites, share your content and engage with your products. Simply having a good bunch of Facebook friends is all that you need to get started on this.
Where to outsource to?
There are now a whole host of online freelancing agencies to connect clients and professionals together from across the globe. Google is your friend, but some of the best and easiest to work with are:
These are basically online marketplaces for skills, and within them you will find top quality work for affordable prices.
Why bother with this again?
If you want to make money then you need to spend most of your time on the things that produce the best results. Marketing Guru Timothy Ferris says that many of us have this backwards: we spend 80% of our time on things that only produce 20% of our results.
Ferris’s 80/20 rule can be easily reversed. If we can outsource those things that monopolize our time, thus freeing us up to work on where we are most skilled, we can expect a much larger return.
You don’t always save money by doing it yourself. On the contrary, by simple outsourcing you can save yourself time and money while placing a higher value on the unique skills and talents that you have. Smart thinking makes money!