When it comes to investing in your business, do you have a bottomless purse and endless resources? Neither do I. Every day, I have to make hard decisions as to which services and products I should invest in and what I can handle myself. One of the most critical skills an entrepreneur can possess is being able to make this determination. These decisions can vary greatly depending on your skill set, time, and where you are in your business. Here’s my two cents on evaluating where to spend your money and when to go the do-it-yourself route.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and a high-quality photo is worth even more. Photos can sell your work and paint a clear picture of what you do.
Hire a Pro:
- Hire a professional for high-quality headshots or product photos. Nothing can sell you or your product like a great photo. Professional photographers have specific skills, better equipment and lighting, and access to make-up artists and stylists should you want to use them. They can also touch up photos so that you look your best. Professional photographers will also produce stunning results for food and product photography, which is often tricky to shoot.
- Invest in a good camera, lights, and possibly photo classes if you constantly need to take photos of your products or images for blog posts.
- Purchase stock photography when you need professional-quality images at an affordable price. These can be used as needed for blog post images and print materials.
Professional designers are trained to understand layout, design, composition, design history, and production. They can help you determine your visual branding and give your marketing pieces a professional feeling. However, more and more tools are out there and available to novices.
Hire a Pro:
- Invest in a professional for pieces that have high visibility like identity and logo.
- Farm out design work if it isn’t your forte or you don’t have time to devote to various design tasks.
- Create it yourself if you have technical skills, good design sense, and access to professional computer software like Photoshop and Illustrator.
Writing and Editing
Words hold power and meaning. They can make or break your presentation, brochures, or website.
Hire a Pro:
- Hire a professional if you need help establishing tone and message or writing effective sales copy.
- Invest in a professional if you need a great edit for a book, brochure, or other long-form document that requires multiple edits and input.
- Handling week-to-week tasks like blog posts may be right up your alley if you have the time and an understanding of grammar and sentence structure. Never publish work without having someone else proofread it. Even if you consider yourself a great writer, it’s hard to always catch your own mistakes. If you have a friend or family member willing to do it, great. If not, it’s worth the investment to pay a proofreader.
Expert business and life coaching can be a great investment for helping you find focus when you feel stuck and need a little help getting to the next level. Specialists can often provide laser-precise advice and a new perspective on challenges you may face.
Hire a Pro:
- Hire a coach or consultant when you need individualized attention, a partner in accountability, or a custom solution for your business.
- You can get the help you need from a book or a purchased program. You have the dedication and focus to apply what you’ve learned. You have time to commit to learning and can apply general information to your specific issues.
As a rule of thumb, focus on the things that you are passionate about and are great at doing. Invest in those skills and services that will make you and your business better. Build a team of go-to professionals with individual experts to assist you in creating the business of your dreams.
The bottom line is that you need to pick and choose where to spend your money based on your skills, but don’t be afraid to invest in a professional when you need some help! For the tasks you decide to do yourself, commit to learning how to do them well. It will pay off in the long run.