Too often I hear, “Hiring a pro would be great, but we just don’t have it in the budget to hire projects out.” Or my personal favorite, “We’ll figure it out; how hard can it be?” Well, maybe you could ask a few brides who planned their own weddings, weekend warriors that did their own plumbing project, or the company that threw the last lackluster event you attended. Not that these projects can’t be pulled off; they can. There are just some questions to ask yourself first.
Should I outsource? Six questions for home or business.
Why am I doing this project?
Am I capable of executing the project?
Do I enjoy this type of project?
What is my current skill level when it comes to this project?
Will I get the intended results?
What is my time worth?
For our purposes, let’s use something as simple as manicures; do it myself and save money, or pay a pro?
Why am I doing this project? Having my nails done makes me feel prettier in jeans and more polished at work.
Am I capable of executing this project? Technically, yes.
Do I enjoy this project? Hell no.
What is my skill level when it comes to this project? About the same as a third grader applying make-up on the school bus.
Will I get the intended results? Absolutely not. My nails will be painted. My cuticles will also be painted, because I can’t push them back, left-handed, without a first-aid kit nearby. Attempts to repair the botches will be for naught. I’ll be frustrated that despite the effort, I’ll spend 2 days hoping no one will notice the shoddy paint job, and then it will chip off.
What is my time worth? Call me for a quote and I’ll give you the number. But seriously, I’m running a business, showing up for friends, feeding baby birds at the rescue, remembering my dog was my best friend when I had more free time and loving her accordingly, driving to and from hospice in High Point to see my grandmother (hospice’s longest living resident and the coolest woman on the planet), finishing one of the fifty half-read books in my office, all while trying to not be the worst workaholic newlywed in the world. My time goes to that which brings me joy and moves me toward financial freedom.
“It’s important to spend my time, my most precious and limited resource, wisely.”
Don’t get me wrong, about once a year, I relearn this very lesson. And when I’m done, I’m frustrated, my nails look like crap, I realize I’ve paid half the price of a manicure just by buying base coat and nail polish (because I lost the supplies from last year’s attempt). Plus, I just spent an hour and a half shopping, painting, “fixing” and repainting my nails, all to hope no one notices the shoddy job and watch it chip off in a day and half.
Moral of the story. Can I save some cash doing my nails myself? In theory, yes. Until I consider I could have been doing things that bring me joy or using that time to generate revenue that would pay for multiple manicures. I chose manicures, but could’ve easily chosen laying the flooring in your home, painting your own kitchen, making home-made spaghetti sauce knowing Paul Newman’s has had it down for decades, and the list goes on.
The same goes for the outside-of-our-expertise projects we take on in the business world in hopes of saving money: creating your own logo, planning your own event, or creating your own website with the help of YouTube tutorials. I’m sure it would be possible for you to complete these tasks, but would you end up frustrated and dissatisfied like me after a botched home manicure? In the end, is your time better spent elsewhere? When you ask yourself the six questions, you may come out on the other side realizing that you’re better off outsourcing your project, and that’s okay. Consulting companies exist for the same reason nail salons do: to save you precious time and money so that you can focus on the more important things.