Startup budgets, especially in the early stages, are almost by definition extremely limited. A typical startup is usually just a handful of motivated people with a great idea and a vision of making it big. Not having the resources to hire people left and right means that multitasking has become an integral part of startup culture. This often means that a single person will have to do, or learn how to do, several things and take on several additional business responsibilities.
There is no right or wrong answer when faced with the “Do it yourself or hire a professional” dilemma, but there are a few things you should consider before making your decision.
In today’s tech obsessed world, it is hard to imagine starting any kind of business without a website. How well your business is represented online is extremely important, as it will be the first point of contact for a lot of your clients and customers.
Your website should be search engine friendly and intuitive to navigate (on both PC and mobile) while at the same time reflecting the values of your business clearly and professionally. If you do not need an overly complicated website with a lot of content and functionalities, you might consider making it yourself. There are an abundance of design platforms available free of charge that can help you easily design your website. Pre-baked templates and platforms like WordPress can turn even a complete novice into a good (enough) designer, if you want to invest some time.
Same goes for logo and visual signature of your site, you can probably put something together for a start, just remember to avoid the common mistakes. After you have designed your website, monitoring traffic is a next step. If you are not satisfied with the amount of visits and attention your site is getting, it might be time to call in the pros.
An often overlooked aspect of running any kind of business is bookkeeping. Well organized and documented financial accounts are not only crucial for running a business efficiently, but are also required if you want to avoid legal hassle. Don’t take this lightly, because the last thing your young business needs is getting into deep legal trouble like these infamous examples.
That being said, if you have the time and talent, you might opt to be your own bookkeeper. There is a wide array of learning resources and financial software available that can help you learn the ropes. If your business is small enough, this might not present such a daunting undertaking.
As your business grows, however, the amount of bookkeeping and need for financial accountability will grow exponentially. In such a situation, trying to handle it yourself can become challenging, if not downright impossible.
Sloppy bookkeeping can destroy a business if done incorrectly. If you feel that keeping the books on your own is more than you can handle, it is best to find a bookkeeper to do it for you. That presents somewhat of a challenge in itself, so make sure to ask some hard questions before you make a decision.
Search Engine Optimization is a serious business necessity if you want to increase online traffic, and ultimately sales. Depending on what industry you are in, you can choose to either do your own SEO or hire a professional or agency. You can learn some of the basics of SEO and try to implement what you have learned, but this will take a lot of time and effort.
Furthermore, search engine optimization is a constantly changing field, so without a high level of expertise and dedication, results will be hit and miss. The one situation where doing your own SEO is a smart move is if you are in an industry lacking competitors with strong a SEO game. For example, if you’re a part of a niche industry and don’t plan to expanding to a worldwide market, spending money on SEO might be a waste of money.
Instead, you can simply register your business with local online directories, create social media profiles, and generally speaking, do everything you can to put it on a map. If, on the other hand, you are in a highly competitive market such as financial services or healthcare, hiring a professional may be your only worthwhile option when it comes to battling the competition for that top space in search results.
With abundant online resources available, learning new skills that your business can benefit from has never been easier or more convenient. If you have the time and dedication to take on different roles, you can indeed shave a lot of money off the payroll by performing a number of different roles within your company.
Before taking on new roles, you must ask yourself how much risk you are willing to take on, and could your time be better spent elsewhere. It is never a good move to be pennywise and pound foolish. Saving money in the short term by not doing a job professionally could cost you dearly in the future.
Author: Philip Piletic’s primary focus is a fusion of technology, small business, and marketing. He is an editor, writer, marketing consultant and guest author at several authority websites. Philip is in love with startups, latest tech trends and helping others get their ideas off the ground.