Do you know what’s holding back your business growth?
What if, I told you that you could boost your business growth by making one simple change?
For most people, that sounds too good to be true. Trust me on this. The strategy is very simple and not something that’s exactly ground breaking or a never-before-revealed strategy.
The simple trick that would remove the bottleneck for business growth is- let go of the mentality that you have to do everything yourself.
This is applicable to small business owners in particular.
Why You Need to Let Go of the DIY Mentality
Why do you think companies have different departments- finance, marketing, sales, procurement and so on? Why do they even have marketing and sales as two different entities? After all, can’t marketers sell without the need of a sales team?
It so happens that everyone has their own set of skills. And it’s best to let people exercise their skills in a way that produces maximum ROI. Imagine what would happen if you ask the CEO to do marketing, payroll, people management, and so on?
If it’s a very small company, some people might be able to do it. But it most cases, it would turn out to be a complete disaster.
Your role, as a business owner, is to ensure that your company generates profits and provide a product or service that is highly valuable for your customers. Would you spend time making your product or service better or would you want to spend that time micro managing others or even doing all the menial stuff yourself?
The answer is obvious- you should focus on stuff that adds value to your business. And outsource the stuff that you don’t have expertise in.
The Biggest Mistake Business Owners Make
I have had several small business owners come to me asking for advice on how to do keyword research, build links, do content marketing, design websites, etc when they also have a business to run.
Do you see the problem here?
Your focus shifts from your core competency to something you have no expertise in.
And the biggest reason small business owners have for trying to do it all by themselves? Hiring people is too costly and I will be better off doing it myself.
If you really can pull it off, then good. However, most business owners end up with half-baked knowledge of everything and wasting months of their time with nothing to show for their efforts.
Can you relate to that? If yes, you should immediately stop trying to be jack-of-all-trades. Accept that fact that you can’t do everything on your own and need help.
How do I calculate the ROI of Hiring Someone Else?
It’s pretty simple- really. Here is what you need to do. Try to answer the questions below
- How much is the lifetime value of your customer? (Lifetime value is the total revenue you can generate from one single customer as long as they are with you)
- What is the current conversion rate? (If 100 people visit your site and 2 people take the desired action, then conversion rate is 2%. If 50 people visit and 10 people take the desired action, then the conversion rate is 20%)
- How much more business can the consultant you hire bring you? (If you are looking for someone to do SEO, then factor the increase in visits to your site and multiply it with the average lifetime value of customer. If it’s more than what you are paying for the consultant, that’s positive ROI)
- If you are hiring someone to improve your conversion rates, what conversion rates will they produce? Is the revenue you are going to generate from the increased conversions more than what you need to pay them?
ROI= [(Lifetime Value of Customer*Number of New Visitors*Conversion Rate)- (Cost of Hiring Consultant)]/[Total Amount Invested]*100
Sometimes the value cannot be measured objectively. The reason being, you’ll be getting much more value than simple increase in sales. Is the consultant going to help you draft a content strategy? Will he be writing articles on your blog on your behalf? Is he going to hand hold you throughout the process and help you learn along the way?
Common Pitfalls While Hiring Consultants
#1: Setting the wrong expectations
It’s great if someone can help you increase your bottom-line. However, are you expecting someone to revive your almost bankrupt business and turn it into the next Apple?
You have to set the right expectations- Tell the consultant or the agency what exactly you are looking to achieve by hiring them. Is it higher search engine traffic, better conversions, overall guidance, or something else?
#2: Constantly changing requirements
If you are not a developer, and you hire a technical person to set up your website, it’s common for you to misjudge the time and effort the other person has to put in to set it up. I have had clients who started with turnkey templates and kept requesting for tweaks until the site turns into a completely new one (not part of the original contract).
Do yourself and your contractor a favor. Don’t change your requirements midway or keep requesting additional “favors”. If you genuinely want to test better ideas, be ready to pay extra for the additional effort put in by the person whom you hire.
You need to aim for a healthy business relationship as you can never know who’ll come in handy, and when! I have referred web design clients to my clients who have hired me for SEO. That’s a win-win scenario because they reciprocate the favor.
#3: Not having a backup plan
It’s great to take the help of someone experienced. However, there are many cases where things can go wrong or might not work as expected.
A couple of times, I have hired developers for my projects and they went missing in the middle of the project or they couldn’t deliver what they promised.
If I had bet all my stakes on that single contractor, my whole project would have been ruined.
Hired someone to do SEO on your website? What if the SEO project did not give you the expected returns? It might be because of the consultants fault or might be because of some other factors that couldn’t have been helped.
Always have a backup plan as to what you will do should this not work out.
#4: Going cheap (Higher price does not equate to better results either)
As a business owner, you’d want to keep the costs low.
There is a famous quote in the interwebs “if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”. While it’s not always true that low cost means less quality, most of the time, when you try to cut costs, you end up paying more in the long run.
I had a client who used to pay 200$/month to his previous SEO person. When I heard 200$ per month, I was quite surprised, especially when my client told, his rankings has been good. Come Google algorithm update, it didn’t take much time for my client sites rankings to take a deep sea dive.
The damage was too much that using the same domain and filing a reconsideration request was simply not worth the time and effort. And we started off with a new domain name.
Not all businesses can afford to change domain names once they feel the heat of spam links (result of cheap SEO). Would you want to take such risks for your business?
That being said, there is no guarantee that agencies who charge an arm and a leg would do a good job either. I know agencies who charge thousands of dollars for something which would hardly take an hour to do and they don’t provide stunning results either (However, the usually don’t do black hat stuff which might get your site in trouble in the future).
Here are some aspects of marketing you should get expert opinion for
- Link building
- Content strategy
- Pay Per Click Marketing
- Technical SEO issues (Hire someone to do a SEO audit for your site)
- Conversion optimization
- Website development and maintanance
- Social media strategy
- Email marketing strategy
Here are some aspects of marketing you can do yourself
- Keyword research
- On page SEO
- Social media activities
- Customer support
- Email creation and follow-ups
Over to You:
Do you do everything yourself or do you outsource your business tasks? Let me know via comments your experience with hiring external help to grow your business.