In the early days of your business, being a master of DIY is very important. It takes a lot of different skills to make a business grow and thrive. But if you pay other people to do all of them, you’re likely to make your business go bust before it even gets off the ground. So in the early days, entrepreneurs are a flurry with activity, always learning something new, or trying to adapt a current skill set to a unmastered set of tasks. It can be hard to watch, and even harder to experience for yourself. But some entrepreneurs have what it takes.
The problem comes when the business grows to the point where it’s starting to take off. In these situations it’s all the more important to make your efforts pay off. 50% of American businesses fail within a year. But 8 of 10 don’t make it to five years! There are many reasons for this. Some of them are listed below.
1) Fulfillment and Warehousing. Growing businesses which try to indefinitely manage their own shipping, fulfillment, and warehousing are likely to screw it up sooner or later. This is because your business is not a professional warehouse. The need to ship is a product of what you do, but you likely don’t have the time, infrastructure, and staffing to really blow this aspect of your business out of the water. A2B Fulfillment is an example of a great company which can do this aspect of your business for you, getting all your products wherever they need to be in the world, on time and packaged right. They can manage difficult issues like returns and customer service. Trust me, they do this stuff better than you. Staying DIY can be a real drain on your business as you move forward.
2) Branding. Unless your business is a marketing agency...your business isn’t a marketing agency. You likely can’t (and shouldn’t) do your own branding. If you think you’ve got it under control, chances are your web and print materials don’t conform to industry standards of aesthetics and usability. Basically, a crappy website will turn people away and make you look like your business isn’t up to snuff. Give yourself the website that is worthy of a level of business you want to achieve.
3) Customer Complaints, Questions, and Feedback. If you recall about a decade ago, Steve Jobs replied to a couple of customer complaints online. People flipped. No one expected that he read that stuff or would have time to reply. That’s because NO CEO has time for this stuff. If you are compelled to reply to tons of emails, respond to every call, you are almost certainly throwing away time and energy. Hire a company that specializes in representing and extending your brand. Your customers will have a better experience of your company than you can supply yourself, and your name will ring out!
There are many other examples of the sorts of business behaviors that you can’t do on your own, at least not for very long. Don’t be afraid to hire the pros to carry your business into a great new future.