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Two Classic Mistakes You Don’t Wanna Make

As a business coach, I work with both start-ups and established enterprises.  Their needs are different, and, this month, I have a bit of specific advice for each.

For you new business owners …

They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression.  So true.  And when you’re a business owner out there competing for business, that first impression needs to convey a high degree of professionalism.  And that’s why it distresses me to see new business owners making the mistake of trying to create the branding pieces … logo, website, etc. … for their businesses on their own.

Why?  Because these days, people’s first impression of you is very often created via what they see on a screen or even the logo on your business card.   And “Do-It-Yourself” almost always looks like you’ve done it yourself.

Your logo, business card, website, and associated promotional materials have to look thoroughly professional, and in my experience, virtually all homemade websites, logos, etc. look amateurish.  And how could they not?  They weren’t created by a professional website or graphic designer.  Graphic and web design are specialized skills.

If you want impressive branding, you have to pay for it.

Now, I get the reluctance to pay for these services.  They aren’t cheap.  You should expect to pay around $3,500 to get these basic design pieces done professionally.  Could be somewhat more or less depending on where you live.

But when you consider how important your professional image is, you can’t afford to put forth anything but first-rate products.  To do anything less is the definition of penny wise and pound foolish.

After all, look at how much you’ve spent acquiring the knowledge and training you need to become an expert in your field.  You offer an attractive “package” when it comes to your professional services.  Now, make sure you’re packaging it attractively.

What about freelance online design services?  That might be an option.  You might get quality results, but, then again, you might not.  If they’re inexpensive enough, and you’re willing to ditch them and start over if you don’t get a truly professional look, then that might be OK.  And it’s probably best to go with established professionals.  And if you can’t afford them now, wait until you can.

You need to put your best foot forward.

For you established folks:

Do some simple math for me.

What do you charge an hour for your services … or what does it come out to roughly per hour if you don’t actually charge by the hour?  That’s your base figure.

If you had more time, could you bring in more business?

If the answer is yes, then what could you do to free up more time?

Pay somebody a fraction of what you make per hour to do the things that will free you up to bring in more business and serve more people … doing what you’re highly-trained to do.

Yeah.  This is a no-brainer.

Okay, now take whatever rate your administrative assistant, bookkeeper or IT person would charge you and subtract it from what you make an hour.  Then multiply that by the number of hours you’ve freed-up … and that’s the pure added income you get.  And you aren’t working any more hours than before!

Sweet.

So, why do I see so many people doing stuff other people could do for them at a much lower rate than what they, themselves, are able to charge?

I think it’s for two basic reasons.  They don’t like to give up control … and they haven’t really done the math and pondered the absurdity of doing $25-30 an hour work themselves when they could be spending their time and energy doing work that brings in multiples of that.

My advice:  Get yourself an assistant or even a team of folks that will allow you to concentrate on what only you can do … what you love doing … and what brings in the most income.

Don’t try to do everything yourself.  Again, it’s penny wise and pound foolish … and you risk burning yourself out.

And you’re too valuable to the people you serve for that to happen.

Hope this helps.

Best Wishes,

 

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