You could do everything by yourself but sometimes that just isn’t a good idea. Here are 5 areas that you really shouldn’t ignore.
Will anyone who’s ever uttered the words, “Why should I pay someone for something I can do myself,” (even if you said it to yourself) please stand up? Sometimes we think that we can do everything ourselves in business. What’s so hard about creating a logo? Just five dollars on Fiver and that’s it. Just pick the colors we want and get it over with. Why do I need a personalized design when I can choose from an endless number of options almost for free?
Independence is one of the most important characteristics for a business owner to have. The smaller your business, the more important your ability get things done, learn, develop and change on your own. On the other hand, as someone developing a product or service meant for other people, it’s obvious how critical its quality is to its long-term success.
Look at it like this: if you let every expert do what he knows how to do best, you’ll probably get a very successful product. So what do you do when you don’t have an open-ended budget? The secret is to find someone who is more or less at your level. He’ll still do it way better than you. That’s true of any and every aspect you choose. There are always levels and you always need to choose the one that’s right for you at the moment. Here are 5 aspects we believe to be the most important:
Branding is the most important aspect and the most likely to be ignored by businesses (especially small ones). Branding is the establishment of a character or personality for your brand. The language, tone, appearance, and behavior are all a part of the branding process. Branding manifests itself as a graphic and textual language meant to send certain messages through the words, lines, colors, shapes and anything else that accompanies your brand wherever it appears, just how we dress or speak in a certain way. Beneath the surface, we are all giving out a certain vibe, according to which other people will connect or detach from you.
It’s exactly the same as the brand. But take note: branding is much more than a graphical language (appearance). It’s also what you say (texts), how you behave (actions, responses), the history you come from (story), a ruleset of what you’ll never do or wear and many other aspects from a different world that need to be connected to one another. If you didn’t build them together correctly, in-depth or uniquely, you’ve created a brand that sends out differing and confusing messages, exactly like those people who you can never seem to figure out. If you ever wondered by causes people to want to connect to you, just like in real life, a polished and specific brand should always be the first response.
Everyone can write for himself. It’s the easiest thing in the world. But even here, between the lines and the words are hidden many more messages than the writer might understand. The reader, however, picks them up in full force. For example: How do I tell people that I’m a professional without saying flat out that I’m number 1? That’s something very hard to fake – unless writing texts that present and promote certain personas is your job. Have you ever asked yourself why you shouldn’t write when you’re angry? The reason is that even if you are in control of the words you choose to use, the subtext will also get through. Anybody can write simple marketing texts, but not everyone can write to build your brand personality and turn it into an icon in the industry. And the more attention you give to this issue (considering you’ve done it right), the more you’ll get in return – a little like raising a kid.
The smaller your business is the simpler your dealings with the tax authorities. Ok, “simple” might be a bit of an exaggeration, so let’s say less complex. You can find an explanation for everything online and do it all yourself in this arena as well, and maybe you’ll even manage to do it without racking up thousands in fines every year. But even then, the odds are that you’ll take care of the bare minimum required by law and miss out on taking advantage of many of your rights. Unless you have exceptional talent or in-depth knowledge in this field, you’re probably missing many opportunities to receive tax benefits, deals, returns or other ways to save. When done right, these small things are worth hundreds every month and thousands every year – and that’s for a very small business. You’ll back more in your first quarter of business than you spend for the paycheck of a bookkeeper or accountant.
Let’s just say for argument’s sake that you know how to do everything just perfect and without any mistakes. What about the energy that it sucks out of you? That energy could be better directed towards building your business. Think about that.
4. A real office, with fluorescent lighting and coffee
Working from a cafe sounds like a cool concept and you might even find inspiration this way sometimes. But if you look at things from the perspective of productivity, you’ll find out that it doesn’t always work in the long term. How many hours in a row can you sit at one cafe? Are you focused? It’s a miracle if you put in three hours.
The solution here is also investing according to the size of your business. A table in a shared space could cost you a couple hundred dollars every month and for about $30 a day you have your own private office. But the real secret here is that you aren’t paying for the table and the chair you use, but for the atmosphere of activity and the inspiration. Want another reason? The fact that you invested $30 for a day’s worth of work will commit you to get something important done to offset the expense. It’s a simple matter of setter a boundary that you won’t let yourself cross because when you feel at home, there’s always tomorrow. By the way, you’ll produce much more during a day of work in cafes, even when taking into account the time you spend running between them. If most of your work is done in front of the computer, you have to consider finding the right working space.
5. Eat right
We weren’t sure about this last one, but when looking for results, this isn’t any less important than the others. Food coma – recognize the phrase? You definitely know the feeling. How long are you incapacitated after a meal of pasta? Now ask yourself how much an hour of your work is worth or how much money you would ask from someone else to waste one for you. Forget weight and health, it’s just an issue of productivity; you are a resource and you increase productivity when you eat right.
We tried it here. We put fruit on the table instead of cookies and pastries and everyone reported feeling more awake and lighter. Also in the afternoon, we switched the pizza for chicken breast or salad. At 4 in the afternoon, no one here is gasping for air. Magic, isn’t it?
The beauty here is that you don’t need to make big decisions. Next time you’re at the supermarket, just throw a few fruits into your shopping cart and put them in a bowl on the table (not hidden in the refrigerator). You won’t believe how fast this will take root and how much energy they give, just without the down that usually comes half an hour after eating. Cakes are great, but save them for when there’s a couch nearby and you have a few free hours to collapse on it. That’s the right way to do it.