DIY vs. Pros

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I struggle with the line between doing something myself and hiring a pro. Three factors come into the calculation: Skill, Time and Money.

Skills is simple: Can I do the job technically? Changing oil in my car? Yes. Replacing the timing belt? No. An honest assessment of your abilities, patience, and willingness to do the job twice is key. If ladders are involved my confidence goes way down.


Time is obvious: Do I have the hours to complete this job? Between work and family my life is just busy enough to make this a difficult call. If the project is something I can complete on a Sunday afternoon or across several evenings, I will probably try it. If it is something that requires a full day or two or will take a key space out of commission- think a kitchen or bathroom- I’m calling an expert.


Finally, the money. In this equation you are trading cash for time. How much do you have to save to trade away a weekend? Will the savings justify lower-quality work? I see this all the time in small businesses. The owner, while trying to preserve precious dollars, handles not just the cash-generating part of the business, but also the accounting, marketing and painting the sign on the front of the building. If he has the time and can do quality work, fine. But if he is painting the sign or writing print ads instead of driving revenue, he may be lowering the profitability of his business.


If you can generate more revenue per hour than the cost per hour of hiring a specialist, hire the pro. Increased quality will be a bonus.

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