When it Comes to Technology and Design Most Folks Tap Out and Hire a Pro. Should You?
The first versions of websites rolled out in the early 90s, when business was confined to a dimly lit corner of the web. A business's presence online was reliant on one of two factors: being a coding genius, or being rich enough to pay that coding genius to launch you into uncharted territory. Thankfully we've come a long way in 25 years and access to online business resources isn't reserved for the elite or geek-chic, and there's little left uncharted.
Does this mean I think every entrepreneur should try their hand at web design and SEO? Yes and no. I've yet to meet a small business owner who didn't at least try to do everything themselves, so why not try your hand at web presence, too? Here are a few points to consider when deciding on keeping your digital media management in-house, or outsourcing:
1. Building and running a business are time-consuming commitments all on their own.
You'll need to give yourself about 3-6 months for extensive learning just to get the basics
for producing and managing your own digital media. Do you have the time, and can you
take on the additional projects? You'll want to first focus on learning basic project
management processes, basic design principles, and then you're going to have to choose
your site's platform (and learn it). A quick Google search will give you top-rated hits. I'll
reserve my opinion on my personal favorites...at least until another time, but there are 4
major contenders for website builders, all learnable to the eager entrepreneur (again, IMO).
2. Do you have the resources needed to see projects through to completion? Web design
and SEO are detail-oriented and mechanical, and do require a certain amount of advanced
creative and critical thinking skills, as well as determined focus. And then there are the
material costs--do you have the displays and technology necessary? You don't need
cutting-edge tools to get you started, but do you need to be current with the standards and
willing to dedicate yourself to the learning in order to achieve a quality result in line with
your company image and standards.
3. You'll need to be able to apply what you've learned in an effective and meaningful way.
Don't jump in with excitement for a new business challenge without first planning for its
successes and failures. Take what you've learned and apply it for the life of
your business, building on that knowledge as you and your business grow. You'll be
bombarded with direct mail ads, ninja sales agents and consultants, and a general barrage
of "advice" and opinions; the more you know, the better informed your decisions will be
when facing changes and growth with your company. Know thyself, know thy business.
More and more business owners are positioning themselves as experts in their own brands by taking matters into their own hands. If you feel confident that you can meet these challenges then I would encourage you to try your hand at running your own digital media, and then training competent, invested employees. However, not every entrepreneur has the time, patience, or interest in learning this portion of their business. And that is when it's a no-brainer that a pro is the answer.