We all want immediate gratification. Maybe that's why promises made to small business owners are so enticing:
Build your business plan in a day!
Create a 1-page marketing plan.
Learn our secrets to success.
Pay me just $10,000 for all the leads you'll ever need.
You want to believe it, don't you? They make it sound so good. It's the business equivalent of "lose 30 pounds in 30 days." But, unless you're very lucky or have a rich uncle, it just doesn't work that way. The very definition of luck is, "when hard work meets opportunity."
Making it in your own business takes work. Or a lot of money to pay someone else to do it. There are simply no easy fixes. Indeed, it's better to write the majority of your own business and marketing plans. They'll be more likely to contain your vision, and you'll be more in touch with how your business needs to operate. It's like doing your own taxes -- you really see where the money's going.
If you hire someone to help you with these essential documents, it's not going to be free or even low-cost. But, you'll save a lot of money if you do some of the work yourself. Then let the expert help you refine it. When your time isn't as valuable as their cost, then it makes sense to DIY.
A good example is when you need a contract. There are plenty of legal resources online that will supply you with templates. Start with those. Do what you can to customize them, then hand it off to a lawyer. If not, you're basically paying them to do the work that doesn't take as much expertise. Don't be shocked when you get a big bill. They're going to charge you the same hourly rate, whether that's to organize your papers so they can begin working or help you resolve a complex problem you couldn't do yourself without the training and experience they have. In short, saving their time will save you lots of money. The same is true for your taxes. Get all your paperwork together, then call the accountant. Business and marketing consultants -- write as much as you can. Do the research. Get your ducks in a row. Then meet with the expert. You get the idea. Sure, they'll probably charge you a lot per hour, but the idea is to make those hours count.
You probably didn't want to hear all this. The easy fix is just so enticing. But if you really love what you do and you're excited about your business, much of it won't feel like work. And the more you do yourself, the better you'll understand what it takes to be successful in your business.
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