Why your hard work isn’t working

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 One of the hardest things in business, is to accept that your current strategy is taking you nowhere.  When we have invested our time, emotion, money and made a lot of sacrifices in an effort to develop our business, it’s hard to look in the mirror and accept we need a new direction.

Why your hard work isn’t working!  

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Arks's picture
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I'm an good do-it-yourselfer. I've tiled floors, laid brick, built cabinetry, wired and plumbed my house and others, hung the Sheetrock, also have built numerous websites, created rack cards and brochures and, I believe, done a perfectly respectable job of it.

Still, I'm a great believerer in hiring professionals. They know stuff. Not surprisingly, and in spite of some anecdotalal evidence above to the contrary, professionals generally do a faster, neater, and better-functioning job than I can.

Partly, it comes down to time and money. If I have the time and want to save some money, I'll do a job myself. But most of the time these days my time can be put to better use and hiring a professional to work for me makes sense.

The rest of it (the decision to hire or not) depends on their expertise, and my own. I'm not good at everything and I have to realize that. I have to see, or depend on someone else to tell me, when what I'm doing isn't up to snuff.

So you have to use your head. Don't hire a professional for every little thing. If you have the time and expertise to do it, do it yourself. If you don't have the money to spare for a professional on a particular job, do it yourself.

On the other hand, if you realize that a professional can do the job so much better that their result will pay their cost, then find the money to hire it done, freeing you up to do something only YOU can do.

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Couldn't agree more.

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Madeleine's picture
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Another reason to hire a professional is to get the guarantee that comes with the product. We could easily install a water heater here but we'd have to go pick it up (could break in transit), I'd be forced to haul it out of the truck, into the cellar and haul the old one out (I ain't no spring chicken) and we can't do anything else at the same time.

Plus, nothing breaks at 1 PM. Everything breaks at 7 AM.

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Arks's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

...I ain't no spring chicken...

This comes as a surprise as I only know you as a little girl in her yellow hat, hugging her puppy.

Arks's picture
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There nothing to see here. Move along.

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 If I hadn't seen your ID, I would have thought my DH had written that!

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The other thing is that small businesses don't have budgets to hire lots of expertise. How many experts can i hire for $500/month?

I admit, I have a blog, twitter and facebook for the B&B. None of which do much for us. So i would be better off hiring a professional? I do not see any B&B's killing it with their blog but maybe I am wrong.

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toddburme wrote:

The other thing is that small businesses don't have budgets to hire lots of expertise. How many experts can i hire for $500/month?

I admit, I have a blog, twitter and facebook for the B&B. None of which do much for us. So i would be better off hiring a professional? I do not see any B&B's killing it with their blog but maybe I am wrong.

We hired someone. In 8 years we finally hired someone. No not internet, but roof.  We needed to make sure the old fireplace stack up on the roof does not leak when it rains hard or snow melts, so in 8 years we hired someone.

It rained last night, we woke up this morning to a huge puddle of water in our kitchen on the table on the floor and the drywall seam buckled.  Dh will have to climb up there and see what happened, the patch the fix, the tar? Where is it, in the can still?

Yep, hire the professional, awright. 

This is why we do everything ourselves, not because we are cheapskates, but because we have to redo or fix the things others do. I hired a housekeeper who later was on the front page of the paper and in jail.  She put the sheets on the bed the wrong way, must have had fun getting them on there, the wrong way, and blew out all the elastic, She also sprayed bleach or something on the brass fixtures and destroyed them in 2 bathrooms.

Yes, we are control freaks, yes we want things done right. Is that too much to ask? Apparently. So if you hire someone watch them like a hawk, they won't like that one bit, what else can you do? I guarantee calling this contractor to come back will be futile, he just won't come back...and then the battle begins.

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JB, we have a hard time finding quality contractors and workmen here as well.  But, there are just some jobs that my dh can't do anymore and replacing our roof was one of them.  Big house, two stories high with several roof lines.  No way could he do it.  We actually had one of the best experiences with that roofing contractor which was a total shock! 

But it IS so very discouraging when you pay good money and expect quality work and contractors are slackers.  We have a set of porch stairs that were built only 5 years ago and they are crap.  The painter we've used for the 8 years we've lived here who usually does really good work did not come through for us on all the work he did this summer (to the tune of a lot of $$$$) and I decided not to have him repair them.  My dh and I will have to tackle them next Spring.  Since I broke my husband with all the work he did on these 2 houses, I hope I can work with him and we can get them built!  It's on the project list....

Hang in there....

 

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

We hired someone. In 8 years we finally hired someone. No not internet, but roof.  We needed to make sure the old fireplace stack up on the roof does not leak when it rains hard or snow melts, so in 8 years we hired someone.

It rained last night, we woke up this morning to a huge puddle of water in our kitchen on the table on the floor and the drywall seam buckled.  Dh will have to climb up there and see what happened, the patch the fix, the tar? Where is it, in the can still?

Yep, hire the professional, awright. 

This is why we do everything ourselves, not because we are cheapskates, but because we have to redo or fix the things others do. I hired a housekeeper who later was on the front page of the paper and in jail.  She put the sheets on the bed the wrong way, must have had fun getting them on there, the wrong way, and blew out all the elastic, She also sprayed bleach or something on the brass fixtures and destroyed them in 2 bathrooms.

Yes, we are control freaks, yes we want things done right. Is that too much to ask? Apparently. So if you hire someone watch them like a hawk, they won't like that one bit, what else can you do? I guarantee calling this contractor to come back will be futile, he just won't come back...and then the battle begins.

We finally got rid of our leak in our bathroom wall when we had the siding put on the house. It took a lot to find someone to do that. Previously we had tried with roofing - we did get it slowed down a lot when we FINALLY found a roofer who came and changed the pitch on a side of the roof. NOW he has retired and I have a leak that is coming in the ceiling about 12 inches inside one guest room (I finally saw the where it is comig in) but who knows where it is coming FROM? I am now looking for a roofer to give me a price to redo the roof (1989 - it is time, my luck ran out) without DH knowing about it. He is like a dog worrying a bone and will give me no rest about it and the cost etc, etc so I will not tell him until I get it ready to be done. When I know how much, I will go for a Banking on Business loan. If I can just find a roofer who is good and will show UP!!!

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trouble is with this sort of thing (from a woman with getting her roof through the winter on her mind!) if you leave it and it leaks it makes another 10 problems with the ceiling and so on. We messed on and messed on with getting a gutter fixed and we ended up having to replaster the wall, pain in my behind!!!

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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

trouble is with this sort of thing (from a woman with getting her roof through the winter on her mind!) if you leave it and it leaks it makes another 10 problems with the ceiling and so on. We messed on and messed on with getting a gutter fixed and we ended up having to replaster the wall, pain in my behind!!!

I know and am worried about that. IF it leaked with every rain I would tell DH and let him stew about it until it got fixed. Right now I think I have a bit of time - IF I can find someone to give me an estimate so I can get it funded.

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the reason I do all my internet stuff myself and taught myself to do it is for exactly this reason! we took on the web site of the previous people which was inaccurate as we made many changes and had ratings with companies we were not members of (AA and Visit Britain) this is against the law and we could have been done by trading standards for misrepresenting ourselves. Chased them and chased them for 6 months about this issue till I was absolutely loony about it. Found out later on one of the reasons I was having trouble was the company who had built the web site was a subdivison of a bigger company who had subsequently shut that division but not told anyone. so A- other companies can close and B-you are at their fricking mercy was made a million promises of Oh yes we will get that altered never happened yet they were still asking for cheques. Don't want to be at the mercy of idiots who won't do what I want sorry! Plus so many people (though this is partly their own fault) paid out thousands for web sites that never appeared and or were with companies that went bust or disappeared into the night. Id rather take my chances on my own.

Madeleine's picture
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The best point of the comment is that if it isn't working, we can change. The hard part is knowing when to quit that road and when to devote one more mile in that direction.

Happy Keeper's picture
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I really do agree with that. When I read the first bit, I was nodding my head in agreement. Knowing when to change course, when to cut your losses, when to take the flag down....

It's when I went to the next link about killing your business that my eyes rolled back into my head. I thought it was a great oversimplification to call us dabblers and tell us to get right out there and get a professional. We are professionals. I get the point that sometimes you need an expert, but it just gets me when I read these some of these blurbs. 

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Happy Keeper wrote:

It's when I went to the next link about killing your business that my eyes rolled back into my head. I thought it was a great oversimplification to call us dabblers and tell us to get right out there and get a professional. We are professionals. I get the point that sometimes you need an expert, but it just gets me when I read these some of these blurbs. 

I took the dabblers bit to be what actually does kill the business. Dabbling instead of really getting into it. I took the point to be stop dabbling.

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First off- my apologies for writing in snippets. I absolutely agree that we should really be focused and avoid dabbling. I just think the real sloution for that is to educate myself and not to rush out and hire a professional, which is what this article was really pushing me to do. I'll go back and reread it, but it felt like one of those articles that you would see on ehow. 

Madeleine's picture
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Right, it's just a lead in to make you think about hiring someone. It's tough to even do that because I went to business counselor once upon a time and the first thing he asked was, 'What do you want to accomplish?' Well, if I knew that...

Does this person deserve the money? Can he really get you focused? I think that's what would help most people- someone to focus their meanderings into a coherent plan. And that can be very valuable.

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Happy Keeper wrote:

First off- my apologies for writing in snippets. I absolutely agree that we should really be focused and avoid dabbling. I just think the real sloution for that is to educate myself and not to rush out and hire a professional, which is what this article was really pushing me to do. I'll go back and reread it, but it felt like one of those articles that you would see on ehow. 

I took it as if you are hitting the wall with what you are doing, perhaps it is time to hire a pro.

My PR guy told me I am good at coming up with ideas - and I am - but as I told him, I can have all the ideas in the world but if I cannot let the world know about them, it does me no good. I could have the most wonderful B & B in the world - worlds above any other, but if no one knows it is there it is for naught. THAT is why I am in the process of trying to hire him - if I can ever pin him down..... He is doing the Vets again - pro bono! So far a Press release that will be sent out Monday and a radio interview for Monday.

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I agree. If you are hitting a wall and don't know where to turn, a professional expert can help.

I also think you are correct that hiring the right professional is the key. My experience with marketing up to this point is that there are a handful of folks who really know how to help you and a bus load of folks who know how to make a living off you.

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BINGO!! I know what this man can do. I have known him since he was cranking in awards by the boatload for marketing and PR working for a "BIG" player in this State. He has gone out on his own with his own company. I figure anyone smart enough to invest in owning the ONLY satallite transmission truck in a State with iffy cell service knows his stuff. He has "street cred" with the right people which is why we got the Vets off the ground on the news wires last year. I consider myself lucky to know who is good rather than the usual dart board choice available to most.

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Interesting and yet....a boat full of holes...given to you free.. from a boat repairman.

Wouldn't it be just so easy if all we had to do was hire a professional and stop dabbling.

 

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Happy Keeper wrote:

Interesting and yet....a boat full of holes...given to you free.. from a boat repairman.

Wouldn't it be just so easy if all we had to do was hire a professional and stop dabbling.

 

But the rub there is hiring the RIGHT professional! I am very fortunate. Through the years I have built up a relationship with one of the best PR people. What we must remember is that PR is not necessarily marketing but it is part of the proverbial tool box. Her called today to see if I had anything stirring with the Vets. I told him no one had scheduled me for anything - I just had both rooms booked. He asked if I wanted my inn or my State - my option is the B & Bs in my State. He called back this afternoon - I am scheduled Monday afternoon on the radio in the Capital (it will be a phone interview).

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Then that article links to perhaps the better one http://goo.gl/4VqhZ 

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Arkansawyer wrote:

Then that article links to perhaps the better one http://goo.gl/4VqhZ 

Maybe but we are so blasted with offers that I have no idea who the professionals are when it come to social networking etc.

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