Man facing mountains -- business inspiration

Let me preface this post by assuring you I am a natural blond.

My hair has just turned to a more “dishwater” shade as I’ve gotten older. So I have it lightened a bit now.

Yes, this actually relates to your business.

I have always left my hair in the hands of professionals. But many years ago, I decided I would save some money by dying my own hair. Month after month, I bought a package of dye from the local drugstore and went about touching up my roots at home.

After about three months, I looked like a calico cat.

I went back to my hairstylist and begged him to fix it. It cost a pretty penny to get back to a reasonable shade of blond without completely destroying my fine hair.

I’m not a die-hard (or dye-hard, in this case) do-it-yourselfer – but sometimes I think I can save money by at least attempting to do something myself. Can you relate?

The first couple of business websites I put up, I designed and built myself. I had worked with enough designers over the years, and learned enough about Web development that I knew just enough to be dangerous.

The sites didn’t look bad … but they weren’t professional.

I knew I needed to invest in a professional design, but it was a lot of money for a small business like mine at the time.

So how did I push past that fear and ultimately call up a professional to redesign my site? I had a mentality shift.

The Two Business Camps

Over my many years writing marketing copy and content for businesses, I have noticed that growing businesses fall into one of two camps.

Camp 1: The DIYers. This camp stays in start-up mode. They pinch pennies, try to do everything themselves (or pay talented friends in beer and pizza) and feel confident they can become experts in all aspects of business.

Camp 2: The Level-Up-ers. This camp has a mentality shift at a certain point in their growth. They know what they are experts in, and they recognize that others are experts in areas they are weak in. They get focused on what they do best, on revenue-generating efforts and activities within their zones of genius — and they hire experienced professionals to do the rest.

Both camps can still grow their revenue. But the second camp does it in a more focused — and generally faster — way.

I had the mentality shift, moved firmly into Camp 2, and wrote the check for a new Web design.

How My Website Redesign Impacted My Client Relationships

The designer did a knock-out job on my website.

To this day, one of the first things I often hear from prospective clients is “I love your website!” The professional design reflects my values, boosts my credibility and gives me confidence that others will see Horizon Peak Consulting in the right light.

I don’t regret a dime.

Today when I get on the phone with prospective clients, the first thing I need to understand is if they’ve had that mentality shift. Because if they haven’t, they will likely not appreciate what professional copy can do for their marketing efforts.

They will hesitate over their checkbook every step of the way.

If they do decide to move forward hiring me to write their marketing content, they might even regret having spent the money. Not because the words I write aren’t excellent. Not because they don’t see a bump in conversion rates, or Web traffic, or whatever else they are focused on measuring. But because they will always wonder if they could have saved a few bucks by learning how to do it themselves.

No professional worth their salt wants their clients regretting cutting that check. So I often talk Camp 1 businesses out of working with me.

Does this shoot me in the foot? Cost me business? Nope. Never. It actually saves us both a lot of angst.

If you fall into Camp 1, the DIYers, don’t fret. Thanks to the Internet, you can learn just about anything you need to. You don’t have to hire a Web designer or a copywriter or even a lawyer to keep your business running anymore. Just remember that first impressions are everything. Perception impacts sales. And working 14-hour days is NOT a sign of success.

If you fall into Camp 2, the Level-Up-ers, congratulations. Your business life is going to be a lot less insane. You know where your expertise lies, and you’re willing to pay professionals to do the rest. Just remember that you still have a voice in the process. If you don’t like what a company or vendor is doing, you can speak up even though you’re not an expert in that area.

Now I have a question for you Camp 2 individuals. What can you let go of and hire a professional to do today?