Business Services: Do It Yourself or Hire a Pro?

159093620The Platform is an invitation-only guest opportunity that asks technologists and innovators to share big ideas. This week you are getting schooled by Brad Woodcox (@bradwoodcox), Director of Investment and Operations at HalberdCross who also serves as a Technical Specialist at Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg LLP.

The Internet connects people to an enormous wealth of information. This access facilitates the ability to learn new skills with relative ease compared to 30 years ago. However, just because you have access to relevant information and the ability to absorb it does not mean that learning a new business service skill is the best decision.

“When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” – Sir Ray Avery via TechCrunch.

Scary to quantify it in those terms. Add to that, a typical person reading this article may have already used up 10,000 (or more) of these days. Since a person’s time is so limited, making efficient decisions is paramount, unless you want to waste one or more of your 30,000 days.

Within this finite number of days, a person will repeatedly be faced with a choice to tackle a problem alone or to hire the expertise of a professional service. These instances will span both a person’s personal and professional life. Example situations include:

  • It is the annual tax season. Should you purchase TurboTax or another computer tax program or should you hire a CPA/tax pro?
  • You want to setup a new company. Should you utilize the state’s website, purchase a package from one of the online LLC/corporation formation companies, or hire a local corporate attorney?
  • You want to increase your company’s online presence. Should you create your own website and social media accounts or should you hire a tech/social media consulting firm?

Interestingly, the same question/problem can have different ideal responses based on the details of the situation. Despite these questions arising a multitude of times in a person’s life, each instance is still often a tough decision on which path to take. The reasoning is perhaps best captured by former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld:

“There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are


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