When to Call in the Big Guns

Have you ever tried to make ice cream at home? Rarely, if ever, has it come out the texture and quality of a scoop from the pros.

You know, try as I might with a table top Cuisinart, it never quite comes out the right consistency. The tub is frozen overnight, or maybe two, yet usually I end up churning something close to soft serve that refreezes poorly (ice crystals form).

I love it, of course, because I made it.

FYI, we like DIY. There really aren’t many things we won’t try doing ourselves just to see if we can. Doing them ourselves is satisfying (and often frustrating!) and at the time seems cost effective.

But then sometimes we spend so much time just trying to get things right, it would be far more time effective to call for backup.

Time is money, after all.

In business this is ever more apparent. As an entrepreneur or restaurateur your gut instinct is probably telling you to do it all yourself.

“It won’t cost nearly as much as hiring and you’ll get exactly what you want.”

But unfortunately, both of those statements are flat out wrong.

Let’s say you decide not to hire a chef and plan to do all of the cooking yourself. You might be a good cook but it will take time to perfect dishes.

It will take time before you can get them consistent for your customers. It will take time to get efficient with your ingredients to minimize wastage.

It will take time away from running your restaurant.

A seasoned chef on the other hand can do all of these things like they are old hat. They can do them more quickly, meaning they can get more done in a shorter period. If you could quantify the dollars spent for the amount of work done, they would be heaps ahead.

Whenever you are working on something you have to think of it as a paid position. Imagine what you would be paying someone to do the same work. Only then can you compare dollars to dollars and the value of hiring a professional.

But let’s consider the second statement: “You’ll get exactly what you want.” This might feel like it is true, especially after you’ve finished a DIY. Humans are biased, especially when it comes to our own creations.

Point in case—my ice cream puddles.

Every parent thinks their baby is the smartest cutest thing in the World. Thankfully, that’s the case. I can’t imagine a World of intense baby jealously.

In Robert Cialdini’s book, Presuasion, he talks about the studies they performed regarding our creations. He had people build terrible origami that resembled nothing and found that their preference for it was always greater when they crafted it themselves.

Take cake mixes in a box, for instance. Cialdini references these in his book as well. When cake mixes were first created they contained milk and egg powder. Literally all customers had to do was add water. These cake mixes sold terribly.

Once they took the egg and milk powder out of the mix and had customers add these ingredients in manually, cake mix sales climbed. Why? Because they felt like they had made the cake themselves. They liked the cake more because they felt like they had made it.

And that confirms the bias that whatever we make, we will like it more. I’m not sure how we take the bias out, but try to imagine what you originally wanted compared to what you eventually made.

Bias can hurt your business. If you think your product is the best thing since sliced bread you’ll have a tough time understanding why sales are slumped.

And that really can go for any aspect of your new venture. You’re always going to think the interior decor you created is the bee’s knees.

That’s not to say there aren’t things you should do yourself. You have experience and expertise. These are the areas you should focus on.

Make knowing when to invest and delegate in a professional one of these areas.

January 19, 2017
Posted on 
Author photo in a circle
Kyle Lincoln

Kyle is a logo crafter, avid reader, and writer. His experience expands across a wide spectrum of clients such as Nandos, Shaw Business, and Destination Canada. Growing up, it didn’t take him long to go from doodles to design. Kyle’s previous work in identities for conferences and events left him longing for something more enduring. He’s got a vested interest in helping businesses thrive and an eye for brand incongruences. In Vancouver he can be found scoping out his client’s location and/or the nearest gelateria and is always up to discuss your project or favourite flavour.

Have you ever tried to make ice cream at home? Rarely, if ever, has it come out the texture and quality of a scoop from the pros.

You know, try as I might with a table top Cuisinart, it never quite comes out the right consistency. The tub is frozen overnight, or maybe two, yet usually I end up churning something close to soft serve that refreezes poorly (ice crystals form).

I love it, of course, because I made it.

FYI, we like DIY. There really aren’t many things we won’t try doing ourselves just to see if we can. Doing them ourselves is satisfying (and often frustrating!) and at the time seems cost effective.

But then sometimes we spend so much time just trying to get things right, it would be far more time effective to call for backup.

Time is money, after all.

In business this is ever more apparent. As an entrepreneur or restaurateur your gut instinct is probably telling you to do it all yourself.

“It won’t cost nearly as much as hiring and you’ll get exactly what you want.”

But unfortunately, both of those statements are flat out wrong.

Let’s say you decide not to hire a chef and plan to do all of the cooking yourself. You might be a good cook but it will take time to perfect dishes.

It will take time before you can get them consistent for your customers. It will take time to get efficient with your ingredients to minimize wastage.

It will take time away from running your restaurant.

A seasoned chef on the other hand can do all of these things like they are old hat. They can do them more quickly, meaning they can get more done in a shorter period. If you could quantify the dollars spent for the amount of work done, they would be heaps ahead.

Whenever you are working on something you have to think of it as a paid position. Imagine what you would be paying someone to do the same work. Only then can you compare dollars to dollars and the value of hiring a professional.

But let’s consider the second statement: “You’ll get exactly what you want.” This might feel like it is true, especially after you’ve finished a DIY. Humans are biased, especially when it comes to our own creations.

Point in case—my ice cream puddles.

Every parent thinks their baby is the smartest cutest thing in the World. Thankfully, that’s the case. I can’t imagine a World of intense baby jealously.

In Robert Cialdini’s book, Presuasion, he talks about the studies they performed regarding our creations. He had people build terrible origami that resembled nothing and found that their preference for it was always greater when they crafted it themselves.

Take cake mixes in a box, for instance. Cialdini references these in his book as well. When cake mixes were first created they contained milk and egg powder. Literally all customers had to do was add water. These cake mixes sold terribly.

Once they took the egg and milk powder out of the mix and had customers add these ingredients in manually, cake mix sales climbed. Why? Because they felt like they had made the cake themselves. They liked the cake more because they felt like they had made it.

And that confirms the bias that whatever we make, we will like it more. I’m not sure how we take the bias out, but try to imagine what you originally wanted compared to what you eventually made.

Bias can hurt your business. If you think your product is the best thing since sliced bread you’ll have a tough time understanding why sales are slumped.

And that really can go for any aspect of your new venture. You’re always going to think the interior decor you created is the bee’s knees.

That’s not to say there aren’t things you should do yourself. You have experience and expertise. These are the areas you should focus on.

Make knowing when to invest and delegate in a professional one of these areas.

January 19, 2017
Posted on 
Author photo in a circle
Kyle Lincoln

Kyle is a logo crafter, avid reader, and writer. His experience expands across a wide spectrum of clients such as Nandos, Shaw Business, and Destination Canada. Growing up, it didn’t take him long to go from doodles to design. Kyle’s previous work in identities for conferences and events left him longing for something more enduring. He’s got a vested interest in helping businesses thrive and an eye for brand incongruences. In Vancouver he can be found scoping out his client’s location and/or the nearest gelateria and is always up to discuss your project or favourite flavour.

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