DIY or Hire an Expert?

27 Jun 2017

When you’re faced with a job to do, you’ve got to ask yourself whether you want to do it yourself or hire an expert.

Our MD has written about the benefit to both is his latest article in Business Direction. He weighs the value of the knowledge you gain with a bit of DIY against the precision and expertise you get when you pay for an expert.

And then there’s that third option…


This article also appears in the latest issue of Business Scotland, Business Intelligence, Norfolk VoiceBusiness Edge, and Business Comment.

DIY or Hire an Expert

For any job out there, you always have two options: do it yourself or hire an expert.

Sometimes, the task at hand is so easy or takes so little time, that you just don’t think to hire an expert—making a cup of tea on a morning, for example. But other days, you’re running late or forgot to buy milk, so you nip into the nearest coffee shop and ask an expert to do it for you.

Other tasks, of course, are complicated or time consuming enough that your first thought is to hire someone else to do it. Maybe you need to replace the glass in your windscreen or want to add a patio to your garden. Either way, you’re probably going to hire (or at least consult) an expert.

The reason is two-fold: 1) the time, 2) the learning curve.

If something is complicated, you need to factor in the amount of time, energy, and expense it will take you to learn enough to be able to do it yourself.

Similarly, if a job is fairly involved, it will like take up a fair amount of your time, which you’re going to have to pay for anyway—either in time off work or in your leisure time.

Another reason, of course, is the experience and expertise an expert brings to the task. They will not only have the tools and knowledge to do it, but they’ve done it enough times that the quality of the finished product will be higher and they’re less likely to make costly mistakes.

So we hire experts to do these complicated and involved jobs. Because you have to pay a price whether you do it or they do…and they’ll be faster and make fewer mistakes.

Let’s go back to the idea of putting in a new patio.

If you do it yourself, you’ve got to buy all the tools and supplies, watch some YouTube videos, read a few articles, and then spend a whole weekend actually doing it. The finished product looks great, but there are a few bits you had to re-do after finding the best technique.

Alternatively, if you hire some experts to do it, the outlay cost is probably higher, but they bring all the tools and supplies, as well as the experience of having installed about 10 patios over the last year. The big day comes and you get to spend the weekend out and about, returning just in time to see a finished patio looking great.

There are pros and cons to both. When you DIY, you learn a lot about the process, maybe even enough to do it again down the road or fix any little errors that crop up over the coming years. When you pay for an expert, you may not learn as much, but the finished product is more stable and less likely to have any issues in the future.

When it comes to the customisation of our customers’ OpenCRM system, we tend to have three types of projects.

Type 1s want to go it alone, setting up the system, organising the implementation, and getting everyone trained up on it. They will rely on our knowledgebase and asking questions of our support team.

Type 2s will do much of the customisation themselves, but will do so after paying for a few training sessions and a couple hand-holding sessions to get them feeling confident enough to do so.

Type 3s on the other hand, choose to pay us to customise their system and train their staff. They may want to know how the customisation was done, but really they just want to get on with their normal day job and leave the configuration to our experts.

All three types end up with a finished product that works for their business and have a similar success rate. They’ve all had to pay some cost, whether it is their own time, our project management rates, or a combination of both.

It comes back to that idea of DIY vs expert—there’s a cost either way and it should always be your decision about which you prefer to pay.