Cheap is Not What You're Looking For...

AKA if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys

When you’re first setting up your own business, you come across so many different tasks you didn’t anticipate. “Do I need a logo or can I just have my biz name?! And what’s copy and what’s a landing page? And crap, the only people who have liked my company Facebook page are my mum and her bingo friends!” While you might try to do everything yourself to begin with, it soon becomes apparent that it’s mission impossible. Unless you are allergic to sleep.  

So, you decide to try that ‘outsourcing’ thing that everybody has been raving about. But because your business is only in foetus stage, your budget is less ‘baller’ and more ‘buy yourself something nice at the corner store.’

When your budget is tighter than your jeans on Boxing Day, it’s tempting to hop onto budget freelancing platforms like Fiverr and UpWork. And when you have 20 different people fighting to do your social media or web copy for $2.50 an hour, it does make you feel like the prettiest girl at the ball. But don’t forget, you get what you pay for. And when you pay peanuts, you can expect to get monkeys. Don’t get me wrong, you can occasionally find cheapie gems on these kinds of websites. But most of the time, there’s a reason their rates are so low – usually that they’re inexperienced, aren’t fluent in English or a combination of both. In these situations, you’ll often end up paying twice and wasting time as you’ll need to have it redone.

We’ve always preached quality over coin, but recently we’ve come across some real-life I-kinda-told-you-so stories.  Here’s one we came across in a HUGE business group in Facebook:

A swimwear designer decided to pay $5 to have her website copy written by a freelancer on one of these platforms (we won’t mention it, but just in case you missed it, she paid $5), because you know, why not? Here’s an extract of what she ended up with:

“Our store is an online store that sells exceptional swimwear and bikinis intended for trendiness and at the same time longevity of use. Our designs are proudly performed in Australia, but it is actually intended for everyone. At first, it may seem to look like we are just like any other Australian Swimwear apparel that sells the same old bland bikini that tends to repeat even if it is not deliberate. We are individualists and we make sure we provide swimwear that is fit for summer wear and at the same time comfortable and can be used longer. In order for us to provide trendy bikinis that stand out from the crowd, we found a fabric material that gives out an edge over the other fabrics.”

Um, wow. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.  Actually, it wasn't me, so I am totally laughing. 

If that’s not enough to dissuade you from using a budget website, maybe the horror story we found of a $5 logo will be. You can read it here, but to give you an overview — it involves deception, stolen work and really, really sh*t logos.  

Sure, $5 doesn’t seem like a lot of money out of your pocket and at least these examples are good for a chuckle. I know, I know.  When you’re in the early stages of business, every dollar counts and it can very quickly add up. But when you are running a side hustle that you are putting everything you have beyond blood, sweat and tantrums - then every MINUTE counts.  Don’t waste it giving granular instructions, following up every detail and even worse, re-doing the work.  That’s not why you outsourced in the first place.  Remember, money is not the only cost.  

Let this unfortunate (albeit hilarious) stories be a lesson: cheap is not what you’re looking for.  Instead, you’re better off paying a bit more for experience and quality and getting it right the first time.  Speaking of which, why not swing over here and find out how outsourcing a virtual assistant or project manager can change your life?

We’d love to hear some hilarious budget stories if you have any - every day is a good day for a giggle.