Don’t Hire Amateurs to Do Professional Work

I made a personal resolution a few years ago to always eliminate the lowest price when searching for outsourced work. I’ve never regretted it.

If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, just wait until you hire an amateur.

This quote was given to me a few years ago and it’s never failed to resonate with a lot of painful memories from my past buying blunders.

It’s fear which drives us to ignore our gut feelings. We think that the more we pay, the greater the embarrassment or loss if it doesn’t work out. Or perhaps I can get something sooner, if I buy the cheaper option now and upgrade later. But in my experience, I have, almost always, taken a few short cuts and ended up with an unusable result in the end and a lot of headache and stress from the experience.

Why is this? The first thing is that people who discount pricing are usually only interested in getting paid. If that isn’t their only modus operandi, it usually surpasses other reasons, like superior service, or happy customers. How can you tell that someone just wants your money? They are trying to win your trust based on price.

If you want more proof of this, think of the greatest service providers in the world: Apple, BMW, Disney….you can think of a few more in your head. They are the best because they offer the best. They charge more for the best, and you know you are getting a superior quality in exchange. They rarely discount and they don’t sell you on a cheap bargain. In the early days of Disneyland, a project manager approached Walt and asked her boss, “How much to do you want to spend on this ride we are developing?” His answer surprised her. He said, “Make it magical. That’s all you need to worry about.”

The second reason amateurs try to win on price is because they are simply too fresh to be able to deliver. They lack the experience and the expertise to be able to win on quality. They make up for this handicap by dropping their prices. There’s nothing wrong with these kinds of people. I’m telling you to choose those people, knowing that you are going to get crap by comparison to a professional.

I made a personal resolution a few years ago to always eliminate the lowest price when searching for outsourced work. I’ve never regretted it. In the end, I’ve always spent less than if I’d bought cheap, then had to replace soon after.

Learn also that there are relative price ranges for everything, which can be discovered by research and quoting those service providers. Most of that price range is because of the professionalism and effort required to complete the project. Search Engine Optimization, for example, should cost between $75-$300 per keyword phrase per month (for local SEO). Why? Because hundreds of man hours are required to successfully improve the rank of a website in the search engines. If someone is charging $29/mo/keyphrase…RUN! They are taking too many shortcuts or are too inexperienced to take your money. They will not deliver. Websites are the same. So are photographers, credit card processors, trash services and most every other industry.

Note: Something I will do, when quoting for anything is get at least 20 quotes, 10 even price ranges, then plot the frequencies of each of the 20 quotes in a bar graph. Most of the time, a distinguished bell curve will appear on the graph. The top and bottom of the bell curve are automatically eliminated.
Small Business Living Graph(if the lowest and highest prices for a website are $1,500 and $6,000, the x-axis of my chart starts at $500-$600 and the y-axis is 1-20. Every time a quote appears in the price range, I add one more level


Wasting money on a project not only hurts your wallet, but your brand as well. Your customers suffer when you do something sub-par. Your business suffers.

So save yourself the headache, lost money, and time, trying to wrestle amateurs to do what you paid them to do in the first place.

Have you ever lost big on a project by taking the cheapest deal? Comment below and tell me about it.

  • This is certainly something I learned a few years ago when I commissioned a logo from Fiverr. I like the concept behind Fiverr but then again, if you’re going to pay $5 for work to be done, you can’t have high expectations. I had a logo designed for $5 and to be honest, it was a waste of my time and that logo never saw the light of day. I’ve learned if I want something done well, I need to have the funds behind hit. Fiverr can be a hit or miss, but I tend to have high expectations when it comes to branding and design, as should everyone! I now look to 99designs as a great resource.

    • smallbusinessliving

      Hi Angela. 99 Designs is a great site. I have heard many things about it, even though I haven’t used it personally. It is also a good thing to use a local graphic designer who specializes in logos. I paid about $330 for a logo and brand design from a local designer and she was great! Did an interview with me and my mental image of the company and created a true masterpiece. Thank you for the input!

    • Jeff Brown

      That’s a great idea. I’ve heard great things about 99 Designs. I have a few designers that I work with locally and will even get them to each submit their own materials so I can choose a favorite. It costs a little more, but is worth it in the end. Thank you for the input, Angela!

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