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Lisa Drucker

What Is Your Time Worth?

That’s a tough question—and one that not too many of us answer honestly, especially entrepreneurial types who live and breathe our business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year after year. “Just give it to me. I’ll do it; I’ll handle it.” That’s what we say. We don’t say it because we think we can do it better than anyone else—well, okay, sometimes that is why we say it—most of the time we say it because we are “doers” accustomed to relying on ourselves to get things done … and also because, quite simply, it is difficult to quantify our own time and worth. Nevertheless, the time comes when that is exactly what we each have to do, because this is about our business.

If you’re a business owner, it’s about your business—and your business is you!

You hire professionals to handle all types of services that are beyond your scope of expertise—taxes, legal issues, etc.—because you recognize that this person has the knowledge and training to do what needs to be done better than you could do it. It’s simply smarter, more practical, and more cost effective to hire a professional to do these things than it is to do it yourself.

“Well, sure,” you might be thinking—or mumbling—to yourself right now. “I know what I’m doing with my business. That’s what I do! I’m no expert at those other things.”

Exactly. But what about when it comes to writing about your business? What would you do then?

“I would do it myself! Just give it to me. I’ll do it; I’ll handle it. Who knows my business better than I do? I can write it.”

Maybe that’s true; then again, maybe it isn’t. Writing is a skilled profession. It’s smarter and more cost effective to hire a professional writer to handle your writing—just like you hire an accountant to do your taxes or an attorney to take care of your legal issues—because it frees up your time for other things that only you can do.

Never lose sight of how much you’re worth! You are your business!

Why DIY Writing Is Bad for Business

For starters, writing isn’t talking. You may be able to talk about your business in any setting and with any audience, but that’s talking, not writing. You have the “energy of the room,” as professional speakers like to call it. That means that you can change your tack if you see the person or people you’re speaking to are getting bored or can’t understand what you’re saying. It also means that you can field questions and modify your descriptions so that your audience doesn’t leave feeling confused or dissatisfied. Talking gives you the possibility of a “do over.” Writing doesn’t. Ever. “Put it in writing,” in essence, means that you can’t change what you’ve said. Sure, with technology, we can always modify things. But the one thing we can’t change is the perception of the reader. Once read, that’s it. That reader may never visit your website or glance through your brochure a second time. Writing doesn’t have the “I’m sorry; let me rephrase/explain that” option. If you “lose your audience,” you can get it back; if you “lose your reader,” that’s the end of it.

Which is not to say that you aren’t the best person to explain your business; it’s only saying that you need a professional to “put it in writing”! The ideal professional writer will function as your sounding board. You convey what you want the description of your business to be—all those fantastic things that put a smile on your face when someone asks what you do for a living—and the writer describes it in a way that the reader will understand (whether your content is in print or online). The writer becomes the “audience” that asks for clarification, that tells you, “this isn’t holding my interest”—or provides the necessary feedback to make the written description of your business as great as your business itself.

Sometimes it’s nothing more complicated than that you are too close to your business to write about it objectively. Let’s use an example. Say that you own a bakery and you recently added a gluten-free product line. Of course you know that—you’ve been ordering the new ingredients, creating new recipes, training the staff, and on and on, nonstop for you’ve lost track of how long a time—but, when you sit down to write about the bakery, the gluten-free line has been absorbing so much of your time that you forget to write about it. Conversely, it’s been absorbing so much of your time that it’s all you write about, and you forget all the bakery’s other specialties. This would never happen if you were just talking, because someone would ask, “Do you carry gluten-free products?” (in the first instance) or “Are you a gluten-free-only bakery?” (in the second). A professional writer will ask all the appropriate questions. And, if something doesn’t come up during the planning stage, when you read the first draft that someone else has written, you will immediately know what needs to be added, and then the rewrite will nail it.

Professional writers are also good organizers, as a rule. Your mind goes in a million directions at once—that’s why you’re an entrepreneur!—a professional writer will draw out your thoughts and help you clarify how you want to describe your business. The writer also has more experience with readers, and so can point out instances where readers might not react in a positive way to what you’re saying. As a professional, the writer can be objective, and also can tailor the words to convey the ideas in a way that readers will respond to more favorably. The bottom line is this: Writing it yourself does not mean that your business will be represented in the best-possible way. One wrong word—or sentence—can cast your company in a bad light. Do you want to risk that when you write your content yourself? Remember, written is forever—no “do overs”!

By hiring a professional writer you have the opportunity to make a great, lasting impression—and save yourself a lot of time and aggravation. Time is money to every business owner. The fee you pay a professional allows you to spend more of your time doing what you need—and want—to do. Plus, down the line, it saves you money, because professional expertise is an investment in your business, not an expense.

It pays to write it right—in terms of both your time and your money—and that means professional writing, not DIY struggling to get the words right … only to find that you missed the most important point and lost business because of it. Your business is valuable, and so is your time. It’s worth investing in a writer to write … plain and simple.​