Okay, maybe that was a little harsh. Let’s rephrase:
It’s painful when smart people do foolish things. They inflict undue stress on themselves while forcing others to watch a faulty decision unfold. Oftentimes, these bad outcomes stem from good intentions, like when the admirable DIY mindset leads someone to try something they should have hired someone else to do.
From laughable to plausible to “seriously, just don’t,” here are a few tempting tasks that can go terribly wrong without professional assistance. The question isn’t, “Can you?” It’s, “Should you?”
Cut Your Own Hair
Barbers and hairdressers go to school to learn the art of hairstyling. In California, barbers need to complete at least 1,500 hours of training just to apply for a license—and then they have to pass two exams to become licensed. Quarantine taught us how hysterically embarrassing home haircuts can be. Put those scissors down and go to a salon!
Do Your Own Taxes
Bad bangs are nothing compared to an audit on your taxes. Business taxes can be especially complex and tax laws are constantly changing. Even if you have the time and software to act as a tax pro, it’s usually best to let an accountant crunch the numbers.
Represent Yourself in Court
If you’re ever in a legal battle, please—please—hire a lawyer if you have the means to do so. “You probably know very little about the law, and it will show in court,” The National Trial Lawyers writes. “Some judges may treat you with a little tolerance, but most judges probably won’t. And you know what will happen if you get on a judge’s bad side.”
Sell Your Home without an Agent
As a homeowner, you decide when you want to sell your home. Once you make that decision, you then have another one: hire an agent, or post your home “for sale by owner.” While the latter might seem like a chance to skip a commission, it effectively makes you the agent, minus the knowledge and experience. Investopedia explains the pitfalls that can follow, including huge legal risks.
Sell Your Business without a Broker
It’s a widely accepted rule of thumb to hire a real estate agent to sell a home—but for some reason, the complexity of selling a business seems to be a little less recognized. In San Diego, for example, there are 16,000-plus realtors, yet only a handful of business brokers. Meanwhile, selling a business is arguably more difficult and legacy-defining than selling a home.
Why do you need a broker to sell your business? We’re so glad you asked.
By John Ovrom, President & CEO, Exit Consulting Group