Lately, I’ve been spending a little time online in an MSP forum that has a lot of new and want-to-be-soon MSP companies. One of the recurring questions there is “When is it time to hire someone to do lead generation?” For our purposes here “someone” could be an internal hire, a contractor, or a lead generation company.

We are a huge proponent of DIY lead gen for new business owners.  There’s a few reasons you want to do this yourself for as long as it makes sense to.

  1. Nobody will ever be more passionate about your business than you are.
  2. You need to learn how to present your company information and services enthusiastically and concisely, and the only way to create the best elevator pitch for your company is to present it over and over again until you’ve got it exactly right. 
  3. Unless you’re starting your business with a huge cash reserve, outsourced lead gen will not make sense for start-ups. The ROI on telephone prospecting (and most marketing initiatives) will not be realized overnight. 

But when does it stop making sense to do it yourself? Well, it’s time to hire a lead generator when you have to choose between prospecting and doing something else that makes you money. For example, if you continually put off looking for new business because you’re on client sites, it is probably time. Take a look at what your billable hours are worth to you. Then look at what it would cost you to pay a lead generator.  You’re not saving money by spending four of your precious and limited $120 billable hours prospecting. You’re losing money sitting at your desk dialing for dollars when you could be spending 50 dollars an hour on done-for-you prospecting that should realize the same number of new leads that your own efforts would (and ideally, more, as they won’t be distracted by other tasks). Take a good honest look at the opportunity cost, then you can decide for yourself. Is it time?