Do It Yourself is often a false economy.

A few years ago, we did a small groups brochure on a project basis. We quoted a price that included preparation of some specific meeting-room floor plan artwork, but the client wanted to do that work themselves to save money. So we adjusted our proposal to get to their price point.

Long story short, that artwork became a colossal pain in the ass and delayed production of the brochure by several weeks and knocked a few years off everybody’s life. God bless ‘em, but the client wasn’t really equipped to deal with this sort of thing and had some real issues properly preparing the artwork.

We were equipped to deal with it. And we could have done it. Of course, if we had done it, it still might have been a pain in the ass, but it would have been our pain in the ass, not theirs. Our nickel too. But, well, you know . . .

The point here is not to disparage a client, but that there is often a false economy when you Do It Yourself. Certainly many of us who have tried to fix a broken something-or-other-around-the-house know pretty much exactly how true this is.

When you get a proposal from an agency or design firm and you want it done for less to save some dough, think about whether or not you can really take up the slack. Whether it’s photography, social media or preparatation of pain-in-the-ass artwork, it’s often a good idea to let people who know how to do certain things do those certain things. As often as not, it works out to be more cost-efficient.

Of course, there is the school of thought that says if the most important thing is how cheaply you can get something done (as opposed to, say, how well it can be done), then don't do it at all.

That's the cheapest way there is.