I know you have most likely heard this expression thousands of times over your lifetime. Hundreds of companies have used the slogan as their tagline, especially if they are marketing moving services or excavation. I often catch myself using the cliché when talking to business owners and managers, but haven’t given the meaning much thought until recently.

I think most folks don’t want to lift heavy objects because of the danger to their health or to the cargo in tow without proper strength, machinery or tools. I also prefer someone else do the heavy lifting or moving so I can focus on spending my time in more productive ways…doing things I’m good at doing and avoid any bodily injury.

I have two large river birch trees that need to be cut down in my yard. Many years ago, the previous home owner planted the trees too close to the house not giving any thought as to how large and invasive these trees would become. My wife has been extremely patient with me over the last several months about removing these 30-40 foot behemoths. So I have reluctantly secured a few estimates on doing the work. Ouch! I am not at peace with the project! Not because of the cost, but because I think that I’m capable of running a chainsaw and doing the work myself.

So herein lies the problem with my flawed thinking: I think I am capable to do this kind of work (I really believe I could pull this off) therefore why should I pay an expert even though it would take a tree pro half the time to do the job much more efficiently? But, I have to consider the “opportunity cost” of cutting down the trees and cleaning up the mess and risking tearing up the lawn or even my neighbor’s property! According to the Collins English Dictionary, opportunity cost means the benefit that could have been gained from an alternative use of the same resource.

Now, I know tree removal technology hasn’t changed much over the last several decades. Yes, the experts now have bucket trucks and chainsaws on telescoping polls to make the process safer and more efficient. But consider how technology has impacted marketing and how it is literally changing at the speed of light when you consider the increasing size of the Internet!

To prove my point, take a look at just how fast the Internet is expanding according to Internet Live Stats, there are currently over 3.2 billion Internet users worldwide. Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average that translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Now couple the vast quantity of online searches with the estimate that 81 percent of shoppers conduct online research before they make a purchase. Sixty percent begin by using a search engine to find the products they want, and 61 percent will read product reviews before making any purchase according to adweek.

Should a business owner risk the opportunity cost of missing out on how to efficiently market his or her goods and services using the right online channels to reach the intended customer when you consider the shear size, speed, and use of the Internet? You get my point, don’t you? In other words, hire the expert who is going to give you sound advice and limit the opportunity cost whether you need tree removal or marketing services. Leave the heavy lifting to them!

I can almost hear it now “T-I-M-B-E-R!” praying the tree doesn’t fall on my neighbor’s house. Will I go against my better judgment and cut down the trees just because it will save me a few bucks and stroke my pride by affirming that I can still wield a dangerous chainsaw? I think not.