A little story about when I first started IM.... I had a dating website and wanted a cool logo. So I decided to get some bang for my buck and went to Fiverr, which at the time was my freelance site of choice. Like many fools I dropped 1K + on dozens of $5 gigs hoping they would bring me a great ROI. After ordering ten different logos, ranging from 5 - 35 a piece, I had ten pieces of 'art' I could not give away. They were horrible. I finally went to a real agency to make a logo and paid $50 for a real graphic designer to make a logo. In total I spent over $200, and at least $150 was a waste. By cutting corners in IM you can end up paying a LOT more in the long run. I have experienced a few different ways being cheap has cost me more in the long run, hopefully you will not make the same mistakes I have. 1. You will do WHAT for $5? The biggest issue with the five dollar and gig sites is the simple fact even for a third world country no one would ever put in a lot of effort for the $4 you take home. Although I did not realize this at first, like most of us, I dropped a lot of money on various gigs and wondered why they sucked. The general rule of thumb is if you will not do it for $5 bucks, you should not expect someone else to. The biggest problem is the time it takes to have a professional do it after a fluky seller on fiverr takes two weeks to give you a sketch which resembles a melted gummy bear. You will never make that time up and your clients will never forgive you. 2. Budget SEO Agencies You found this guy on Warrior Forum who promises you 1,000 White Hat links a month for a low cost of $29.99 a month. What could go wrong? A lot could go wrong. After you spend $29.99 a month for twelve months and get no rankings, you will pay $XXX for a real SEO Agency to evaluate your website and actually rank you. Or, those 1,000 'White Hat' links slap you with a nice penalty because the 'White Hat' Guru was really just spamming your site with Senuke. Penny pinching just cost you one year of SEO time and potential profit making time. 3. Budget Article Writers You can find some great deals for content. The difference between a real and unique piece of content and a 'budget' piece of content is not always a lot of money. Some people like putting up a bunch of $1 articles on a site, which is a fine strategy for some sites. But if you want to build a sustainable authority site, those $1 articles will not make people want to come back. Do not skimp on a couple bucks an article if you expect users to come back to your website. Some websites are designed to use cheap articles, your White Hat Authority Site is not one of them. If by some miracle you find a great deal on articles which are not horrible, you also will find a big difference between $1 and $2.50 Articles. The time you will spend fixing those 'small grammar' errors adds up quickly. When you are just starting out you may have the hour a day to fix your articles. After a while you just can't afford to cut corners. 4. Afraid to Outsource By time you realize you can not handle your work load it is too late. You do not have the time to train someone else to do the job for you before your deadline. Managing your work load is as much about knowing when to hire some help as it is about actually getting the job done. You need to know your limitations and outsource before it is too late. Trying to pinch pennies and hire someone at the last minute will only hurt you when the guy you hire charges $XX to get the job done quickly when you could have just planned ahead and not been so cheap. The worst part, which I have experienced on this very site is being promised a TAT which the seller never hit. Because i thought I could handle the work load and waited a week before my deadline to hire someone. If I wasn't so cheap I would have had a very happy client. 5. Not Paying your VA Enough You are a proactive IM'er and know you cannot do the amount of work on time. So you go searching on Upwork for a VA to edit clients websites. You find two candidates. One charges 1.30 an hour, another 2.10 an hour. The 2.10 has more experience and the 1.30 has less, but they both do the job to your specifications. You go with the guy who charges 1.30 an hour and at first you feel like you made a great business decision. Until your VA is half way through the project and cannot finish it because he or she does not know how to do the job. You need to then train your VA how to do the missing steps and you miss your deadline. Why? Because you wanted to save $0.80 an hour. Some business decisions are not about saving the most money, but getting the highest quality work for the most reasonable price. If you went with the experienced VA you would have saved your self time and a client which you will never get back. 6. A Budget Hosting Plan You can get a great deal from Bills Hosting and pay $1 a month for hosting. You have three sites banging away and before you know if one goes VIRAL! Then you go to bed and wake up the next day and find your sites are down, because you hit your data limit Bills Hosting has in place. No big deal, now you only need to pay for more data and your site will be up. You missed out on about $50 in revenue over night but with a viral site, no big deal you will make it up. Now Bills Hosting wants you to pay $100 to activate your sites and sign up for a $50 a month contract. You ask for a copy of your backups to change hosts and Bills Hosting wants $50 per site back up. Not every hosting provider is a good person who will work with you. It is about the bottom line and budget means you will pay one way or another if things get going. 7. A Budget Registrar If you have not heard the horror stories before you should pay attention. Pay $0.99 for your first year. Then year two rolls around and you are expected to fork up $19.99 per domain. Some Registrars will let you transfer the domain after so many days. Others require you to lock in the domain for X years after your 'deal' at $0.99. It may sound like a great deal but unless you have a plan and a way to transfer the domain from the budget registrar you will find yourself scrambling at the last minute and spending money you could have saved. At the end of the day, if you try to cut corners to save a couple buck it will cost you. Being cheap is not making a smart business decision. You get what you pay for and the sooner you realize this the better.