DIY Business Projects: Sometimes, You Really Shouldn’t Do It Yourself

Image of text "Do It Yourself," with the initial DIY circled and in red. While DIY projects are the trend, DIY Business projects don't always work in your favor.

A fair amount of conducting business in the 21st century is all about taking matters into your own hands. Whether that’s personalization and humanizing your brand voice or developing different ways to make new content, products, and services feel like a more individualized experience, most companies are turning to the best resource they have to make new things happen: their own workers. More and more businesses are adopting the “Do-It-Yourself” mentality. They’re building out their own programs, designing their own applications in-house, and developing their own unique, client-facing content. All of this goes toward developing a highly effective (and highly attractive) brand image. But it also raised one pointed question: When is it better to make a new project DIY over utilizing outside professional services?

There are a number of projects any business can do in-house, as long as human capital is properly leveraged. It’s all about going to your workers and recognizing their strengths and weaknesses that can help build out your brand. However, there are some things you should leave up to the professionals, in case you get it wrong.

DIY Business Advertising

Marketing is one area that is a bit of gamble if you try to take it all on yourself. Large enterprise companies can afford to have their own marketing teams. Does your team know and understand everything that goes into marketing? There’s a good reason most college and university business schools have marketing as a separate degree. It’s a complex field and a dangerous one at that. Get your marketing right, and your conversion rates can soar. Get it wrong and it could literally be the end of your business.

Take one small, Texas mattress company. The crew made a DIY video advertisement in honor of 9/11. The goal, of course, was to help market their mattress sale. Instead, the very tone-deaf ad was deemed horrendously offensive to the memory of those who were lost during the tragedy, as well as their surviving family members. Eventually, the business owner was forced to make a public apology and shut the store down. Had the company hired a marketing professional, they likely would have never run the offensive ad in the first place.

Can your business do marketing in-house? Sure. But only with a great marketing team and a team of individuals who are either experienced or well-practiced in the field. If you don’t have a marketing team, that’s one area where you’ll want to hire outside help. Just keep in mind that outsourcing your marketing can be expensive. A professional social media marketing campaign can cost between $4,000-$7,000 a month. It’s an expensive investment for a good reason.

DIY Content Development

Although one might consider it just another branch of marketing strategy, inbound content marketing is quickly developing into its own unique industry. Putting content on your website in the hope of driving traffic is easy enough. But getting content that is actually doing its job at pulling in and converting leads is a different story. If you’re relying on your own team to develop the content, you may soon find that your trusted human capital lacks the finesse and craftiness that comes with experienced writers. Many businesses are quickly learning that the English majors of yesterday are just the people they need to help drive new traffic to their websites.

But content development involves more than that. The particulars of search engine optimization (SEO) seem to change every day. It’s certainly easy enough to access SEO tools. But will you know how to turn all of that data into something tangible? This is an area where trial and error can work, but where quick turnaround can be hard to find, especially when competing for more crowded search terms. As a result, many businesses are turning to the active freelance market, a move that is helping drive the new “gig economy.” As a result, many businesses are reaping the rewards of skilled professional services.

DIY Infrastructure Development

It almost goes without saying that developing effective IT infrastructure takes skilled professionals. You may have an employee or two skilled at web development. But it’s an error to assume that he or she can also help design a useful, business-facing architecture overnight, or even in a year’s time. There’s an old metaphor that’s as true today as it was the day it was coined: “There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel.”

Many professional and managed service companies specialize in complex technology architecture of all kinds. That includes the increasingly necessary unified communications and collaboration tools. Most businesses have realized the value in these tools. Few try to build out their own architecture on their own (and few can afford to do so as well).

This is where businesses like Fidelus come in. As a certified Cisco Unified Communications Partner, Fidelus is one company that provides a wide range of solutions for Cisco-based Unified Communications. From helping companies plan and implement Unified Communications architecture to managing those services so you can free up your valuable resources, Fidelus offers everything a business needs to avoid making any unnecessary—and costly—collaboration technology mistakes. With Fidelus and Cisco, there’s no potentially damaging DIY business projects.