How to Break the DIY Curse in Your Business

We’ve all been there. As an entrepreneur, there are times when you don’t have the cash flow to start a new marketing effort. Or, you just can’t afford to hire a professional.

So, you do it yourselfHow hard could it be? After all, your time is free. It’s just time, right?

Or, maybe you have an insatiable curiosity. You need to know not just the details of some marketing problem but also all of the possible options and potential solutions. You’re convinced that you can’t delegate when you don’t know the answers and how to properly measure the results.

So, you do it yourself. And, you learn something and it is fun, even exhilarating. Now you’re an expert, or so you think.

Welcome to my secret society. The Over-Achiever, Do-It-Yourself Club.

Why Being a DIYer is Bad for Your Business

DIY projects are fun and I don’t really mean to slam all DIYers. However, marketing is not the place for individuals focused on doing everything themselves.

First of all, being a DIYer means that you may not be using your skills and talents for the highest and best purpose.

I have seen CEOs, CFOs and Sales VPs at the executive level, and administrative personnel at the staff level, trying to do their real day job while juggling the complexities of marketing strategy. It’s not pretty.

Second, DIYers often develop a very real malady called Perfectionism. Or, its ugly cousin Egotism.

Rather than projects that have a defined beginning, middle, and end, DIYers get stuck in a constant cycle of beginning-middle, beginning-middle, beginning-middle. DIYers keep adding, deleting, or improving and never getting it quite perfect.

If nirvana is reached and the project is finished, DIYers become know-it-alls. If they can do it, anyone can, right?

Lastly, DIYers miss opportunities to be strategic in their marketing efforts due to decision paralysis.

DIYers gain the tactical knowledge of how to use a tool but they often miss  marketing opportunities that occur naturally when you strategically align your marketing cycle with your business cycle. DIYers can sometimes be misguided in the areas of activity tradeoffs, cost comparison, and success measurements.

How to Break the DIY Curse

Once you understand why DIYing is bad for your business, you need to take active steps to stop. It’s easier than you think and it is a repeatable and scalable process.

  1. Develop a marketing plan. It should list all you activities and initiatives for the next 18 months at a minimum. Make sure it covers the 4 P’s: products, pricing, production, and placement (distribution).
  2. Create a marketing calendar of events so you know, way in advance, what is coming up.
  3. Establish a budget that considers all the items in your marketing plan and the timing of marketing investments.
  4. Determine reporting measurements and timing.
  5. Get agreement on plan, calendar, budget, and reports by all key stakeholders.
  6. This step is really important!  BACKOFF.  Let your marketing manager, team, or agency do the work.
  7. Review activity against plan at appropriate intervals.
  8. Revise and repeat.

Fresh Insight

Like most entrepreneurs, you are too close and  it’s too hard to look at your business objectively. But honestly, it can be really healthy for both you and your company to not go the DIY route. Often an outside perspective helps you to get to the heart of the issues and find a new way forward.

Remember, you may not need a 6-figure marketing professional. You can always Borrow My Brains.