The Dangers of Running a DIY Business

Running a small business calls for wearing a lot of hats. You’re the owner, the manager, the accountant. You’re also HR, sales, administrative assistant, social media guru…the list goes on and on.

For the most part, this is great. Being aware of all the different spheres of your business helps you keep everything running smoothly and working well together. It keeps your relationships between you and your employees civil, if not appreciative. It just makes you a better business owner.

But does that mean you have to do everything?

We don’t think so. Running a “DIY Business” doesn’t help anyone (least of all, you). On the surface, though, it sounds folksy and even wise. Us Americans have romanticized the idea of rolling up our sleeves and getting our hands dirty. We think it proves our mettle as a hardworking, dedicated business owner to be the type of worker who shows up early and goes home late. And sometimes we’re right.

Those other times? The results are less than stellar.


DIY Gone Wrong

You may have seen an episode or two (or at least a teaser) of the show Renovation Realities on the HGTV network, but if you haven’t, allow me to fill you in. The show features different families across the country, all trying to manage a home renovation. The DIY-ers attempt demolition work, tiling, wall framing, even plumbing and electrical, all by themselves.

By now, you should know that there’s rarely a happy outcome. Due to their lack of expertise, the renovators end up either exhausted, frustrated, and over budget or they’re forced to hire a professional to undo the mess they’ve made.

My husband and I crack up every time we see a trailer for this show (because, as hysterical as the previews are, the show itself is just too painful to watch). “Don’t they know how bad they are at this?” we ask each other. “Why are they setting themselves up to fail so catastrophically and on national television?!”

I don’t know which is more humiliating: letting everyone see how you flooded your basement or letting everyone laugh at how you thought you could fix your own plumbing in the first place.


Are You On the Road to a “DIY Business” Failure?

Even if you’re aware of your contracting skills (or lack thereof), maybe there’s an area in your small business where you’re trying to “do it yourself” when you should be farming out the task to an expert.

Are you cleaning the bathrooms at your storefront? Replacing the mulch around the shrubs in the parking lot? Fixing the appliances in your restaurant? Designing your own website?

You may think you’re saving yourself a few bucks, but so do the schmucks on Renovation Realities. Trying to do too many things yourself simply creates more headaches and more work, leaving less time for the things you should be doing.

Besides, your failure may not be broadcast on national TV, but you have another sort of audience: your customers and staff. Do you want to give them any reason not to trust your judgment?


Instead of DIY…Delegate

The best way to be a good manager is to hire people (employees and contractors alike) who are better than you are at the job you are hiring them for.

Get a landscaper who can really weed, an accountant who can crunch numbers like a boss, and a kick-ass sales staff. Oversee them just enough to make sure the job gets done to your standards, then step back and watch the magic happen.

It may cost you a few bucks, but if you hired the right people, it won’t cost you any time or customers (two things you can’t get back).

Now you have more time to spend doing what it is YOU do best.


Clarity Creative Group is a web design & internet marketing company located in beautiful Orlando, Florida. We recently hired a contractor to do some work for us, because we’re no fools.




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