Can Small Business Thrive in a DIY World?
According to a Mintel study, the do-it-yourself (DIY) movement that began out of necessity during the recession is now being fueled by personal pride. 70% of homeowners are taking on all or part of their projects. Online auto repair video views number in the millions, and a growing number of TV shows cater to foodies, thrifties and home chef wannabes.
How can you as a business owner make money in a DIY world? We offer the following tips:
Recognize that DIYers Still Need Your Expertise
27% of Americans say that they do more DIY projects themselves now than they have before, so showcase your expertise by helping them along the way. After all, you spent a lifetime acquiring the skills you need to do your job, and no consumer bent on replacing a faucet, changing his or her oil or baking a wazoo birthday cake can replace this knowledge.
So if you’re a plumber, auto mechanic or cake boss, target DIYers with classes that impart knowledge for a price. While a few may learn what they have to and never need your services again, many will try something once, feel good about it and let you do it the next time.
Why? Because they’ve satisfied their desire to take a hands-on role. And more often than not, the experience isn’t worth repeating. How many times have you said “never again” about a project you’ve attempted? Exactly.
Put the Internet And Social Media To Work
Today’s DIYers are comfortable with technology and aren’t afraid to use it. Millennials – 20- to 30-somethings with sizable spending power – are particularly likely to interact with your business digitally.
• Use YouTube to position your business as the content expert. Post DIY videos on popular topics like, tiling a backsplash, replacing a burned out tail light or infusing your own cooking oil with herbs. As you build a following you may also build an income stream from advertisers. For a ten-point list showing how to maximize YouTube for your business, check out this blog on Udemy.
• Start communicating to consumers through Facebook, Twitter and other popular social media venues. For a minimal investment in conversation (140 characters, in Twitter’s case), you can forge a bond with DIYers who rely on you for your expertise. If you’re averse to or unfamiliar with social media, checking out social media for dummies is one of the smartest things you can do.
• Add a DIY tab to your business website. Build a library of videos, infographics, blogs and other information visitors will find helpful.
Do The Dirty Work For Them
For most DIYers, the fun is in the doing, not the planning. According to Mintel’s Lawn and Garden Products report, 35% of Americans grow their own vegetables and are constantly looking for information and inspiration for their at-home meals. Related businesses, like landscaping firms, could help get DIYers started by dropping off supplies and a custom plan to follow so the soon to be gardener can take it from there. Auto mechanics could rent out garage space and tools for DIYers to perform their own minor auto repairs.
Go above and beyond by checking in with DIYers. While they may not want your help, they’ll occasionally need it and appreciate that you didn’t leave them hanging. They may even ask you to finish up a particularly difficult project.
When you think of it, you’re a DIYer in your own profession. So why not position yourself this way in venues like local media? Every news show has its go-to experts on topics like home improvements, auto repair and cooking – perhaps it could be you. All it takes is a call or email to your local news channel to see if there’s any interest. And if this doesn’t work, sponsoring the show or advertising on the carrying network might be a way in. Just consider it an investment with a large potential payoff.
As the DIY trend continues, you’ll be pressed to think creatively to keep your business in front of it. As always, TheWIRE is here to help you do it yourself.