Finance: More Americans Embrace DIY

Implement New Initiatives and Increase Profits


In the last few years American consumers got very resourceful when it came to spending and saving money. And most surveys report that even when the economy recovers, they’re still going to be watching their pennies.

But that doesn’t necessarily spell doom for your business. You can help your customers save money—and spend money with your business, at the same time. All you have to do is teach them to “DIY.” Do-it-yourself appeals to bargain-minded consumers and give you a chance to get new business from a broader array of customers.

Want to incorporate DIY into your existing business model? Here are a few examples:

Teach. This is nothing new, big businesses like Home Depot have been offering classes for years (though theirs’ are usually free). I recently read about a gourmet cookware store that started holding cooking classes. Many retailers can adopt this method, yarn stores can teach their customers how to knit, or framing studios can show people how to mount their own photos. Adding classes at your location will help you establish a relationship with your customers, which creates loyalty—and it brings people to your shop, which will likely increase sales.

Create. Service entrepreneurs can also profit from the DIY trend. Try adding products that let customers DIY. If you own a spa, create a DIY component by selling “kits” that teach customers how to give their spouse a foot rub or soothing massage. A gardener or landscaper could sell plants or garden décor to their customers. Make sure you create products that recreate part of your service—but not the whole thing.

Share. Give your customers e-books, white papers or reports (for free—once they register and share their information) or offer free e-newsletters containing DIY tips. For example, CPAs could provide a newsletter with tax tips. Tie your free offerings into a product or service customers want or need—and that they’d be willing to pay for.

The key to making DIY successful in your business is to offer different options at various price points. Some customers will still be happy to spend more for you to do it all for them. By adding a DIY option to your business, you’ll be able to attract both types of customers—and create revenue streams that keep your cash flowing.

If you need help coming up with ways you can add a DIY component to your business, ask a SCORE mentor to help you. You can find one at the SCORE website.

Rieva Lesonsky
<p> Rieva is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company specializing in covering small businesses and entrepreneurship. She was formerly Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine and has written several books about small business and entrepreneurship. <br /> <a href="" target="_blank" title="GrowBizMedia"></a> | <a href="" target="_blank" title="Rieva on Twitter">@rieva</a> | <a href="" title="blogs by Rieva">More from Rieva</a></p>


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