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Small Business Research – DIY Solutions vs. Paid Assistance

by | Jun 7, 2018 | BIA, Blog, SAM, SMBs

Out of necessity, small businesses are the quintessential multi-taskers when it comes to advertising and marketing their businesses. Technology and the low cost of digital advertising has made it somewhat easier for a small business to advertise on their own. In fact many small businesses prefer to DIY their advertising because they believe it’s lower cost and saves them time and money. With the complexity of advertising on many free and paid channels, it can be a full time job for small business owners. For the first time we are seeing that small businesses are not as divided in seeking help for advertising as in previous waves.  In BIA’s Local Commerce Monitor (LCM) survey of small businesses, respondents were split on how much they do on their own vs. hiring an agency or ad partner to help them. 41% of small businesses surveyed said they preferred to do the work themselves (DIY), while 37% prefer to have paid assistance (Do It With/For Me).

Paid Assistance (Do It With/For Me) Small Businesses

Cost isn’t the issue for small businesses that prefer paid assistance. They’re willing to pay as long as they see results… better targeting, creative work,  quality and consistency make the difference.


Small businesses that DIY say they like being able to set their own time to do the work and the cost savings. They want DIY solutions that have clear instructions and are easy and intuitive to use. But… their DIY preference is primarily driven by money. Or the lack thereof. DIYers are willing to spend with a media or agency when they have additional revenue. Digital and traditional media players should show them how their advertising channels can drive sales increases.


BIA’s LCM, Wave 21 reports can be purchased a la carte in the BIA eStore. Subscribers of BIA ADVantage can download the research reports from the online dashboard found here.