In an April 2015 TechCrunch article, venture capitalist Arthur Lee wrote about Why Do It For Me (DIFM) Is The Next Big Thing. I highly recommend you read the article, it describes a new trend in the business world that has relevance for everyone.
What is DIFM?
Bear with me as I paint a picture of what DIFM is and why Arthur Lee talks about a DIFM revolution.
Software as a Service (SaaS) has revolutionized the business world, particularly the SMB business world. There are high-quality, affordable software applications for things like HR, sales, marketing, accounting, IT security and legal services. With DIFM, SMBs can compete effectively against enterprise competition.
This is where the DIFM revolution comes into play. Most SMB companies neither have nor want to hire full-time employees to take advantage of these software applications. And the software doesn't run itself - you need experts in both the software and the function it manages. Most SMBs don't have people with the subject matter expertise to optimize the use of the software.
On top of that, government regulations and compulsory benefit obligations have dissuaded many SMBs from hiring employees outside of their core business function. The DIFM industry, or Software with a Service (SwaS), packages the software with related services to provide a complete solution for business owners. With DIFM, SMBs can compete effectively against enterprise competition.
Our company is a perfect example of a DIFM provider. We are Certified Partners for HubSpot, the inbound marketing software company. Our customers hire us to help them with sales and marketing services delivered on the HubSpot software platform.
In typical DIFM fashion, our customers don't have the in-house resources to quickly use the HubSpot software to its full potential. They buy HubSpot and typically hire us to help them develop strategy, implement the technology and help them with any ongoing needs that they can't handle internally.
Is DIFM Part Of Your Professional Services Marketing Strategy?
Think about your business. Is there a way that you can take advantage of the DIFM revolution at your company?
Most professional services businesses are by definition DIFM. But not many of us are marketing with DIFM in mind.
- If you're a Human Resources consultant, can you market a DIFM option where you package a services around a software company like Namely?
- If you're an Cybersecurity consultant, can you package services around a security software like Whitehat Security?
- If you're a big data consultant, can you deliver services on MapR?
- If you're an accountant, can you package service packages around QuickBooks?
These are just a few examples - I'm sure you can figure out a way to take advantage of the DIFM revolution at your company.
DIFM goes beyond the professional services industry. High-tech manufacturing firms can offer services built around their products like installation, consulting and maintenance packages.
How to make DIFM work at your company
The key to a profitable DIFM product at your company is to be able to quickly and economically implement a total solution for your customers. This comes with domain expertise and repeatable processes that can scale.
The story I always tell to illustrate the value of a repeatable process is when my brother and I changed the rotors and brake pads on my old 2001 BMW 325xi.
It took us 2 hours to do the first wheel and 45 minutes to do the other 3. We could probably do the entire job in an hour now.
In a DIFM equation, it would take your customers 3 hours to change the brakes and you 1. And the customer has a lot of other things on her mind other than changing those brakes out.
That's the value of a DIFM option.
Whether you're a buyer or a seller, DIFM has important implications for all of us. If you're a professional services company, offering DIFM as part of your professional services marketing strategy may be just what you need to spur your growth. So get out there and ride the wave before your competitors do.