In the old days, there were many more roadblocks. If you wanted to equip your business with email, you needed some serious money, and a systems administrator.
Now? You can do it for free with an online service like Gmail. In the old days, if you wanted a phone system for your small office, you'd pay for hardware, service, and an installer. Now? You can get away with using Skype. When you look at it, the "make your own" culture of today allows you a lot of opportunity.
The Building Blocks Are All There
You can build a website with little to know skill whatsoever. It won't win you an award, but you can have a web presence. For a few hundred dollars, you can have something even a little more serviceable. Then, if your business is brick and mortar, you can sign up with Google Local Thumbtack and maybe Yelp (if it relates), and see your site rise in local search results (okay, there's more to it than this, but this is a good start). You can use Google Analytics to monitor traffic results.
Make Your Own Media, Too
In the old days, we had to beg to get our stories into the newspaper. With circulation dropping faster than leaves in fall, the newspaper isn't exactly always the best game in town (though there are lots of local papers giving it a valiant effort). Now? Make a blog. Shoot some video and post it to YouTube. Why not? It's fast and easy and you can tell your own story your own way. You don't have to fit anyone's mold. Make your own media.
Cost Savings Over Time and Quality Savings
Just because you can doesn't mean it's better. You can write your own blog, but it might not be the journalistic quality of your local paper. You can create Skype for your phone system, but it's not the same quality as a landline or even a dedicated VOiP service. And everything you take on means more time that you have to manage them. And the more you dig in, the more you become the person who owns that responsibility. I'm not saying don't do it. I'm saying, "With a choice like this comes the need to realize what you're taking on."
But The Fact You CAN is Cool
In the end, maybe it's just good enough that you have the option to do it yourself, to make your own game. Maybe it means you can pick what you want to handle and it lets you work around the things that bug you. That's worth something for sure.
Photo credit: Jane Rahman