Kindergarteners are amazing creatures. When given a do-it-yourself (DIY) assignment to create a diorama with a minimum of two landforms and a body of water, my son was suddenly gifted with power and authority. He made it very clear that I was not to touch his diorama, that it was his job. At the same time, he was glad I was nearby to give some guidance:

“Draw a plan.”
“Before you glue down the sun, think about where the mountain will go and if you can still see it.”
“Are you sure mountains are yellow?”

I managed to not do the work for him, but a little guidance kept him on task.

The case for Internet self-install

There is a popular technology trend for small businesses that resembles a DIY diorama project. High-speed Internet self-installations offer small businesses the option to install their high-speed Internet themselves rather than scheduling a visit from a technician to do the job. The self-install option offers customers the potential flexibility to do it on their own terms, and on their own schedule, often at a reduced cost. Self-install can limit the disruption to the business from an outside source and speed the process  – the equipment is shipped and the customer can install it on their terms.

3 questions before making the decision

All of these benefits sound great — and is tempting to jump on the self-install bandwagon. But consider a few questions before making your decision:

  1. Does your business have someone who is technically savvy with previous installation experience? Setting up your business location to access high-speed Internet will require a few more steps than this. The simpler bundle of services purchased can make for a simpler installation.
  1. Can you afford potential down time during the day? During the cut-over process, it is sometimes necessary for the businesses to be out of Internet service for about an hour as the equipment is switched out (when that is necessary). It is important to consider how a potential daytime disruption might impact your business. A middle-of-the-night self-install may be what you are looking for. Be sure to ask your service provider what will better fit the needs of your situation.
  1. Have you evaluated the cost-benefit of a technician-install versus self-install? Depending on your provider, there may be a cost savings associated with the self-install of your services. Self-install can offer flexibility and authority over when the process will be completed. But a professional installation can also alleviate the stress of do-it-yourself uncertainties.

In the end, my son successfully exceeded expectations with his self-made diorama. But I like to think it would have been museum quality if I had been able to get my hands in it. For small businesses, Internet self-installs may be a great answer to the needs of your business, but what’s most important is to be sure it is the right choice for your business.

Do you have experience with self-installs? What do you see as the challenges and benefits of DIY?