Stefan and Geoff here, the founders of Don’t Do It Yourself.
We’re partners in a digital marketing agency, Grant Spark, and have a combined 40+ years of experience running software development teams, digital marketers, and management consultants.
When we need to find a new service provider or software tool for ourselves or our clients, we’re very selective. Some might say the two of us are overly anal and demanding perfectionists have high expectations.
Before making decisions, we’ll often create spreadsheets of evaluation criteria, review 5-10 providers, and test out service offerings. We don’t want our efforts to go to waste so we share our findings with our visitors.
Top Services & Tools We’ve Reviewed
We're always on the lookout for new tools and services that can make running a business easier and more cost effective. Here are some of the categories that we've evaluated:
Like to see us dive into a new category?
We always try to have our finger on the pulse of new technology and services. With that being said, we rely on feedback from our clients, partners, and readers for new review opportunities.
If you'd like to see us test something, or feel that we're missing an important provider, please contact [email protected]. We appreciate any and all insight and love to collaborate with likeminded business folk!
Here’s what we typically look for when evaluating service offerings.
Personal experience and customer feedback
While it’s not always possible, we do make an effort to personally test all the tools and services that we review. Sometimes it’s a member of our team and sometimes we “mystery shop”. We’ll also get feedback from previous customers, public data sources, and other online reviews.
We strongly feel this extra due diligence is what sets our reviews apart from the typical review websites.
Functionality, Quality, & Usability
We look for high-quality services and products that are intuitive and packed with essential features. This includes things like:
- Quality of the service or product
- Ease of use and a friendly user interface
- Domain expertise of the team
- Turnaround time of services
Pricing / Value
Cost is always an important factor in a buying decision. We’re bootstrappers ourselves and look for products that entrepreneurs and small businesses can afford without breaking the bank.
Issues and questions occur for almost any product or service. The key is being able to address them quickly and collaboratively. We look for:
- Speed and quality of responses
- Willingness to address escalations
- Concessions (i.e., credits or extra service) to rectify major service failures
Disclosing Paid Relationships
We offer this website completely free to our visitors. To help pay the bills, we’ll often (but not always) set up affiliate relationships with the top providers after selecting our favorites. However, we do our best not to let this impact our choices. There are plenty of high-paying companies we’ve turned down because we didn’t like their product.
An added benefit of our relationships is that we always try to negotiate exclusive discounts for our visitors.
When we enter a new subject area, we’ll only showcase the top providers on our website (because who cares about finding the underperformers?). Although, service levels do slip occasionally.
If we see this happening consistently, we’ll share our feedback (and that of our customers) with the provider. If their service doesn’t improve, we’ll downgrade our reviews. So, if you see any negative reviews on our site, this is the reason (we never intentionally start out by featuring a poor provider). But we value our integrity and want people to feel confident in our recommendations.