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Running a Business for the Long Haul

September 25, 2010
Calm Ocean Waves

Calm Ocean Waves, Malapascua, Philippines

Because of all the news we see about internet start-ups, it seems as if the assumption that people have is that you make a website, you make it really big, and then you cash out for some ridiculously large sum of cash.  And with talking to other online entrepreneurs, a lot of them make a business plan with exactly this strategy: we will invest X amount of money, then sell the company for Y amount, making a million-dollar profit.  You can call this strategy many things, but the only word I can think of is this:

wrong

Let’s think about this.  If your singular goal is to create a short-term business that reaps a profit, what kind of mindset do the owners of the company have.

They probably won’t think about making customer service in such a way to make their customers happy for year after year.  Why would they?  If the goal is to build a portfolio attractive enough to sell in a few years, why would maintaining customers for the long haul be a priority?

The website is probably not designed in such a way to be maintainable.  I’ve seen this plenty of times where the code running a site ends up being an unmanageable mish-mash of different things without any regard to how updates and maintenance is going to happen.  Over time, change becomes slow because it takes so long just to do the simplest of technical tasks.

Lastly, they are more than likely in it solely for the money.  I’m not arguing that businesses should all work on some altruistic angle where everyone works for happiness and pixie dust; profits are important.  But, if your sole goal is cash, you’re likely to make decisions that short your customers in order to make an extra buck.

And this is where we are different:

We actually like what we do and we want to have this business for many years to come.
I know, it’s a crazy idea: liking our work.  But, we do and so since we have an opportunity to to something that we like every day, we are going to hold on to that opportunity as long as we can.

We truly enjoy the process of making a website that works for our customers.
We don’t see the website as this thing that spits out money for us to do other things.  We actually like making the website work.  Kyle is actually the technical brain behind all the code that runs everything, and it’s not a chore for him to do keep the website up and running; in fact, he quite likes it.

We’re excited to get up everyday and tell people our message that experiences are better than stuff.
Outside of all the bottom-line business stuff, we truly believe in our message.  In fact, we live by our message every single day and want to spread the word as much as possible that how you live your life is way better than the things you own.

We are happy to talk to our customers and learn how our business is helping them.
Nothing gives us more fulfillment than when we see people using WiseGifter to improve their lives in small and big ways.  When we know that people are getting gifts that allow them to have new experiences that enrich their lives, it is an amazing reward.

In other words, we like what we do, so why would we want to give that up?

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