A few days ago, two small business owners turned down my proposal for a free website.
They have the worst website I’ve seen in the last year.
There is auto playing music, scrolling text, broken links, clashing colors, disorganzied pictures…It’s an absolute mess.
But, their product is irresistible–puppies.
My offer was this: I would make them a website in exchange for a puppy. Assuming they could have sold the puppy right away the opportunity cost for them was $700. But if they also wanted a new website, they likely would have saved at least $700 by making the trade.
They kindly wrote back saying that they didn’t want to update the website at this time. They’re likely an older couple who are comfortable with how the website works for them and would rather keep it as it and take the money.
I was fine with that and ended up buying a puppy from a woman who lives on a farm up north.
(Had to post a picture)
It Doesn’t Matter What You Want
As a business owner, it’s not really about what you want.
The customer owns you.
You might not want a new website, but do your potential customers?
If what you want and what the customer wants isn’t in sync, you’ll eventually go out of business or have to fire your customers.
This gets complex, which makes business both fun and challenging.
What makes the customer happy today might not tomorrow. I’m sure the puppy breeders once had a website that was consistent with other across the Internet. But times change and you need to keep up.
We like to think about what would be best for our business. How to run operations, who to hire, what to stock, what to put on the website, what to tweet about, etc.
But what do the customers want from you? What are their unmet needs? Why do they go to you?
In the end, it doesn’t matter what you want. Your business exists to provide value to someone.
“Never forget that absolutely everything you do is for your customers.” – Derek Sivers, Anything You Want
Connect with me on Twitter: @BenNesvig