We’ve hit a lot of milestones in the past month or so at The Aquaponic Source. A new look to our website (check it out). Over 10,000 Aquaponic Gardening Community site members (now the world’s biggest). Over 10,000 Facebook fans. Even our order numbering system has now rolled into five-digit territory. But the biggest milestone of all is about a three, not a ten. As of June 1, 2013 we have officially been offering products online for three years.
According to national statistics, about one in three new businesses don’t make it this far. Why have we? You are perhaps better able to answer the question than I am, but I’ll venture a guess.
- We are in a rapidly growing industry so to a certain extent we are riding “the wave”.
- We are fortunate to have incredibly loyal customers who value the service and expertise they get from us.
- We have been able to keep costs low. We’ve worked out of our home. We use recycled materials for packing. We do as much as we possibly can ourselves before hiring someone else. Our incredible employees have all accepted lower salaries than they could get elsewhere in order to work in an industry they feel passionate about.
- Alan and I are experienced business people – especially Alan. While this is the first startup either of us has run, it is not our first startup experience by any means.
- We have invested a great deal of time and lots of hard work.
- And yes, we have had some good luck.
The reason why I find myself reflecting on this today, in particular, is that I just spent my Sunday afternoon reviewing a lease for a new 7,600 sq. ft. space that will most likely become our home for at least the next four years. It seems a fitting transitional event for celebrating our third anniversary. Our baby is growing up and is ready to leave its parent’s basement. Having just sent our youngest child to college this past fall, I’m finding the mixture of emotions around this event is already familiar. Pride that it’s come to this point. Trepidation about what lies ahead. And a little sadness about what we will be leaving behind. But mostly I feel grateful to everyone who has helped us to get past the 3-year mark: My brilliant husband whose main work motivation is to see his wife happy, our dedicated customers who forgive us our foibles and growing pains, and our amazing employees who bring their energy and soul through the door every day. It’s been a great ride so far… I probably cannot even imagine what will happen over the next three years – but I am looking forward to finding out!