Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.
Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Dave Boehl, Founder and CEO at GoLastMinute.com:
What does your company do?
We help people find the best price on their trips through deals and price comparison features on our websites GoLastMinute.com, Bamgo.com, and BeachDeals.com. We’ve been fortunate to have helped over 5 million people find great travel deals over the time we’ve been in business. Our revenue model is advertising from travel companies that list their offerings with us. We were recognized on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies in America for the la st two years in a row.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I'm the founder and CEO. I started the company as a nights-and-weekends project, which grew big enough to quit my day job at Microsoft. What I love about my role is building website features that delight consumers and advertisers alike. It's definitely a balancing act, but it's what keeps me motivated and driven. Online businesses require a real 24/7 dedication to run, which can be exhausting, but which I find extremely motivating and rewarding.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
The biggest challenge we face is differentiating ourselves among the plethora of travel services out there. It's definitely a crowded marketplace, but we focus on building long-term relationships with our users to help rise above the pack. One of the ways we do this is by offering fare alerts to help people track prices over time. Another is by publishing helpful inform ation about top travel destinations that you might not find on other travel sites. For example, we closely tracked the changing situation with travel to Cuba and helped our users understand what that meant for them.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
One thing I regret from my youth is giving up on projects too early. I had launched an online marketplace for arts and crafts, which got a couple hundred items listed on it. We even sold a few pieces and made some revenue from it but it didn’t take off quickly. I got too busy with grad school to keep it going, but looking back on it, I should have doubled down on it and found a way to make it work.