I've been mulling over what I should write in my monthly emails. Your time is precious, and I want to make the most out of every message.
I'll write mainly two types of emails. Let's call them "notes from my heart" and "letters to our future shareholders".
The "notes from my heart" are personal messages from me. I'll talk about my life as a father, a husband and my journey as a small business owner. I'll write about what fascinates me in the last few weeks. The content may not always be relevant to the HappyMoose business, but they sure will be fun.
Writing a regular personal note is my way to stay in touch with you. The voice will not be a business owner to his customer, but more like two friends catching up.
As HappyMoose grows, we'll have more people on the team, and I'll inevitably spend less time interacting with you. My deepest fear is to wake up one day and realise that the business has lost its personal touch, becoming a yet-another-big-and-successful brand where nobody cares.
The "letters to our future shareholders" are different. I'll be writing to you as if you are evaluating the opportunity to invest and own a piece of HappyMoose.
I'll put on my CEO hat, open up the books and share our financial numbers and plans with you. You'll see how the business is doing and experience the highs-and-lows with us.
I am aware that this is a rather unusual move, especially in a business environment where financial data are considered business secrets. So why take the risk? What do I want to achieve?
First. I'm hoping to learn from you. It is impossible to have an in-depth discussion if you don't know what we are struggling with or don't have the context to know where to help.
Like yourself, we have some world-class talents reading this email right now, including an award-winning photographer who regularly contributes to National Geographic, a senior government official who used to advise Helen Clark, and at least one All Black family.
It would be so cool if we have the whole community helping us out. Wouldn't it be fun if you wake up one day and think to yourself: "Hey, I have an idea. I bet this will solve Alex's problem".
Second. I want to do a crowdfunding campaign in the next 12 months. I'd love to see HappyMoose remain "employee and customers owned business" for as long as possible. You see, 95% of our customers are mums in their thirties and forties, whereas 87% of New Zealand investors are males in their fifties and sixties. This gap explains why sometimes it's so hard for me to tell the business to investors, but our customers get it right away.
I am a big believer in "investing in lines, not dots". I am aware that trust takes a long time to build so we'd like to start early. If you end up investing in the business, you would have known quite well who we are, how we operate and what we stand for.
So the notes are the yin to the letters' yang. The notes are the inner personal voice from me, and the letters are the outer presentation of the whole business. The notes without the letters are at the risk of narcissism; the letters without the notes would have been deprived of soul and meaning.
I'll send out the first personal notes in March, May, July and the shareholder letters in the even months. I might send feature updates and other announcements in between, and I'm sure Anna and Melanie will find their rhythm in keeping in touch with you.
Thanks for reading.
Now, what do you think? Sounds interesting? Will you consider investing in HappyMoose? Or it's just too silly to hang out our washing for everyone to see.
Hit reply now and let me know your thoughts. I'll read and respond to every email. I promise.