RETAIL & E-COMMERCE: So Do It gets it done
The company’s tag line is “we hatch ideas” and the logo incorporates a hatched egg. And just like the industrious little red hen of storybook fame who got the job done, Lisa Wehr, President and CEO of So Do It, LLC, found that her concept for an Internet company was an idea whose time had certainly come.
Wehr started her business in Alaska when she became pregnant. Until that point, Wehr and her husband raced sled dogs and did two- to eight-day dog mushing tours. Once she became pregnant, Wehr had no desire to continue the rigors of dog sled racing and began teaching herself Web development.
She started a small Web development business in her basement and grew it to 200 customers. By the time she sold the Web development portion of the business, Alaska Web Art, in March 2000, it was the largest in Alaska and one of the largest on the West Coast.
During that time, Wehr realized she didn’t want to design Web sites the rest of her life, so she began to develop products she knew would generate revenue and eventually be the focus of her business. Six months ago, Wehr packed up the business lock stock and barrel and moved it from Alaska to Traverse City. For the sake of her son, she felt it was important to be near family here in the region.
The products Wehr developed are the basis of So Do It. The company currently offers five products, two of which are search engines: “1 Blink Meta Search” allows users to search all of the top search engines from one place and “Alcanseek.com” is a regional directory-based search engine for Alaska and all of Canada.
The others include “Web Brochures,” a brochure distribution system for products and services worldwide; “Bid 4 Trips.Com” a real-time online travel auction focused on products for outdoor and adventure travel enthusiasts; and the company’s core product, “One Up Web.com,” which focuses on search engine optimization for business Web sites.
Unlike traditional Internet companies, So Do It only works business to business. Wehr says a friend recently came up with an excellent analogy of how So Do It’s products function.
“He sees my company as supplying the picks and shovels to the people running to the gold rush,” she said. “We’re supplying (businesses) the tools they need to go out and take a stab at it.”
So Do It has received national and international acclaim for its products. Wehr says the company has never needed to advertise because of the tremendous amount of business they receive by word of mouth from satisfied customers.
Wehr moved the company here with just two employees and now employs eight. However, with the evolution of the Internet and the increasing demand for the company’s products, Wehr plans to employ 25-30 within a year.
“It’s a good business to be in,” she said. BN