While cleaning out a desk drawer this weekend – I found a dusty old note pad I had not used since 2009. The last notes I made in it were Oct 2009 – exactly 3 years ago. I had jotted down a summary of where Schedulefly was in Oct 2009 (number of customers and total monthly revenue) and then a guess at where we might be a year later – Oct 2010. The forecast was just a guess of course and it had x number of restaurants that I thought we may bring on – and then x number that our potential partners would bring on. At the time we were in discussions with 3 companies about teaming up to create more awareness for Schedulefly…which at the time we figured was the way to go.
When I first saw the notes with names of other organizations, I felt a sense of relief because, today, we don’t have any partners. For a few reasons we quickly decided (back then) that partnering was not for us. They were nice, smart people – our gut just told us that selling Schedulefly on foot, and by phone and other traditional ways was not going to cut it in the long run. It would not be worth the distraction of having partners who were having a difficult time selling $40/month software to restaurant owners who are notorious for having no time for anything except feeding more people. It’s hard. Honestly in my opinion, you can’t “sell Schedulefly” (and we don’t), so partners were sorta pointless. We would have set them up for failure – and maybe even us. The last thing I wanted were partners with sales people trying to get us to change our software in hopes of making it easier to sell…more enticing to buy. That’s what big companies do – and that’s why their products eventually get bloated and difficult to use.
So I am proud that we’ve blasted through the numbers I had forecast back then – on our own – creating awareness in fun and different ways and making sure that we are enjoyable to do business with and that our software is truly helpful and doesn’t try to do too much. So what if it’s taking longer on our own…or maybe it isn’t.
p.s One particular potential partner meeting was pretty funny – Wil blogged about it – the comparison to a great scene in Star Wars still makes me laugh out loud. It’s perfect…