For the first few years of Schedulefly, we were pretty much in a constant state of change based on feedback. As I look back – I think we kept (and still keep) a nice balance of making changes that made/make good sense both for our customers and also for us. The decision to not do certain things was definitely much more difficult back then – but we often did not. Our customers and prospects had great ideas for making the software better – and we had to balance what they wanted with what we wanted for us and for our business. For example – there were occasional requests (and still are) for integration with Point-of-Sale systems and payroll systems – and we explored them early on. We decided not only was the effort (to integrate with archaic, mostly premise based software systems) likely not worth it, but that it would also jeopardize the integrity and up-time of our system. We work very hard to ensure we can grow and be fast and available – and that’s hard enough without hoping the other outside companies and people (you integrate with) feel the same way. And the thought of finger-pointing with other technology companies over whose system is the source of the problem and the possibility of having features that we charge for not available due problems out of our control is scary.
I think our decision early on (to focus on restaurants only – and not even all restaurants) was a decision that was much smarter than we thought it was going to be – because now – when faced with a decision of whether or not to make a change – it’s very easy. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to [not] make changes if we were trying to serve a bunch of different kinds of businesses. Heck – even if just focused on restaurants – but with a version to serve smaller restaurants and a more complicated super powered version to serve corporate chains (with pricing for each) – which one would we work on and try the hardest to sell? Which one would evolve and eventually be the one we focused on? The one that pays us more money? Definitely. So we went ahead and decided back then which one would be more fun.
So these days the feedback is a tiny fraction of what it once was, but we do still receive some that makes good sense for everyone we are trying to serve and we do it. I’m just so happy we have a laser focus and have chosen to blaze our own path – with no partners or others who will encourage us to do it differently. It makes running our business incredibly fun, and frankly, not like most businesses that I hear or read about.
If you’re running a small business the way you like – and there are plenty of customers to go after – put on your blinders and go!