Why we never ever want to be a big company

Because the experience of being a customer almost always sucks.

Somewhere along the way – the people who started the company got so wrapped up in the ever-growing complication of running the company that they stopped caring (or somehow no longer know) about the experience their paying customers are actually having. What’s ironic is that it’s usually the long time loyal customers who get treated the lousiest. The people and businesses who are not yet customers get the most attention and are usually offered specials and deals and discounts to come on in. Come on in and join this miserable world where we over promise and under deliver. What’s also ironic is the people themselves – the actual employees and owners of this big company – are good people and they are also people who get treated lousy as customers of other big companies. As much as they wish they could make a difference at their own company – they can’t. The have to follow procedures and guidelines that have been created over the years because of the sheer size of the business and the complication that comes with running it. They have to treat all customers exactly the same – regardless of that customer’s situation or need or issue. The system is too big now and it’s too late.

We’ve all been frustrated with these companies to the point of wanting to find a better solution. The problem is switching to another company takes energy, money and time. It’s pain to switch. So generally we stay – not because of some contract we can’t break – but just because it’s a pain to leave. I don’t know how the owners of the companies sleep at night – especially if they go out and read what people say about their company on the internet. That would do me in.

So we choose to run our business the way we do because we just don’t want it to suck. There are just 5 of us here at Schedulefly and it’s been just us 5 for years – even after adding 1000’s of customers together. We are all owners and we all help people in some way in this business. We try and keep it very friendly and helpful and irritation free for people to do business with us. We never ever want to be a part of a company that loses the ability to do this and loses sight of how a customer gets treated. Contrary to most big companies – we care about our paying customers more than anyone else. Of course we still want to grow and welcome (the right) new customers with open arms – but we have to do it in a way that doesn’t send us down the path of becoming a company where it’s no fun to be a customer.

And bringing on the right customer brings me to my last thought on this topic. We often have to say no to people to keep Schedulefly enjoyable for both ourselves and our current customers. We have to say no to adding things that we don’t offer – even though it could be easy to do so. It’s very very difficult to say no when it could mean more growth and more revenue – but it’s critically important. Businesses don’t say no enough. For us – unless it makes sense for everyone whose already here – it’s a no. If we said yes all the time – I guarantee the 5 of us would be looking for more help and more employees and eventually all of us (as well as all of our customers) would be looking for a better life else where.