Schedulefly Stories

Growing a software business one restaurant at a time

Month: June 2018

If it’s useful and fast, please don’t change it.

I’ve been using the same online bill paying service for 20 years. It’s bare-bones simple and always has been. In 20 years, it has not changed once. They’ve not added any features and they’ve not changed the user interface. I use it to pay my bills once every month, which is something that unfortunately i’ll have to do forever. The interface is so so simple. It has a list of all my payees – with a way to manage them (+/-) and a place to make a payment to one or more of them. It’s literally a few boxes and a couple of buttons. After I pull together all the bills I need to pay, I log in and enter the payments and then I go about my life. It’s lightening fast (likely due to its simplicity) and it works. Most of my bills are paid electronically right away – and a few receive a check within a few days. Not once in 20 years has a payee not been paid. Not once. So not once has this company let me down or have they changed what is already useful or have they contacted me to sell me something else. It’s reasonably priced and I’d honestly pay twice what they charge me. I love this company. I love everything about what they believe in.

Clearly we’ve always believed the same thing here at Schedulefly and we are occasionally reminded of the real impact this has on the people we serve. Recently I emailed the owner of a very successful restaurant group in Raleigh N.C that we’ve served for 7 years (to thank him for his business) – and he sent the nicest note back and said…“Awesome, thanks Wes. Schedulefly continues to be an amazing, headache-free tool for us, and we literally can’t say that about many other things we use regularly”. I really took that to heart. It’s fuel for the rest of my year, really.

So the moral of this story is: thank goodness there are technology companies around that understand that you don’t have to keep changing your product to stay relevant and useful. Let the competition be the ones that don’t understand that. You’ll end up being the one that they love.

Wes

5 guys with 7,000 subscribing customers

This weekend the 5 of us at Schedulefly welcomed our 7,000th paying customer. 5 people serving 7,000 customers with over 300,000 servers, bartenders, hosts, managers etc. is so darn cool and we are so proud of it. And since there are dozens of scheduling software options for restaurants, our pride swells with every new customer we bring on. You see, we don’t “sell” Schedulefly to an organization that mandates its use at all of its locations. We actually don’t sell it to anyone at all. Rather, we position ourselves to be found and to be chosen by the right customers. It’s a slower way to grow a software company- but it’s very manageable for the 5 of us and allows us to be with our kids and families and enjoy what we do. Borrowing someones money and hiring more people in an attempt to grow faster would ruin all of that.

So now we move towards 8,000 – and just like the last 7,000 – it will be done one restaurant at a time. The downside (if you can call it that) is that it will take a bit longer now than it used to – and might even take a few years – but the huge upside to that is…who. freaking. cares! And for that we are so thankful. We are so thankful no one here at Schedulefly expects us to grow faster. We are so thankful no one here worries about what other companies are doing. We are so thankful that no one here thinks we should be serving larger customers or customers in other industries. In our industry (software as a service with a big market to serve), this is rare. We are indeed lucky.

We are all so thankful and so happy to be doing what we do and thanks to all of our 7,000 customers for choosing us.

Wes

Independents CAN beat chains, and many of them do.

Scott Maitland is the owner of Top of the Hill Restaurant, Brewery and Distillery in Chapel Hill NC. Scott literally started his business (over 20 years) ago to prevent a chain restaurant from dominating such a cool small college town. He and his team succeeded and still do today. Their mission is to embody and enlarge Chapel Hill’s culture and heritage by providing an independent, unique and enjoyable dining, drinking and social experience. Thank goodness for people like Scott.

Top of the Hill has won dozens of “Best in the Triangle” awards. The Brewery has won scores of gold medals in international competitions and three of its beers – BlueRidge Blueberry Wheat, Rams Head IPA and Singleton Ale – have been recognized as the best example of their styles in the world by the World Beer Championships. Top of the Hill Distillery – makers of TOPO Organic Spirits- is the only all-local and organic grain to glass distillery in the South and we have been making award winning Vodka, Gin, Whiskey and Rum since 2012.

This is a video we made 7 years ago. It’s Scott talking about several topics including the advantage he believes independent restaurants have over chains. It’s so good and it’s so inspiring for any business owner that is setting out to compete against businesses with more money and resources. Enjoy…

Wes
Schedulefly

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