Saying Goodbye to Our Clients

Business decisions are rarely easy, and are almost never cut and dry.

Last week we made the difficult decision to stop performing client services effective 3/1/2008 and focus solely on our sites. It certainly wasn’t an easy one, but it is something that we had to do. There are only four of us. Providing top-notch design, development, seo, marketing, ppc management, and hosting is hard work and your entire company needs to be focused on those things to give your clients the attention and quality they deserve.

That’s just not us. Mike and I did the majority of client work, but we were also working hard on re-developing Detailed Image and growing our e-commerce sales, which is what George and Greg spend all of their time on. And it has worked. It worked so well that it forced us to make a decision because we couldn’t possibly do both for much longer. Sales have grown faster than expected, and we really need everyone aligned working towards one sole goal. I know I will be much happier not changing directions five times a day – answering client emails and phone calls takes a lot out of you and if your heart isn’t all the way into it you can’t possibly do the job at the level that it should be done.

The four of us are much more well suited to be a great e-commerce company than we are a great anything else company – be it client work or web 2.0 services or whatever. Now we can focus 100% of our efforts on our e-commerce side, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. We should have a lease signed for our 5,000 sq-ft warehouse by the end of the week, so when we move in we can have a fresh start and a fresh focus. Other sites like SportsLizard, Hotteeez, iPrioritize, Music-Alerts, etc all require minimal maintenance and provide value to the company either in the form of supplementary income to help pay our expenses or in positive PR for Pure Adapt.

Obviously once we get into said warehouse, we’ll only be using about 1/5th of the space. The remaining space will be used to expand DI and ramp up inventory for the launch of our new e-commerce site Tastefully Driven, which is going to be a mix of a social community and shopping cart (more to come) and is due to launch 4/1.

I spent the day today contacting our clients, and some of the emails were very very difficult to write because of the relationships we’ve developed and a sense that I was ‘letting them down’, even if it’s something we need to do. Below is the letter that they all received (side note: isn’t docstoc pretty cool?):

Pure Adapt Client Letter – Get more free documents

Bottom line: the other day I said “I crave the ability to throw a lot of shit against the wall and see what sticks, and the web world makes that possible.” Well, we’ve been doing that as a company for the past year and now we’ve found what works: we all enjoy e-commerce, we’re all good at aspects of it, and the market is clearly there…especially in the high-end mens niche that we’ve targeted and will continue to target. Now that we’ve found what works for us, it’s time to focus on that and take it to the next level.

10 comments on Saying Goodbye to Our Clients

  1. Eric says:

    If you ever need a distributor/warehouse on the west coast (specifically in WA state) – I have 55,000 sq. ft. that I’d love to put stuff in 🙂

  2. jennsquared says:

    I can imagine. I am giving up my financial services portion of my life to prepare my yarn shop. It really is not easy to let your clients “down”, even though it really isn’t it. It is a business decision you have to make, otherwise you might not succeed in any!!! Good luck!

  3. Congrats! I love the boldness and that sort of thinking will take you all VERY far. Good stuff, dude!

  4. Hobbes says:

    Congrats! Although I have no business experience myself, this is exactly what I expected you to end up doing. After all consulting is just a stepping stone for startups to end up as a product development companies.

  5. Adam McFarland says:

    Thanks everyone – Eric: I will definitely keep you in mind as we grow. 5,000 sq-ft is a lot for us right now since our products are very small, but in a year or two if we grow as I hope we do I could definitely see us needing a west coast distributor 🙂

  6. Adam Holland says:

    Congrats, Adam. I’m proud of you and the other guys… Keep up the great work, and I know you’ll be over $1 million in revenue in the VERY near future…

  7. Adam Gilbert says:

    Adam –

    I love it. Be the best in the world or quit. That’s what it’s about.

    Keep it up bro.


  8. Adam McFarland says:

    Definitely Adam – I’m that kind of guy in general: I either want to be a master or expert, or I don’t want to bother. Whether it’s sports, hobbies, or business.

  9. […] The response has been overwhelmingly positive, as evidenced by the comments on yesterday’s post. […]

  10. […] of yesterday, Adam emailed all of our previous and current clients telling them that we no longer offer website design, marketing, optimization and hosting.  What does this mean?  Pure Adapt will only consist of sites that we own. While the money from […]

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