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?):
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.