Table of Contents
Sharing the whole truth is something we really value as a company.
What’s worse? I could not imagine it having lasted until now. I’ve been bringing on team members with development abilities that are the best of the best – better than mine – since November… when I could first see that we were ready to scale up. After setbacks, we’ve scaled back 90% of our retainers to focus on custom themes, trialed numerous team members and agencies, rescheduled timelines aggressively, and communicated with clients what’s going on. We’ve laid out the best plans. Yet here we are.
I’m a person with incredibly high standards and expectations of myself and others. Where we’re at is not OK with me. It makes me nauseous to know this is where I’m stuck, for others to be inconvenienced by my inability to scale up, and to put this information out into the world for anyone to judge.
I’m also a person regularly attending therapy to deal with anxiety: how to handle imperfection, where to put boundaries around work, and when to say “no” despite my feelings and responsibilities.
I want to scale up, but I’m scared my business will fail during the process, so I go all in, then I pull back, then go all, then… you get it. I end up trying to meet deadlines by doing work myself, then fail to support the team I’m hiring because I’m too busy with deadlines.
I’m both confident that our experience and processes are the best in the niche… and afraid to advertise that, because we might not have everyone rave about us anymore. We might not meet expectations during this transition period.
I sincerely believe that scaling up will allow us to help more clients in more ways… yet selfishly fear getting so large that I won’t personally know every client we have.
But these things are happening anyway: we’re not meeting our expectations or client expectations, some people really don’t like us, and sometimes we’re working on projects that I barely know about. COVID is wrecking our productivity and cashflow is not where I’m used to. So what am I afraid of now?
Here’s the short of it: we’re officially delaying all current timelines. We’re 100% aware that many clients have specific priorities and will work with them to do everything we can to deliver by those deadlines.
We know this is more than unfortunate, but we honestly believe unless you’re going to do development with Bill Erickson, your best option is to stick with us. I cannot emphasize enough how much we’ve heard about developers that aren’t (a) developers-first and (b) experienced directly in the blog niche.
If you want a refund, we absolutely stand by that option. If you have patience with us, we are offering 3 months retainer post-project, which can be used on any project up to 7 hours per month.
I cannot give anyone an estimate on when their project will be done. This relies on information I don’t yet have: how many developers we’ll be bringing on and how much feedback they’ll need.
I can promise you this, though: my team is, in many ways, better than me. My value is in my experience: with this niche, with Genesis, with Melissa’s designs, and with the base code I’ve written (which the team will be improving). They are a curated group of hardworking, skilled individuals that empower myself and my clients to do great things.
My time will be spent on overseeing project priorities, advising on functionality and the requirements of food bloggers, and reviewing code.
While spending my time in project code has moved projects forward short-term and been a preference for some clients, it has limited our capacity long-term. It’s also limited my ability to review code and halted the innovation of my team members.
We are officially being impacted by coronavirus to an extent that is significantly affecting Once Coupled. Team member availability is limited, morale is down, and the pressure is mounting.
My focus is not shifting to development. My focus is on continuing to build a team and a process that can prevent this sort of growing pain from continuing any longer than absolutely necessary. I am investing a large amount of time and capital to make sure we stick around to support our clients into the future.