A handful of years ago, we grew The Mighty Mo! from 1 to 8, and that was surprisingly-fun. Not without its headaches (spawned a whole now-defunct blog of them!), but it was exciting in a way that growing new things is. New people, new processes, new customers, expansion, growth! What’s not to get energized about?!
But now we’re on a different quest – growing from 1 to Zero. The 1 being me. The Zero being growing the company without me.
To that end, I’ve hired a trusted businessperson to transition The Mighty Mo! to a Toby-less existence a la Built to Sell. Unlike the previous transition, which was a thrill ride, this one will be the most boring and risky investment I’ve ever made in my business. Boring because it involves investing in process. Risky because it involves me not being involved in the day-to-day running of the company.
The Mighty Mo! is already the most boring company in the world, so, honestly, that’s not a stretch for us:
- We are calm
- We sell 2 boring products:
1. WordPress maintenance
2. WordPress website design + launch (which we market as “It’ll never win awards for cutting-edge-design, but it’ll win customer trust & sales!”).
- Our primary differentiator in the market is that you won’t be surprised. (which our customers actually get excited about, because other web teams constantly let them down).
Doesn’t get much more boring than that, right? The excitement is discovered in what it isn’t: me doing the work.
From 1 to Zero
So how do you grow from 1 to Zero? I have no idea; I’ve never done it before – but here we are in the Great Unknown. We’ve already made some adjustments:
- GOAL: Make our ticketing and project management system more anti-fragile.
SOLUTION: Transparency: We now direct all of our support tickets to our PM Trello board via Sendboard. Every todo that’s not a quick fix gets a date. That way, if our developer is ever sick, our project manager can help with customer communication, and in the worst case, hire someone else to get the work done.
- GOAL: Take me out of the credit card updating workflow for recurring payments.
SOLUTION: Our PM will send an email with a link that utilizes this Stripe Quick Payments script (thx Jesse!).
- GOAL: Get stuff off my plate.
SOLUTION: I hired a consultant to help transition stuff from my plate to someone else’s (likely someone we have not yet hired).
In reality, this transition started years ago, and we’re just now shepherding it to the next stage. If you are a customer of The Mighty Mo!, you’ve grown to know and love Rene, who has been managing & delivering the day-to-day work of the business for some time. If you’ve tried to schedule a 1-on-1 WordPress Training Workshop with me over the last year, you’ve discovered I’m not available for those anymore. So, from a customer-facing perspective, nothing will change, except you’ll likely get faster replies on your emails to us, because I won’t be the one responsible for replying (Fwiw, if you email firstname.lastname@example.org, you’ll get a super fast response!).
How long will it take to fully-transition? Hopefully not long. If you work with me, you know I have a high capacity for change and risk-taking coupled with a low tolerance for delay (i.e. I’d rather move quickly without all the facts than wait until we find the perfect path forward…). And however long it takes, know that my attention will always be on delivering a consistent product to our customers.