Admitting failure and moving forward

Admitting failure is an extremely vital part of running a business. Often we tend to double down on our failures in hopes that more effort will convert them into success. That, however, is a great way to take a business toward it's end. That is especially true when the business is small and run by few people. Failure will happen often and repeatedly, if you're doing anything that is even worth doing. You must continually recognize it and choose how to move forward after it.

What I'd like to talk about today is where I've failed, and what I'm doing next. You most likely read my previous blog entry about our issues dealing with support workload and meeting my own expectations. While I stand by the concept that was outlined for repair, but I failed to recognize that I lack the resources to turn that concept into reality. As a result, these are my current failures: Handling support requests, resolving product issues.

To address these failures, three things will be happening. The first has already occurred, but will be made more clear with the others.

Support

I have split up support ticket categories into specific ticket types with specific input fields relevant to that topic. These are things like product bug reports, email delivery issues, feature requests, etc. This allows better prioritization of tickets based on the actual issue type and severity. This also allows us to set more clear expectations. For example, I can say that a feature request is the lowest priority up front. I can also say that a bug report clearly identified to be a client side issue can be lower priority than a platform wide issue. The remainder of issues will be handled as community support, via our Discord chat. Community support does not mean that I will not be present there myself, merely that the support will be a community and as we grow customers will be able to offer assistance to each other as well.

Product Simplication

We are going to make a sweeping change to our product offering that will impact all new orders. By lowering the complexity of our product offering in general, we will eliminate a variety of reasons to need support. This is not live at the time of this post, and you will know it is live by the third change.

New Expectations

A new website will be launched with the simplified product, outlining more clearly what is to be expected of us, what items I will support, and what product functions exist. This reduces the need for new customers to require support with things I consider basic like configuring their DNS, their email clients, etc.

With these efforts I hope to take what is growing failure and instead grow with new expectations of myself and my customers, clearly communicated and outlined, so that it instead becomes success. This is a top priority, and more will be visible over the next few weeks.