This originally was an email sent to all customers, partners, contractors and past employees. Since not all contact information was in our database, I am posting this here in hopes they see it.
This email/post was hard to write. It’s not easy to admit fault and take responsibility especially for those acting on your behalf. So first let me say this:
The level of engagement with some of our customers and partners has dropped to little or no interaction over the last several months while I was absent from the company. This lack of attention isn’t right. As a result, I will be contacting you personally to apologize and discuss how we will make right all wrongs.
You may be asking, “What happened?” About a year ago, I felt I lacked the skills and knowledge I needed to run the company I envisioned. Tired of paying for business coaches, books, and online programs, I decided to go learn from a school run and taught by top rate CEOs and entrepreneurs of successful companies.
In December of 2016, I left the company to pursue an MBAE degree from the Acton School of Entrepreneurship in Austin, TX. This education required I leave the company for a five-month period to execute intense 100 hour study weeks which didn’t leave any time to run the company.
Prior to leaving, my two business partners and I spent eight months planning and preparing for my absence. By December 2016, we felt we were in good shape and I handed the role of CEO over to one business partner. I admit I was prideful, boasting that we built in under a year what most companies took a decade to do. The following months showed me how foolish I was to think that.
Shortly after I left, one business partner unexpectedly left for personal reasons, leaving the other to bear the weight of running the company alone. In March, the other business partner notified me, he had to leave the business as well. I had a choice, come back and save the company or stay and finish up. With only two months left in my MBA, I chose to stay and finish, hoping I could pick up the pieces and make things right when I got back in June.
I was furious with my partners for quitting. How could they do this to me? My brand, my reputation! My customers! I felt the victim. After I calmed down I came to the realization that this was all my fault. I chose these individuals to be my business partners and employees. While all were great people as individuals, not all were the right fit for the job at hand (some employees were excellent fits). While excellent at coding, video content, managing a team, etc., they were not skilled or experienced in running a small business.
I want to make it clear that I greatly respect these my two, now former, business partners. They are excellent men, husbands, and friends. Sometimes life just throws you a curve ball and you have to make a choice between a hard decision and an even harder one. I don’t envy the position they were in. But, I do respect them for making the decisions they did, regardless of the outcomes.
I’ve learned a lot over the last year, and especially the last five months. I plan to take that knowledge and revive SiteSmash.
So what’s next? Currently, we’re a two-man team using a network of contractors to help execute the work we have. We will continue to honor and fulfill all current contracts. We will not have an office but will structure ourselves as a remote work company. Lower overhead means better pricing and less commuting resulting in more hours a day to spend on projects. We plan to continue to build websites. We also want to pivot and expand out into other areas of marketing, my first love.
In the past, we’ve been horrible at staying close to our customers and finding out more about their needs and challenges and helping them develop solutions to overcome those. That will change going forward.
Prior to this company, I helped companies extract more value from their websites through testing and optimization also known as conversion rate optimization (CRO). We plan to make that a core service going forward.
Again I apologize for any and all negative interactions with my company, business partners, or employees over the last six months. I will be reaching out to you to learn more about your individual experience, what went wrong, and how we can make things right. Hopefully, I can regain your trust and respect.
My goal is to reach out to each of you in a timely manner and at a time that works best for you. Please click this link (calendly.com/rakozy) to schedule a time to sit down and discuss what needs haven’t been met for you and how I can make this right with you. Or you can reach me at (877) 599-7627.
My sincerest apologies,