Realizing the changing nature of the market, I decided we should focus on managing and maintaining existing WordPress websites, rather than insisting on building an original site each time. This pivot solved our largest sales and workload bottleneck: the process of building and designing each new client's website. As part of it, we rebranded to WordXpress which is much more eXPRESSive of our focus on WordPress websites. Though Fiddler Online remains the parent company and legal name.
In trying to serve our WordPress website clients better, I created Starfish Reviews WP plugin as a side project and launched it so other website freelancers, maintainers, and online marketers can offer the same review management features to their clients.
After 5 great years it was clear Kurt needed to pursue his passion of helping lay religious leaders. He'd built up a non-profit on the site that was demanding more and more of his time and attention. So we worked out an amiable buy-out. He got to focus on his passion, and I continued on mine. But we're still great friends. His non-profit is one of our clients!
We went back to our roots and refocused on only clients who were interested in having us both design, then manage their website. We stopped offering a lower-price management option, if they paid a lump sum upfront to cover most of the design expenses. Instead we raised our monthly price and completely dropped any up-front costs. We also upsold some of our earliest clients with a design refresh at a new higher monthly price.
We decided FiddlerStudios wasn't helping, as it sounded like a music-sound studio. So after some thought and research, settled on Fiddler.Online. Not only did it mimic "Fiddler on the Roof" where my name comes from and the Fiddler brand was derived from, but it also spoke to the online/website nature of our business.
With Kurt heading up sales, we grew consistently through 2012, 2013, and 2014. While we kept our core business model of design then manage WP websites, we also go distracted by one-off design and development jobs.
Kurt quits his day job to become our full-time sales person. I handle the design and technical aspects of hosting, WordPress, etc, while Kurt handles the leads, sales funnel, and sales.
I'd been helping my brother-in-law as a partner in his building demolition business. So I was already self-employed. But I quit that, to focus on building my passion business: designing and managing websites. WordPress was quickly becoming my favorite.
I love helping small businesses, entrepreneurs, boostrappers, and indie hackers succeed! So I recently pivoted my business from first designing then maintaining WordPress websites, to focus on managing existing sites.