I've been building Scott Sawyer Consulting since 2005, surviving the Great Recession and enjoying many years of growth. In that time, I've met a lot of wonderful people, worked on exciting projects, and enjoyed taking part in the success of my customers. It's been an amazing journey, and my absolute pleasure to serve so many small businesses and non-profits over the last 15 years.
2020 was a difficult year for many businesses, Scott Sawyer Consulting was no exception. As businesses closed due to the pandemic, marketing budgets were slashed, projects were cancelled, and many businesses closed their doors. This had a trickle down effect on many business services, and I think it will be some time before we understand the full impact on small businesses.
Small businesses face many risks and challenges. As a small business owner, you work and struggle every day to build your dream. You plan for every conceivable challenge and do your best to keep moving forward. But sometimes the challenges are insurmountable, the risks are too great, and the toll is too large to continue taking those risks.
Scott Sawyer Consulting's business model is based primarily on starting new projects and, to a lesser extent, maintaining existing customers. During the past year, I started only a fraction of the projects compared to previous years. Coupled with many customers closing their businesses permanently and cancellations of many maintenance agreements, revenue is down more than 90%. While I've received more inquiries over the last month, it's too little, too late.
I've spent 15 years of my life building Scott Sawyer Consulting, it's been emotionally crushing to see it erode away. I don't have the energy to start over. I need to make a change, for my own health and for my family. I made the decision to seek full-time employment.
Finding a job is a new experience for me, I haven't had a "job" in quite a long time. With the current economic climate ( it was just announced that 140,000 people just lost their jobs and unemployment is at an all time high ), I wasn't sure exactly how long it might take or what sacrifices I'd need to make to find a job. Fortunately, my experience and skills make me fairly marketable, but one never knows if it will be enough.
My hope was to find a position with a great company, doing interesting things, and not take too much of a financial hit. I think I've found the best fit for me and my family. Today I am excited to announce I have accepted a position with Top Floor.
Top Floor is a digital marketing agency with a strong WordPress and Drupal design and development team and over 20 years in the industry. It's a natural fit, very similar to what I've been doing at Scott Sawyer Consulting. I will be joining the team as a Senior Web Developer, and I am very excited by and grateful for the opportunity.
The future of Scott Sawyer Consulting
Effective immediately, I will no longer accept new projects. Additionally, I will no longer provide support or maintenance services. I want to give my new position the focus and dedication it deserves, and while the types of projects I will be working on aren't really the same, I will not compete with my employer, even for my attention. I also want to take this opportunity to enjoy some time with my family.
This does not mean that I am leaving any current customer without options. If you a maintenance customer, I will be contacting you with details about new arrangements.
I have an agreement with Red Synapses to take over hosting and maintenance for any customer that wants to continue. I have known and worked with the owner, Greg Paluch, for a couple of years and find him to not only be a great developer, but also an honorable and ethical man. I feel confident in Greg's ability to provide the same great service you are accustomed to.
If you are not interested in continuing your support or hosting with Red Synapses, you are under no obligation to do so. However, you need to be aware that you need to find a new hosting arrangement immediately. I will be shutting down my servers by the end of the month, and as of Monday January 18, 2021, I will no longer be available to take support requests. I am happy to provide a backup copy of your Website, but I can not help set up a new server or migrate any data.
If you need a bit more time to make your transition, please let me know. I recognize this seems like a sudden move and in no way do I wish to cause harm to any loyal customer. But be aware that until the website is moved off my servers, you will not receive any additional support.
All new projects and support requests will be forwarded to Red Synapses.
Are you affected by this change
The short answer is maybe. I have been offering two kinds of services, "self service" and "managed services". Managed services are typically customers with special hosting and maintenance requirements, whether that is due to significant traffic or a particularly complex or resource intensive Website, or have significant maintenance needs. For these customers, I have been providing hosting services primarily through Digital Ocean.
Digital Ocean provides powerful, affordable, high performance VPS (virtual private servers), but they are not easily managed by non-technical or inexperienced users. I have been using Digital Ocean for a number of years and I am quite pleased with the results. However, due to the complexities in, and continuous nature of managing their servers, I need to discontinue hosting Websites with Digital Ocean.
I have contacted every customer using Digital Ocean's services to explain the situation. I have recommended they move their services to Red Synapses. Greg, the owner of Red Synapses, is qualified and experienced in managing sites that would utilize a service like Digital Ocean. Keep in mind, Greg may recommend a different service to replace Digital Ocean, and that is fine, he will recommend an appropriate service provider for your specific situation.
Keep in mind, if you choose to not use Red Synapses, you must find an appropriate provider on your own. For the most part, if your site is currently on Digital Ocean, you likely need a robust hosting solution, not some kind of super cheap hosting.
If you use Scott Sawyer Consulting, and you have NOT received an email outlining this change, then please read the next section. Even if you HAVE received that email, the next section may still apply to you if you have other services with Scott Sawyer Consulting, such as domain names or email.
Self Service Customers
Since early on in my career, I started offering domain name registration, email hosting, and shared hosting services through a white-label service. At this time, I have no plans to shut down those services, but there will be some changes.
Many customers would contact me with questions or requests to make changes to their accounts or services. I am no longer available to respond to those requests. All requests and questions must be directed to https://www.secureserver.net/contact-us?plid=434476 or (480) 624-2500.
Please be advised, if you contact the provided support options, you must be prepared to authenticate your account. This typically means your customer number and PIN. If you use one of these services, you have a customer number and password. If you can not locate this information, it is available in your account.
- PIN: https://www.secureserver.net/help/article/5804?prog_id=434476
- Customer Number: https://www.secureserver.net/help/article/20038?prog_id=434476
If you have these services, but have not received an email from me regarding changes to your account, then there is nothing you HAVE to do.
I realize this probably a surprise and I understand completely if you want to change service providers. If you decide to transfer your domain name, hosting, email, or other services to another provider, there are help docs available to assist you with the move. https://www.secureserver.net/help?pl_id=434476&prog_id=434476
It's been an incredible journey. I've had so many wonderful experiences and fond memories working with you. I love small business. You are the backbone of this country. I wish every one of you the absolute best of luck and fortune.
It is with a heavy heart that I wind down my own small business, but there are also feelings of relief and excitement about my new opportunity. Today is actually a great day.