The highlights and lowlights of Q2 2015 for GFChart WordPress plugin

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Highlights of the last exciting quarter at GFChart include:

  • Privilege to serve many wonderful people as customers. Even when we couldn’t satisfy their needs they were polite, understanding and supportive. You rock!
  • Celebrated our 1st birthday. Terrible twos ahead maybe?!
  • Gravity Forms and WordPress have both continued to develop and flourish. We are completely independent of them, but without them we would be nothing.
  • Upgraded this website to the Genesis Altitude Pro theme and custom logo. We’re now starting to look on the outside what we are on the inside.
  • Significantly increased prices to reflect the true value add and make its sustainable and accelerating revenue as a result (thanks to Zack Katz and Chris Lema for their encouragement).
  • Pleasing sales growth despite the lack of any sales promotion.
  • Recruited Naomi to drive development. This has put us back on the front foot and I am super excited at what she is working on right now. Her work is pure quality.
  • Introduced refunds which are working well.
  • Pippins Easy Digital Downloads and extensions is just totally awesome and an absolute pleasure to use. We have only used their support once and it is absolutely excellent.
  • Yoast Gold Review has really driven momentum and action. We started seeing improved results only a few days after starting to implement their recommendations.
  • Introduced Stripe payments and SSL which has improved security, confidence, professionalism and conversion.
  • Brought support ‘above the line’, underpinned by HelpScout and a Virtual Assistant. This is starting to create the pedigree that I had always intended for GFChart. Even without this, and explicitly saying that the plugin was unsupported, we still had a great support reputation. Just shows how it’s good to manage expectations.
  • WPengine continued as a rock solid host. I particularly love their awesome support, easy staging and backups.
  • Gravity View has continued to develop and flourish. We are completely independent of them, but they add considerable value to the Gravity Forms ecosystem, which enhances the opportunity for GFChart. I am a big fan of Gravity View which I highly recommend.

Lowlights:

  • Insufficient deep customer contact.
  • No sales promotions or campaigns.
  • Inadequate re-testing prior to release of updates caused headaches!
  • Prolonged difficulties in finding suitable people to provide customer support constrained progress.
  • Strengthening US$ considerably increased investment costs.
  • Mailing list-opt ins progressing very slowly.
  • Onslaught of Russian spam comments in the blog.
  • Affiliate program lacked promotion.
  • Custom development requests were not handled in a timely manner.
  • Documentation and case studies are quite limited.
  • Plugin interface using shortcodes creates support requests.

In early 2014 I scratched my own itch and a very basic GFChart was born. On 22nd April 2014 we made our very first sale, and the volume gradually increased such by Christmas it was clear that a market existed for a sort of ‘Microsoft Excel for Gravity Forms’. We made the decision to invest in GFChart early in 2015 and after a couple of twists and turns are now pushing ahead on full throttle.

Thank you so much for our beautiful and wonderful customers that have supported us on our journey thus far. We look forward to delivering far more value to you in future. And a very special acknowledgement to all those in the entrepreneurial wordpress community and beyond who have shared their advice and experiences completely free of charge on blogs and podcasts which have helped us get to where we are today.

At risk of missing someone out, these include: Brian Casel, Brian Clark, Brian Gardner, Chris Brogan, Chris Lema, Demien Farnsworth, Jerod Morris, Jon Nastor, Joost de Valk, Pat Flynn, Pippin Williamson, Seth Godin and Zack Katz.

Cheers,

Ben