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This is Chris Redgrave for Zions Bank Speaking on Business.
Michael Rivera (ri-veer-uh) was working with big businesses, including companies like McDonald's and Johnson and Johnson, to help them design and create websites when it struck him. Who's doing this for small businesses?
He and his business partner, Brandon Anderson, decided to start i4 Solutions, a company that specializes in Web design for small businesses. This is significant since online retail sales hit a staggering $156 billion in 2009.
This operation started like a lot of small businesses — in a small office. In fact, it was so little that it was only a 300 square foot space attached to a laundromat. Mike told me the laundromat customers would walk into this tiny office with seven developers and computers everywhere and say, "Hey, the machine just ate my quarter." Every so often they would shout out, "Shut down dryer No. 3" like the laundromat was computer controlled.
I4 Solutions had been very successful in designing and building websites for companies with good-sized budgets, but pretty soon Michael and Brandon figured out they were missing an important demographic. There were quite a few solid smaller businesses with just a few thousand dollars that still needed an interactive business plan and Web design so they started a second company, Rocket Web Design, that is highly targeted to smaller businesses.
In speaking with Michael, he said this has been a very satisfying part of his business experience because clients are so appreciative.
When I asked about growing his Woods Cross business, he said he likes the current size of around 40 employees because he enjoys having a personal relationship with them and knowing their families. This is a best practice that helps him compete with larger operations because i4 Solutions and Rocket Web Design can better fulfill employees' needs.
He and his business partner also pay close attention to their clients' bottom line to track progress and make sure what they're creating has the appropriate impact. These guys make good business partners, with Michael's art and design background and Brandon's brings computer networking to the forefront.
For Zions Bank, I'm Chris Redgrave, speaking on business.