A small web design company recently moved out of its founders’ basement in Danvers, Massachusetts.
The Salem News reports that Mike and Jodi Sperling founded the web design company Sperling Interactive in 2008, the beginning of the Great Recession. The company has spent the last seven years working out of their house, first in a guestroom, then another guestroom, then in a playroom, and finally in the basement. Before moving out to a separate office, the company had six employees working in the basement.
The Sperlings decided to move out of the basement when they were expecting their second child. They decided it was best to separate their office from their home.
In February, the company moved to a 2,200-square-foot condominium across from the Old Salem Town Hall and the Salem Farmers’ Market. Its ribbon cutting ceremony in June was attended by the mayor, members of the local chambers of commerce, and more than 100 of its clients.
The company now has eight full-time and nine part-time employees.
Before founding the web design company, Mike worked for the Eagle Tribune as a digital media specialist. Unsatisfied with his work, he and his wife decided to start their own web design business in 2008 “right as the stock market was crashing,” as he put it. He was 24.
“The strategy was to try and go after businesses or industries that were recession proof,” Mike said. To him, “recession proof” meant clients in photography and higher education. The company’s first major client was Salem State University, and it still retains the university as a client.
Mike is well aware of how competitive the web design industry is but believes being an independent business is better than being a “lone wolf”; that is, a single web designer doing the entire project by him- or herself and thereby straining their quality, according to Mike.
“They are on their own,” he explained. “The level of service you are going to get is not the same level of service you can come to us to get, because it’s the same guy selling the websites, maintaining the websites, building the websites, doing the graphic design.”
The company provides custom-designed websites, not derived from a template.
“Our philosophy is we start from a white screen or a white piece of paper, depending on the kind of design you are doing, every time,” he said.
In addition to web design, the company offers video services, search engine optimization (SEO), print designs, blogging. The latter service is very popular with clients as businesses that maintain a blog have on average 434% more indexed pages than those that do not.