Business

Duo giving local businesses an online presence

Jordan Stephens (left) and Matt Haver have started a local Web design business.   - Charlie Bermant
Jordan Stephens (left) and Matt Haver have started a local Web design business.
— image credit: Charlie Bermant

Consumers looking to purchases a product or service have a choice between looking online or visiting a retail outlet, but the two sales paths aren’t mutually exclusive.

“Every business needs to have a Web site,” said Matt Haver, owner and lead designer of 360Tactics in Port Orchard. “It levels the playing field against the competition and helps the business connect with its customers.”

Haver and his partner Jordan Stephens began their business in November, using their knowledge of technology and design in order to create fully functional business and personal Web sites.

Both are 28-year-old Port Orchard natives who have known each other since they were in 2 years old.

Due to the nature of the Internet, they are able to serve customers around the world but are concentrating on developing an online presence for local small businesses.

Haver said his company uses the best talent available, striving to be locally based, completely accessible and focused on the customer's experience.

“All of our designs are completely custom,” he said, “and we work with the customer every step of the way to ensure that their project is done in a timely manner and delivers beyond expectations.”

Haver explained, “We started doing pages for our friends and relatives. We moved on from there, building clients through word of mouth. And we’re debt-free. A lot of companies get investors for their startup capital, but we’re doing it all on our own.”

While Web pages for large chain stores are common and compulsory, small business Web sites have not reached maturity.

Many businesses seek to do it themselves, using basic Web design programs.

While the results can be poorly designed and badly written, local businesses aren’t held to the same standards as larger competitors.

For that reason, mistakes are tolerated.

But Haver and Stephens strive to provide such prosaic companies such as dog walkers and piano teachers with a first-rate Web presence. So even if local businesses are held to lower standards, one that exceeds design and content expectations stands a better chance of success.

“It’s important for a small business to use every possible marketing opportunity especially in this economy,” Haver said.

Like any other service, a business hiring a Web design firm will get more results by increasing its investment.

The most successful sites use video, cascading style sheets and multiple pages.

They also change their content weekly, providing new information on a regular basis to persuade customers to visit the page on a regular basis.

Costs are commensurate with the service and are higher the more technology is involved.

But a business can build a Web presence for a $300 one-time startup fee and about $50 a year for hosting and domain fees.

Additionally, search engine placement is the one service provided by a web professional that an amateur cannot duplicate.

“When someone searches for your business, it’s important that you end up at the top,” said Stephens. “So if they come to Port Orchard for a visit, they’re already aware of your business and know where to go. This gives you a huge advantage.”

Haver and Stephens provide their customers with everything from logo development to minute changes to the Web site in order to tweak the message.

“Some of our customers like to update their sites themselves,” Haver said, “but others want us to do it for them. If there is anything wrong with the site or they want to make a small change they just call us and we’ll fix it for them.”

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