June 3rd 1985, my father came home with a Commodore 64 computer. I don’t remember if I had expressed an interest in computers before that. It may be that he was fascinated by them, which prompted his decision to go get one.
I felt like a mouse in a laboratory experiment. Put the kid and the computer in the same room together and see what happens. I spent the rest of that day typing in several hundred lines of BASIC code that would eventually cause a dot of light to bounce around on the TV screen from edge to edge.
My family was amused briefly by the end result of my many hours work. Then my Dad wanted to watch the news, so I had to unhook the computer from the TV. On that day I became keenly aware of the importance of data storage. Out of the box, a Commodore 64 has no capacity for storing data. So my hard work was gone the minute the news came on.
Ironically I would later spend over a decade working a large data storage manufacturer, making little dots of light bounce around on various computer screens.
So went my childhood with large swaths of time missing, unaccounted for, having been consumed by a whole army of computers that have come and gone since then.
I spent the first half of the 90’s in silicon valley (Sunnyvale California) This place was the hotbed of computer technology at the time and I was fully absorbed. I worked in Technical Support for several up and coming technology companies while I was there. About this time I became interested in Online Bulletin Board Systems or “BBS” for short.
A BBS is basically a computer system running software that allows users to connect and log-in to the system using a terminal program. Originally BBSes were accessed only over a phone line using a modem, but by the early 1990s some BBSes allowed access via a Telnet, packet switched network, or packet radio connection. Mine had two phones lines.
Users would dial up my BBS with their computer, log-in, and they could upload or download programs to share with other users, read news, and exchange messages with other users in public message boards. My BBS also offered on-line games. Barrons, Pimp Wars and Trade Wars were the hot games then. My users would compete with each other in the games for bragging rights in the message boards.
I spent a great deal of time hacking on BBS source code using Borland’s Turbo Pascal and Turbo C. This allowed me to create all kinds of interesting add-ons and doodads for my BBS. The Users were always curious about what was going to show up next.
As I mentioned, I had two phone lines connected to my BBS. Rarely were both in use at the same time. So I had to justify the existence of that second line.
I created an executable program with Turbo Pascal that would convey all the features and benefits of my BBS. It was comparable to a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation that we have today. I took this little program and uploaded it to all the BBSs around town, as well as some long distance BBSs that I frequented. Shortly there after began a slow steady increase in membership on my BBS. Several people commented that they had never seen a commercial for a BBS before and just had to see what it was about. Little did I know that this would mark my entrance into the world of online marketing.
Between then and now, I’ve lived in Colorado, New Mexico and Oklahoma. I’ve held positions at several High Tech companies. Since 1996 I’ve worked as a professional web applications developer. In that time, I’ve earned a degree in computer science from OSU. And in my spare time started a web development company servicing many small businesses in the Oklahoma City Metro area.
I worked with a lot of small business owners in that time and I’ve built a bunch of websites. Inevitably a recurring question came from nearly all my clients which usually ended in a discussion about internet marketing. “How do I get people to come to my website?“
I had lots of great conversations, provided a good amount of advice and performed a lot of internet marketing tasks for my clients. Unfortunately this work was often outside of the agreed upon website I had built for them and would sometimes end up being unpaid work as it was an afterthought. I didn’t complain too much as it was more fun than work. That web development business lasted for about 10 years. I shut the doors on it in early 2009.
Since I moved to Oklahoma in 1997, I’ve learned a great deal about web applications development. I really enjoy that part of my life. Through working with Small Business Owners to establish their online presence, I’ve learned a great deal about consulting for small businesses. I’ve gained a lot of experience with a variety of Internet technology and tools. Building websites has come a long way since the late 90’s and it’s been a great ride.
In that time, I’ve come to know a real passion for connecting Small Businesses with their customers through Internet marketing. I love the technology, trends, playing with amazing new tools for connecting with people. When I meet people who are interested in how the Internet can improve their business, we start talking Internet Marketing, and exploring the possibilities, it’s like time stops. I could do that all day.
I find Internet marketing to be much more enjoyable than simply building websites for people. So I decided to change my business model. I no longer focus primarily on building websites for small businesses. My main interest is in helping small business owners understand the power of the Internet as it relates to growing their business, creating a plan to do so and executing that plan. Its absolutely the coolest job the planet. Its Internet Ballyhoo.
On that note. I am willing to spend my time learning about your business, Gathering and understanding your requirements, presenting my concepts and ideas for growing your business, to you in a concise, straightforward, fully disclosed manner.
Additionally, I’ll create an implementation plan that must meet your approval.
Upon receiving your approval, I’ll implement the plan in a timely manner for a reasonable price.
I’ve come to understand that there are only 4 ways to grow your business:
- Increase the number of clients or customers you service
- Increase the average size of the sale per client.
- Increase the number of times clients or customers return and buy from you again.
- Decrease the cost of doing business
That’s it. Only four. It seems simple on the surface, but there are literally thousands of books written on each of those three points. I use the Internet to do all four for my clients. I use a good number of tools and techniques to accomplish this.
Because of the nature of what I do, I only work with one client from any particular industry and region, and I only work with a hand full of clients at a time. This way I can devote proper attention to each client’s needs.
I’ll be happy to discuss with you how I may be able to help you grow your business. If my schedule is not full, I’ll gladly consider working on your project. Feel free to contact me now.