My female entrepreneur today is Emily Thacker, a co-founder of Blue Shift Web Services, a digital agency providing Web, Marketing and eCommerce services for small and medium-sized businesses.
After years of working in the web industry, Emily and her husband decided to start their own web design business. Emily shares how they quit their jobs to focus full-time on their business and how they landed their first clients.
Their business is now booming and they have expanded into offering more digital services to their clients.
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND THE BUSINESS YOU STARTED?
Hi, I’m Emily. I am the mother of two little girls, Alya (2.5 years) and Aralyn (6 months). I am married to Ryder who helps run the business and is my driving force.
Prior to starting my business, I worked in the industry as a web designer. I worked for CASIS design websites for the rocket launches, then moved into being a web designer for a cryptocurrency startup.
My husband decided he wanted to start our own digital agency and we worked to save up from our day jobs enough to quit and focus full time on the business.
We did that just over a year ago, and it’s been booming!
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR BUSINESS IDEA?
We noticed while we worked in the industry that we had a better idea of how to run the company and help other businesses. So we decided to branch out on our own.
For about 1.5 months, my husband would go door to door trying to find clients. When he did, I would build the sites. From there we expanded into offering more services like SEO and social media management.
We came up with our business name “Blue Shift Web Services” because my husband is a huge astronomy nerd, and we’re from the space coast!
PLEASE DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF LAUNCHING YOUR BUSINESS.
We went from talking about the idea of buying the domain and building our site in about 3-4 weeks. We did it just ourselves mainly, as we have complementary skill sets!
We did hire a professional to design our logo. We ended up doing a totally new site about a month after launch, and we then saw a major increase in sales.
We steadily increased our prices as we had more portfolio pieces and had higher demand.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT AND YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE ALONG THE WAY?
Biggest Achievement: The biggest accomplishment is being able to pay bills and live comfortably on our own terms.
Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge for me was imposter syndrome. I’m young and female in a STEM field which initially caused me to undervalue myself.
HOW DO YOU PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS?
We’ve tried many different methods of marketing. In the beginning door to door with business cards was the most effective. Now it has transitioned to social media and SEO.
WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF THE BUSINESS?
We are arriving to be the biggest digital agency.
RECOMMENDATIONS & FINAL THOUGHTS
PLEASE RECOMMEND ANY RESOURCES AND TOOLS THAT YOU USE TO RUN YOUR BUSINESS.
I recommend Blue Shift Web Services for all your digital marketing needs.
For domains, I suggest having Google Domains so that as you try different hosting providers you don’t need to pay $12+ every time you change.
The blog on Blue Shift Web Services’ website has many more recommendations!
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE BUSINESS BOOKS, PODCASTS OR BLOGS?
I tend to follow industry leaders like HootSuite to stay on top of the latest trends.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER WOMEN WHO WANT TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
To not undervalue yourself, your expertise and your work.
If you do, have an outsider to do your pricing and negotiation.
Welcome to the Biz Ladies interview series!
If you’re new to these series, I interview women entrepreneurs on how they started their business, what was the idea behind it, how they got where they are, the struggles, the reality and more.
By sharing their stories, we want to inspire other women to get started.
If you are interested to share your own story on the Biz Ladies LET ME KNOW!