Carmen Krupar of Cybervise
How did you start your business?
I started Cybervise while I had a full-time job. I started taking clients and doing the website work on nights and weekends. So, I just had a home office. I didn’t quit my full-time job until I had 22 paying clients.
How did you come up the idea for your business?
My last job was with a technology company that did work for financial institutions. Part of my job was helping out the internet banking team. At one point, the company went on a big sales blitz and sold a bunch of new websites in a short period of time.
I was the contact and the developer for all of these new websites. The big push was to get them launched as quickly as possible, but what started happening was, as each site launched, I’d get calls from bank officers trying to figure out what to do with the website now that it was live -- things like how to update content or be ranked on Google.
As with any big company, once you have a name and a phone number to call, you use it, so I also was the one fielding a lot of the support calls.
The company that I worked for wasn’t really interested in supporting the sites once they were up; they just wanted to launch one site and move on to the next. I started doing some research with other web development professionals in Cincinnati and found that this is a typical approach. In short, I identified a need for support after websites were launched and that was what became Cybervise.
What resources here did you take advantage of and how did they help?
Once I quit my job, I moved into an office space at the HCBC (Hamilton County Business Center) and joined the business incubator. Having a professional space to meet clients was a great move for us; we were more than just someone working out of a bedroom, and the resources that are here could not be duplicated in a home office. I think the networking and contacts in the building alone have paid the rent each month.
I also have been involved with the Cincinnati chapter of SCORE. I started out helping them teach a workshop on website fundamentals, which I still do, and then took advantage of their counseling resources to help with business planning.
What does a typical day in your business look like?
A typical day here involves answering a lot of phone calls and a lot of emails. Our entire team keeps busy filling website support requests from our clients.
We usually have a project going on that is a larger or long-term project at any given point. Usually, these will be a redesign of an existing site or the conversion of a website to WordPress for content management. I usually have a meeting scheduled with a client to discuss plans for the website or ongoing strategy.
What’s next for you and your company?
We will be adding to our team in the fall, probably going to be a new part-time designer. I have a new free e-book that we will start promoting in September and I have several speaking engagements/free workshops in the fall.
We have a new service offering we will be rolling out called “Cybervise Website Outlet,” and we are looking at expanding our WordPress support with a User Group that meets on a regular basis.
Interview by Robin Donovan