We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Renee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
My business idea came to me back in 2009 when I wanted to book a reservation at a restaurant for a special occasion and saw that quite a number of them did not yet have a website. This baffled me because I thought most businesses recognized the value of having a website. Without a website, I could not review their menu or their prices beforehand. This meant having to call each restaurant and have them read their menu to me… and I certainly did not like that idea! So I ended up choosing a restaurant that did have a website, while the others lost out on my business. I began to wonder, “What’s keeping these businesses from having a website?” I soon began to learn that a lot of business owners found the idea of building a website to be daunting and confusing and therefore were avoiding it, at a cost to their own success. It was then that I came up with the idea of offering streamlined website design that simplified the process, to keep it easy and affordable for business owners. My websites start at just $499, which is a huge break for small businesses that are on a budget. Knowing they are receiving guidance from a professional that has been building websites for more than twenty years, gives them piece of mind that the process will go smoothly. I have a message for those business owners thinking of building their own website… “Don’t spend your time building a website when you should be focused on building your business!” With my low prices and professional expertise, you can instead focus on what you do best and leave the technical work to my company. I am happy to say that since that day in 2009, I have created hundreds of websites and have helped many small business owners reach more clients and grow!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
What sets my business apart from others is the intention I set from the very beginning; To be of service to business owners who are on a limited budget. While most businesses are focused on how much MONEY they can make, my business is focused instead on, “How many businesses can I HELP?” There are very few professional resources available to those who do not have deep pockets. My business aims to change that by providing professional web design services, at a fraction of the cost. This affordability, combined with more than 20 years of web design and project management experience, means that I am able to guide the client through the process and keep them from feeling overwhelmed and confused. What lights me up is when I hear my clients tell me how grateful they are that they were able to get a professional website off of their plate, so they can focus on their business! As for any challenges that I had to overcome, I would say going through a complete rebranding 4 years ago was quite an undertaking… but one that was unavoidable, as I added new services and outgrew the old business name. Having spent so many years making a name for myself under my old business name, I felt like I was starting over from scratch when I had to gain recognition under my new business name. But time and determination won out and I am happy to say that I am now receiving more referrals than ever before! As for what I am most proud of accomplishing… I would say it is all the referral relationships I have established over the years. I would not be where I am today if it were not from the trust others put in me, when sending new clients to me. What I want the world to take from my story is that it is important to be passionate about WHY you are in business. Making a contribution and improving the lives of those around me, is what fulfills me the most.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The first place I would take them is into the wilderness! The Colorado mountains offer so much beauty and peace, it is why people come here. I would first make sure they are outfitted with backpacks and lightweight gear. I would then take them to some of the more remote camping areas, where they can immerse themselves in nature and rejuvenate their souls. We would (safely) have a campfire and eat food cooked over the fire, finishing with s’mores 🙂 If Denver was opened up, I would take them to Union Station for a bit of the downtown experience. And, since I am in Boulder, we would have to visit Pearl Street and some of the boutiques, finished with a trip to Piece, Love, and Chocolate for a yummy slice of Salted Caramel Chocolate Torte!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to give a shout-out to those that helped along the way… For one, I tapped into the resources at SCORE Denver. They have mentors who took a look at my business model and told me if they saw any red flags. They guided me with decisions around forming my business entity, as well. I also want to thank the Colorado Enterprise Fund for helping me out with a business loan and providing even more guidance and support. Their team of advisers loved hearing about my affordable approach and continue to send me referrals! I am also blessed to have two entrepreneurial parents who have guided me with their expertise and experience. And I cannot forget to thank the generous Boulder business community for embracing me and sending me clients in need of an affordable website.