How Brandon Gottier grew his business from freelancer to agency with over 160 clients.
Brandon Gottier is the founder and owner of BDG Web Design, a web design agency in Reno, Nevada, specializing in web design and development, e-commerce solutions, mobile apps and systems integration. We spoke with Brandon about getting his start in design and development and transitioning from solo practitioner to running an agency.
"Statcounter is basically the pulse of our business. It's always the first tab on my browser"
Founder and Owner, BDG Web Design
Hailing from Washington state, Brandon originally moved to Nevada to play on the baseball team at the University of Nevada Reno. Inadvertently, he found himself taking a degree course in Business and Information Systems where he developed an interest in website design and development.
His first role after college was as a Systems Integration Engineer at a local hospital in Reno. During his time there, he started picking up website projects in the evenings and weekends to feed his passion for designing and building websites. As his client base grew, the move to full time to facilitate demand was inevitable.
BDG Web Design’s Portfolio (source: BDG Web Design)
BDG have since grown to a team of 4 with over 160 clients in the Reno area. Brandon’s time is split between sales, marketing and design, while his team of developers focus on making his visions a reality.
The design and business side of things was a little easier for me. My degree is not a computer science degree. It's actually in the business school, so my approach is to understand the business needs and then find a solution to fill them.
The guys that work with me are pretty much pure developers. They love sitting behind the screen and making awesome stuff work, so they're a really good complement to me and it's really made us shine and grow.
With approximately 30% of websites powered by Wordpress, there’s no doubt it’s a popular tool for web agencies looking to implement a content management system for their clients. But is it always the right tool for the job? More often than not, BDG custom build websites for their clients.
We don't think Wordpress is necessarily the best solution for everyone, but yet everyone tries to put their clients on that platform. We like to take a broader look at it, you know, where are you at now? Where do you want to be? In most cases Wordpress is not the answer for that. It's a great tool for what it does, but sometimes it's overkill, and sometimes it's not enough.
ProspectCNNCT Mobile App Project (source: BDG Web Design)
Mobile app development now makes up approximately 50% of BDG’s projects. Rather than employing the entirely different skill set required for native app development, they are harnessing the flexibility of hybrid apps to build on their existing development skills.
We're using a lot of Angular JS to build these. And then we have a tool that gives us access to native modules such as geolocation and calendars and the things that are native on the device.
Brandon has been using Statcounter since 2005 and now uses it to monitor just under 200 projects. The projects page is where he spends most of his time as it gives him a good high level overview of a large number of projects. Other popular sections with his clients are the recent activity feeds, exit links and visitor map.
Statcounter is basically the pulse of our business. It's always the first tab on my browser and I refresh it probably 40 to 50 times a day. It has always been my go-to. Google analytics has a lot of noise. It's powerful, but Statcounter makes it so much easier to make quick decisions.