Founders’ Friday: Richie Knight, HW Production Company
Hi, Brandon here again. Today’s featured Friday founder is Richie Knight from HW Production. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to him about his company and why he loves what he does. Enjoy.
Founder: Richie Knight
Company: HW Production Company
BC: Tell me a little bit about your company:
RK: We are HW Production Company and we are a creative marketing and design firm based here in Athens. We service the small business community as well as a couple of larger out-of-state companies. We do everything from web design to videos, search engine optimization and print design. We offer full service creative marketing.
BC: Why should your target audience use your company instead of your competitors?
RK: Our target audience is small businesses so we have a unique advantage over our competitors in the area because everything we do is geared towards small business owners: our pricing structure, our customer service and our turnaround time is all geared towards small businesses.
BC: What have been some of your biggest challenges so far?
RK: Athens is a hard marketing town. Many businesses don’t understand how much marketing is really needed in a business, and how it is an investment and not just a monthly cost. So the biggest challenge has been trying to prove the benefits of our services in the local area.
BC: Where do you see your company in the next year?
RK: 2012 was a really great year for us; we tripled our client base so hopefully we can continue on that path. We are looking to build about 30 to 40 businesses in the area as a part of our monthly marketing plans. We also do some front-end design work for some larger companies outside of Georgia, so the plan is to stay on track with those as well. Everyday something presents itself to us so we will see what tomorrow brings.
BC: What is your biggest strength? Weakness?
RK: I’m a people person; I am really good at talking to a crowd or person and getting them to open up about their business and what their issues are and having them admit that so we can move forward. The biggest problem with business owners is that they do not want to admit they are having trouble and they need help.
My biggest weakness is that I have a problem saying no to people. So if someone asks if we can do something, of course I’m going to tell them yes whether we know how to do something or not. Then we find ourselves up at 5 a.m. learning how to do something new. That’s the beauty of what we do and we both love it, but I do have a problem saying no most of the time.
BC: What has been the high point in your journey of building your company?
RK: We secured a couple of big clients, bigger than we were used to, a couple of months ago. That was definitely a big pat on the back to be able to have some great residual income coming in. Also, just being able to see a business succeed is a wonderful feeling. We have helped one client for three years and to see where they are at now compared to where they were three years ago is amazing. They average around 2,000 hits a month now whereas they were averaging around 400 when we first started. To see that dramatic increase at the end of each month is always a pat on the back.
BC: What has been the low point in your journey of building your company?
RK: Losing clients is always difficult. I hate to lose a client no matter what the situation is. We put a lot of time into our clients so it is disappointing to see our partnership come to an end.
BC: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working?
RK: I love to cook, travel, go to concerts, and see movies but my partner Nicole and I are always working so we have to work around that.
BC: Is there any particular goal that you are looking to reach?
RK: I think that once we can build our staff to about 5 or 6 people we will have reached our goal. We always sought out to build a small creative marketing firm that services the communities surrounding Athens and some other bigger markets.
BC: What would you say to someone who is considering building their own company? Any advice?
RK: Do plenty of research, make sure you know your competitors, make sure you know that your customers exist, always sign a contract, make sure everything is in writing. Once you start covering those bases, things start rolling a little easier.
BC: Is there anything else you would like our audience to know about your company?
RK: We have great customer service and we love what we do. Nicole and I both enjoy helping small businesses in every capacity that we can. If we don’t know how to do something, we are going to figure it out or find someone who can. We love connecting small businesses.