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Latest Project: Mutual Fund Website Design for Bandon

Latest Project: Mutual Fund Website Design for Bandon

UPDATE:

Bandon Capital Management was acquired by Logan Circle Partners in late 2014. The beautiful website we spent months building was unceremoniously retired as part of the transaction.

Mutual Fund website design made easy

Mutual Fund Website Design for BandonPublicly communicating anything in the investment world is difficult to do (but we know how to do it, more here), and creating a website that is both informative  and visually stimulating the primary objective for our client.  Bandon Capital Management is a pioneer in the investment (absolute return long – short bonds if you are wondering) world and they’ve taken that same approach to their website design. Eschewing stock photos and cliche images of old men in suits, they opted for a design that was fresh, modern, and full of custom graphics and images.

A few details

In addition to good design, they had a few other requirements to make their website compliant with FINRA.  One of those was the ability to make certain content only accessible to financial professionals, but still be easy to use and maintain.  To accomplish this we customized a lightweight membership plugin to keep it simple, yet still do the job. The other was a separate section for BandonFunds.com that used the same data base, but didn’t run afoul of the regulators (how we accomplished that was a challenge!)

Another interesting add on was a quiz to test visitors knowledge of Long – Short debt.  It’s a fun and clever way to help educate people on what they do without being boring. A nice little add on is the ability to share results with your friends (or not if you didn’t do so well).  Take the Long – Short Challenge.

Great clients make great projects

All in all it was a great project to work on.  The team at Bandon is very knowledgeable, yet they allowed us to use our expertise to help communicate their message.   We look forward to continuing our relationship as we move into an ongoing marketing role where we’ll help create content and continue to broadcast their message with the goal of attracting more investors in the fund.  (If you are worried about the possibility of rising interest rates, give them a call or tell your broker to look at BANIX)

What do you think?

Websites That Cost Nothing & Baking Pies

Websites That Cost Nothing & Baking Pies

What do you do?

Part of what we do at Workshed is help our clients distill their value to potential customers into bite-sized chunks that are easily understood. It’s a lot easier to do for other people than it has been for our own business. In truth, we do a bunch of different things that are all intended to do one main thing – make you more money (not in the Ebenezer Scrooge sense, but in a healthy, sustainable sense). Communicating that succinctly has been challenging.

In nearly all of our initial meetings, the question of the cost comes up. While this is perfectly normal question, it’s not very helpful in making a decision about retaining our services. In reality, we perform our services and build websites that cost nothing. No, we don’t work for free, but the additional revenue and cost savings we create more than pays for what we charge.

Enter the analogy

Imagine the revenue of your business as a delicious pie (or a pie chart if you have no imagination). To explore the cost issue in this scenario, we’d essentially be asking you to give us a slice of pie. For some businesses, $5-10k might be a significant chunk of that pie, and with pie being so delicious, they don’t want to share. We understand your aversion to pie sharing in this situation…we are businesses owner too and have been asked to share our pie many times. That’s why we became bakers.A slice of pie

Rather than ask for a piece of your existing pie, we help you bake a bigger one. A pie large enough to give us a slice and still have more leftover than the pie you started with.Pie is like the sales of your business

We bake bigger pies

What’s our recipe? Simple, we focus on the result rather than just one or two ingredients like the flour or baking soda (which are not delicious on their own). We combine our ingredients (websites, design, photography, marketing, social media, video production) to bake a delicious pie for your customers.

Now you know what we do.  Anyone hungry?

Order a Pie

Day 22: A New Mission

Day 22: A New Mission

A Little History

For those of you unfamiliar with my (Joe’s) other life, I’ve spent the last 12 years (until Tuesday that is) as an investment adviser helping clients prepare for and maintain their retirement.  While researching investments, I had the opportunity to acquire knowledge about a wide range of topics from a diverse mix of sources. Initially the focus was specific companies, then it expanded and I began to look at entire industries, and ultimately the economy as a whole.  Along the way, I started sense that something was missing; an important piece to the puzzle that was being ignored.

That missing piece was and is local investing.

The Key

Most of the reasons for local investing are beyond the scope of this post, but one important factor is the re-circulation (or local multiplier) rate. The re-circulation rate is one measurement used to determine how long money stays in a community (and gets reused over and over); since the turn of the century it’s fallen from 25-30, to less than 10.  A declining rate is like ajr slowly leaking from a tire, if not fixed it goes flat.  With a city or town, it’s how they lose their vibrancy.  Reversing that trend is why I decided to leave my primary profession and why I bought Workshed with Brian.

How Will That Help?

You might be wondering how a website/ marketing company can help fix the economy.  By working with local businesses and entrepreneurs directly (at Workshed) we are able to see first hand what is working, what is missing, and what’s needed to operate a sustainable (as in earning enough money to stay in business) business. Access to capital is part of that equation, but so is access to the knowledge, wisdom, and experience of others. With every project, we learn a little more about how to make that happen and can share it with past and future clients. So far, we’ve achieved modest success with the client’s we’ve worked with, and our work is positively contributing to their sales!

If you need help with something business related give us a call, we don’t have all the answers, but so far we haven’t been stumped.

But Wait There is More!

And another thing, don’t let cost be an issue. We won’t do a project if we don’t think it will generate a positive return for our clients and we are willing to offer payment arrangement to accommodate most budgets.

GIVE US A CALL

Day 6: Nine Talks That Will Change You

Day 6: Nine Talks That Will Change You

The most amazing thing about the internet is the access it gives us to people and information. From my office in Washougal, Washington, I can listen to some of the smartest people on the planet share their stories. I can engage with people I’ve never met and access an almost unlimited amount of information.

Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders ProgramOf the endless possibilities, one of my favorite resources is the Stanford University Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series. Since 2005, I’ve listened to their weekly podcast (while school is in session) and am consistently impressed by the diversity and quality of speakers they are able to attract. One week it could be the CEO of an up and coming tech company, and then be followed by the leader of a non-profit fund. Past speakers include people like Mark Zuckerberg in 2007 (back when it was still called ‘The Facebook’ and they had just launched their photo sharing feature), Steve Young (the former San Francisco 49’s quarterback), Evan Williams (the co-founder of Twitter…before he co-founded Twitter), and William McDonough (Architect, author, and one of Time Magazine’s ‘Hero for the Planet’), among many others.

Over the years, I’ve listened to countless hours of brilliant insight because of this series; I’ve listened to talks while running, on the way to work, road trips, and in lieu of television or radio.

Interestingly, the podcasts I’ve enjoyed the least (you can still learn something) have been from venture capitalists, politicians, and really ‘successful’ CEO’s. There’s something off-putting (to me) about a canned speech or those lacking authenticity. My favorite talks were by the speakers who revealed their shortcomings and how they learned from adversity; the ones that offered experience and thought process over instruction.

At the risk of excluding many worthy talks, in no particular order I offer nine of my favorite talks for your consideration. Give them a listen and let me know what you think.

william mcdonough

William Mcdonough

jensen huang

Jensen Huang

guy kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki

tom kelley

Tom Kelly

Jack Dorsey

Jack Dorsey

David Heinemeier Hansson

DHH

shia agassi

Shai Agassi

vinod khosla

Vinod Khosla

tim o reilly

Tim O’Reilly



I’m looking forward to upcoming talk by Sal Khan and learning more about what he’s doing at the Khan Academy, where their mission is to provide a world-class education for anyone anywhere.

Where do you like to go for information?

Why did I get into this business?  Day 3 Hubspot Blog Fitness Challenge

Why did I get into this business? Day 3 Hubspot Blog Fitness Challenge

You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
You may find yourself in another part of the world
You may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife
You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?
-Once in a lifetime, Talking Heads

I had been in the homebuilding and remodeling business for nearly 20 years prior to taking over Workshed.  I had the wonderful opportunity to grow from a kid working as a laborer to the CEO (I use that term reluctantly) of a four million dollar a year business employing designers, project managers, carpenters and office staff.  We were pretty successful- winning awards while building a portfolio full of really cool projects.  We had a great reputation and a long list of happy clients.

craftsman home

One of the cool homes I built

Through this experience, I found that what I really loved was creating the processes that allowed my talented team to do what they do- design and build at a high level.  Putting a solid structure in place helped them work together seamlessly which resulted in happier employees, happier clients and smoother projects.

Then, as we all know, the market cratered.  There weren’t enough projects to keep my team busy so we had to let them go.  It sucked.  It really sucked.  All that hard work seemed to be for nothing.

I began to think about pursuing something new where I could apply my passion for process and working with creative folks.

Which brings us to Workshed.

Joe and I had wanted to work together for several years and were looking for the right fit.  When we heard that Workshed was available we were immediately intrigued.  Both of us believe passionately in building a strong local economy (which requires healthy local businesses) and love solving problems.  We felt that we understood the needs of the small businesses that Workshed serves and that we could have a positive impact- so we took the plunge.

Some people may wonder what a “construction guy” is doing with a website company.  Well, I’m not really a construction guy and Workshed isn’t just a website company.   My true passion is improving businesses and that is the mission of Workshed v2.0.  We aim to build a great company that helps other folks build great companies.  Building websites is one component of what we do to help businesses, but it’s an outcome of the process of solving a problem, not an end in itself.

My goal is to apply my hard-earned knowledge and skills to help my clients solve problems.  It’s what drives me to work at expanding my capabilities into new territories (like how to build an effective website that generates a positive ROI).  By working with the brave entrepreneurs who accept the risk of starting a business, I’ve found the perfect avenue for having a positive impact on my community and I’m helping to make the world a better place.

That’s why I got into this business.