Thanks to West Company for this story!
Torrey Douglass designs websites under the name Lemon Fresh Design. And if your business is designing websites, your own website had better sparkle. That was a “no brainer” for Douglass, who studied digital design at S.F. State and worked in the fast-paced Bay Area dot com world before moving to Anderson Valley.
But Douglass soon found that it takes more than talent, training, and hard work to build a successful small business. “The business side was not my strength,” concedes Douglass, who turned to West Company’s Loyd Hambrick for help with her fledgling enterprise.
One of the first things Douglass learned from Hambrick was targeted marketing. “Not everyone on the planet needs a website,” Douglass explains. And even if a website may be a helpful tool for a small business, it has to fit the needs and products of that business.
As Douglass explains it on her own site: “Your ideal website is like your ideal dance partner: light on its feet, responsive to your needs, and easy on the eyes. It accommodates your idiosyncrasies. It behaves itself in different environments. It knows how to attract and keep the attention of its audience. It knows, in short, how to boogie.”
The Lemon Fresh Design philosophy also notes: “There are a lot of applications and interactive features out there. Some of them will be appropriate for your site, some of them won’t. We analyze your needs, match them with suitable online services, identify the appropriate technology, and build them accordingly. Ecommerce, online calendars, geo-locators and mapping services, and customer communications, such as blogs and newsletters, engage users and expand the functionality of your site beyond a simple digital brochure.”
This philosophy has helped Douglass garner a client base that ranges from the Apple Farm and the Boonville Hotel in Anderson Valley, to Wells Dental in Comptche and California Adult Schools. She even has clients as far away as Los Angeles and engages in what entrepreneurs call “income patching” by working on-call for Sonoma Technology, Inc.
Douglass says that the best piece of advice West Company’s Hambrick gave her was to “take appropriate business precautions, as in utilizing contracts with my programmers, and also to trust my instincts.” She is also grateful to West Company for recommending her to their other clients and to local businesses.
“It’s scary to be self-employed,“ says Douglass. “My goal is to provide top-notch graphic and web design services that hit a standard you would find at the best design firms in San Francisco. Business-wise, there are areas in which I am not strong but that are essential to creating a successful company. So when I hit a situation that’s got me stumped, it’s great to have Loyd and the West Company to turn to.”
Lemon Fresh Design is located on the top floor of Boonville’s Farrer Building, 14111 Highway 128, and can be reached at 272-8592 or firstname.lastname@example.org.