We're Ten Years Old!
Shortly after we started the company in 2002, Tim met with a Small Business Administration advisor to get some insight and advice. Tim gave an overview of our meager assets, explained that he had partnered with his brother, Josh, and that we were operating out of the house we were living in at the time. The SBA advisor stared blankly back and said, "You work with your brother out of your home, your only assets are a few computers, and you build websites? You might as well go ahead and close up shop now." Well SBA guy, it's 10 years later and we're still going strong so thanks for nothing.
Over the years we've had a lot of those wonderful little moments that make us question our business, how we work, and why we're even doing it. Admittedly some of it may have been deserved. When we started the company Tim literally lived in his mother's basement for a few months -- web developer cliché number one. Friends used to call or stop by in the middle of the day because we didn't have "real jobs" and it was highly likely that we were taking off early to drink beer on the patio. But other issues were much more serious, like the SBA telling us we were going to fail so there was no use in trying, or banks routinely denying loan applications because the web industry was too volatile. No wonder so many small business don't make it past the first year.
Ultimately, proving the clichés wrong and growing the business with little or no guidance or financial support made the company stronger, and we've had some great successes to show for it. Our work has earned us awards from our peers and coverage in the media. In 2006 we rebranded the company from Segars Communications to Elemental Blend to create a more contemporary brand and company culture. Then in 2009 we packed up and relocated the business to Austin, TX. There is also a long list of growth successes, like 50% yearly growth rates for most years of business, and huge advances in our technology and service offerings. But the awards, press, and internal successes pale in comparison to our greatest achievement so far: We are ten years old!
According to the SBA only 34% of new business survive 10 years, and other reports suggest new internet businesses only have a 5% success rate within the first year. Here's to beating the odds! With that kind of luck we might as well take all of our earnings over the past decade and head to Vegas. Fortunately for the business, we don't believe it was luck. Careful planning, lots of continued education, and always focusing on making and keeping happy clients has taken most of the risk out of running the business. We know the formula works so we could sit back, relax, and continue business as usual for the next 10 years; but we've set the bar pretty high for ourselves and aren't about to back down now.
2012 is more than just the start of another decade for Elemental Blend. We plan to explore new opportunities, offer new services, and even add some new faces to the team. Only this time we aren't unexperienced kids asking the SBA for advice and hitting up family, friends, and acquaintances for work. Now we have over 100 past and present clients in our network, 10 more years of education and experience under our belts, and a business model that has survived the test of time. So here's to 2022 and all the achievements another 10 years will bring.
Thanks for being a part of our success!
Elemental Blend staff past and present at 10yr anniversary party. Left to right: Josh Segars, Andrew Anaruk, Tim Segars, Brandon Burkett, Katie Ranft, Daniel Cleveland, Stephen Segraves.