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3.7 Designs grows via word-of-mouth referrals, adds new partner

The plan wasn't to give Declan O'Neill a piece of the business when he started working at 3.7 Designs, but that's what ended up happening as the company grew. The young professional got his start doing side project work for the Ann Arbor-based web development firm in 2011. Today he is a full-fledged parter at 3.7 Designs.

"He started out working for us part-time," says Ross Johnson, CEO of 3.7 Designs. "He was a stay-at-home dad who helped us with sales and other projects."

That role evolved into a managerial one, handling projects for the company. Today he helps oversee the firm's staff of nearly a half dozen folks, including a recently hired software developer and another developer opening that is about to be filled. "He has proven himself very valuable," Johnson says.

3.7 Designs got its start 10 years ago building digital presences for local companies. Today it has established itself as a staple in Ann Arbor’s tech community. It handles a variety of projects for some big local names, such as the University of Michigan. That has allowed it to grow its bottom line with more interesting work.

"It has proven to be a really great mutually beneficial relationship (with U-M)," Johnson says.

3.7 Designs also has been working on growing its Panorama software. The platform specializes in project management. Sales of it have grown 25 percent over the last year with word-of-mouth referrals. Johnson plans to grow those numbers even more this year with more targeted marketing.

"We do little marketing for it," Johnson says. "It's mainly just people who come to us looking to grow that we recommend use it."

Source: Ross Johnson, CEO of 3.7 Designs
Writer: Jon Zemke
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  • 3.7 Designs
    306 South Main
    Suite LLA
    Ann Arbor, MI 48104 Website
    3.7 DESIGNS is a strategic creative company based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan. We believe that the strategy of your marketing is just as important as the right look and feel.