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Founders

Company

Web Savvy Marketing

1873 Cheshire Lane
Commerce Township, MI 48382

Rebecca Gill

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
My college degree was from Central Michigan University and I majored in accounting. While I never truly went the accounting route, the concepts greatly helped in launching my own firm. Having a decade of experience in sales and marketing helped me immensely. Without realizing it, I was always marketing and selling myself which helped bring in prospects and clients.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
My first client was a Colorado company that had a relationship with me from my old industry and company. The president of this firm actually reached out to me via LinkedIn. He saw my LinkedIn activity and knew I had launched my own consulting firm, so when he needed services that related to my business, I was the first person he called. He then referred me to others, and in all I've received five projects and one pending proposal from another client. I have had presidents from two other firms make the same referral.

Where did you find your first employee?
I use 1099 employees so I can keep costs low and find the best talent available. In my industry, the best talent wants to stay freelance and I allow them to do so while still providing them with a constant stream of work. This process gives me an excellent source of highly qualified designers and coders to help augment my firm's capabilities. Since I am using freelancers, I have found them via existing industry relationships.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
Not as of yet, although an intern program is something I would like to pursue in the future. I've used interns in the past and found the program to be excellent.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
Web Savvy Marketing is entirely self-funded. My husband and I funded the start-up ourselves and then dipped into our 401k accounts when growth was needed. If we believed in the company and the company's ability to grow and succeed, then we needed to use our own resources for funding. We have considered a credit line, but we have decided not to go down this path until absolutely necessary. So far we have been blessed and we've only had to pull from our retirement accounts when rapid growth was needed.

What is one thing Michigan does better or has going for it that other more successful regional economies don't?
We are hardworking and educated people that are underestimated by those outside of Michigan. I've hired stay-at-home moms who are returning to the workforce and it is absolutely a win-win. They are educated, eager to learn, and excited about the Internet marketing industry and what it offers. I took a chance with them and they are excellent employees in return.

It's often said that Metro Detroit and Michigan need to reinvent their economies to be competitive. Are we making those changes, and if so are we making enough of them or doing it fast enough?
I answered this question for Detroit2020 in their launch episode. Michigan and Metro Detroit is changing and we are moving away from the automotive stigmatism that we've been branded with for so long. Our growth and our future depends on our ability to seek a diverse set of industries and to retrain our professionals for skills outside that of auto OEM's or tier suppliers. For three years, I worked for a tier-I automotive supplier, but that is not who I am. I am an entrepreneur who is self-taught in her trade and has succeeded through hard work, dedication, and a keen ability to adapt quickly. There are many like me in the state of Michigan and we are just getting started. I am trying to do my part by training my employees and giving them knowledge in an industry that can be sold and serviced anywhere within the United States.

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