| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter

Founders

Company

Gravy Network

23650 Woodward Ave
Suite 101
Pleasant Ridge, MI 48069

Zachary Ball

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
I haven't participated in any specific programs other than real world experience. I have been managing employees for more than six years and have been working for myself since 1998. I have read many books on managing, operating and developing business in general. This is on top of the (literally) hundreds of books on furthering my development skills. I'm not necessarily a book worm, but find that reading a book at my own pace in a setting that's conducive to learning is much better for me personally than a where or you find them?

Who was your first customer?
This goes way back. In 1998, my landlord at the time owned a communications company (cell phones, satellites, misc electronics including beepers!) It was a conversation at my apartment that turned into my first gig. It was a full website design and build of all their products. We were paid with a Dish TV installation and a beeper. At the time it seemed like a great deal. My brother and I spent over 80 hours on it and built the entire thing in Flash. This was well before full Flash sites were common place. It was actually a really cool site for its time. But ultimate not worth the pay employee?

Where did you find your first customer?
My first employee ever (not for Gravy Network but in my career as an entrepreneur) was the son of a secretary of one of the investors of a company I was part of for three years. Currently he is working with us today.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
We have never had the opportunity to do so. The interns that we have had (three in total throughout my entire career) took positions at other companies by the time the work load increased enough to justify hiring. We actually have in intern now that hopefully will turn into a full-time upon graduation.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
Gravy has not needed capital to grow as of date. The founding partners have provided an immense amount of sweat equity, have financed operations via billable goods and cash flow

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about opening a business here?
Don’t be afraid to know where the next check is coming from. There is no such thing as job security no matter where or who you work for. Taking control of your future will be the most gratifying thing you will ever do for your career. Most importantly work with the SBA. The resources and help they have to offer are priceless when starting out.

What do you see in Metro Detroit that other people who live outside the area don't?
Detroit is a great place to live and work. There are opportunities everywhere you go in this town. Detroit is alive with innovative people and hard workers. Also, it’s more than just the auto industry here, although I will say that it is a big part of it. For us about 50% of our workload is non-automotive related. It just a great place to be.

Signup for Email Alerts