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Community Highlights: Meet Brent Feldman of Matchbox Design Group

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brent Feldman.

Hi Brent, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Cullen Whitmore, my business partner, and I met through our girlfriends at the time when I was going to Webster University. We had shared talents in web design and development and started chatting about a project I was working on called Easy College Meals. I graduated from Webster and started working in a marketing job when he and I started talking about starting an agency. Cullen was working in the architecture field and had some freelance clients that we did some work for. About 10 months into my first professional job, I left to run Matchbox full time.

It’s been a building process over the past 16 years. We’ve steadily grown our client base, revenue and service set.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I must say, we’re super fortunate. No, not everything has been smooth but we’ve been really lucky to have great team members and great clients. We’ve also managed to pivot quite a bit over the time we’ve been in business.

We’ve learned some lessons for sure:

1) Don’t put all your eggs in one basket: We had a client that made up about 50% of our revenue for a couple years and nearly sank us when they went away. That was really tough.

2) Find ways to generate recurring revenue: Working project by project is great, they are all new different and interesting but clients are hard to earn. When you can help out a client consistently for a long period of time, generating value for both sides (you and the client) it works out well. Our hosting, maintenance and support and SEO is more than half of our revenue every year.

3) Take care of your people: Having a good culture to make sure you’re not in a continuous cycle of rehiring is so important. Your talent is really what keeps the business moving and you have to make sure they feel great about working there.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Matchbox Design Group is a digital marketing agency that specializes in web design, web development, web app development and SEO. We love making things for the web and helping optimize them so they can be found.

We are different from other agencies because we are more technical than just a firm that makes marketing sites. We can tie into ERP systems, make custom web software to streamline business processes and have deep knowledge about accessibility remediation. Sure, we absolutely love to make beautiful sites with great UX but we can do so much more.

Our team has had truly unique experience for a group our size. We’ve been trained by Automattic (makers of WordPress) on how to code for their platform. We’ve help fix software for the federal government to be WCAG 2.1 AAA compliant. We’ve designed software for Fortune 100 companies. I’m really proud of some of the amazing things our team has taken on and accomplished.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
I’m lucky enough to get to do things that I love for a living and I can owe some of that to really having the exposure to it as a child.

I can remember how excited I was to be using some of the same software tools as a kid to create things and this was and is still a theme for me. Making logos for my band in middle school, building simple applications in Visual Basic, building a website for Easy College Meals, these creative executions were always a joy.

Still now I love to create and am helping to instill that same sense of joy in my kids too. Using simple stuff to make videos for a YouTube channel or playing music. It’s something that I don’t think I’ll ever stop craving to create things – at least I hope I don’t!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Rachel Jurina

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