We all know how these things go, last September I had left my full-time job, started Todd Townsend Digital Creator, LLC, acquired some new skills and polished up some old ones. In addition, I headed back to the boatyard in North Carolina where my home and office, a twenty nine foot sailboat, was waiting to be launched again. I even thought that I might be in the water by Halloween last year. And, I expected that the ecommerce website that I was developing for my first client would soon be live. It is long past time for me to offer an introduction.
The last big boat project was swapping the tired diesel engine for a new-to-me one. The details are not important to this blog, but it was the first week of December before the boat was actually launched. By then, I had to race southward to escape the winter weather that was closing in. Along the way, I got caught in Savannah anyway during the freezing winter storm around Christmas. And my client’s business was humming along so successfully on word-of-mouth that we struggled to gather her content and get it onto the pages of her site. We also changed some things as I got to know her business a little better, but that is for my next post.
First, I’d like to introduce myself and talk about how I am uniquely qualified to develop your digital presence.
I have a very broad business background. I began my career, or the first one, as a sales engineer designing and selling returnable packaging in the supplier tier of Detroit’s automotive industry. I had the privilege to have had a bottom up training in the plastics process called thermoforming; some of you might know it as vacuum-forming. Soon I was recruited by a company in that business that manufactured component parts rather than packaging. A short while later, I started a business with a partner manufacturing similar component parts on a machine that we had built ourselves. In 1991, way before it was cool, we were developing products to be made out of recycled plastics. I was the sales side of the partnership and it was during that time that I first got into marketing, marketing materials, and strategies.
After a short stint baking bread and straightening out the night shift production schedule for a friend-of-the-family’s bakery, I took another swing through the plastics business and built a thermoforming department from scratch for an automotive accessory company. There I ended up the Plant Manager overseeing the production of stamped metal running boards, fiberglass running boards, and a variety of related plastic parts.
A second career blossomed when I ended up in the wood business. I went to work in customer service for a large plywood distributor in Northern Indiana. When that company bought a wood moulding company, I was sent there to transition their business systems to match the parent company’s and run the office. I was second-in-command at the plant which employed around 100 people. There, I also got into the engineering and design of parts for recreational vehicles; campers and motor homes. One of our most successful product introductions resulted in a major increase in sales at that division. My name and that of a couple coworkers are on a patent the company secured for an RV slide-out trim system that I helped to develop.
I had always been a bit of a computer geek and was able to employ some of my nerdy skills at the wood plant. We were eight miles away from the parent company and the IT Department soon found out that I had more than enough computer knowledge to help them with the computer network, the phone system, and with training people at my location. I also helped to train the parent company’s sales force in the nature of the new business which was all types of mouldings, such as crown and wainscoting, scaled down to fit in an RV rather than a home. Another of my major projects was hand-coding a digital catalog out of HTML, which the salespeople could hand out as CD-ROMs, introducing our customers to the the breadth of the new line of business.
My job descriptions were never officially computer or web related, but I have been involved in marketing, ad layouts, strategies, websites, ecommerce, and business processes since even before email and the web had transformed the business world. I can speak to you about your business practices on a deeper level than many who are simply building websites. Working together we can create a digital presence for your business that dovetails with what you are doing now. We will enhance your business with a custom built website and other tools that fit your current practices rather than trying to change what you do to fit some simple template.