I sat down with the one and only Ryan Boog, who is the CEO of Happy Dog Web Productions, to reminisce about 2013 and see where HDWP is headed in 2014.
How was 2013 for Happy Dog?
“2013 was a year of growing pains for us. HDWP had to get rid of some employees and hire other people. Luckily, this resulted in finding the best people for the job and for our company’s culture. We also lost some big clients, but gained other clients. So, there were a lot of ups and downs. However, we did reach our financial goal for the year. We also really got our structures down and processes refined.”
What were some monumental events for Happy Dog in 2013?
“Bringing another developer (Joe) and an account director (Jon) to the team was huge. The account director allowed us to have someone who was always available to our clients. We also went to the Joomla World Conference in Boston. I was able to take some key staff and it was really exciting. We all learned a ton of new things and created some good friendships with other businesses.”
What are some upcoming events for Happy Dog?
“There’s talk about co-hosting our very own Joomla Day Minnesota. We will also be attending Joomla Day in Boston, and the Joomla World Conference. We also have plans to have more of a presence at digital marketing events in 2014.”
What was the greatest thing you learned last year?
“I learned a lot. One of the biggest things I learned was to manage expectations, over-communicate, and keep things laid out in writing for the client. Having a defined process for our clients was huge.”
What drives your company year after year?
“Our company’s culture is defined as fun and effective (and Chipotle). We like to have fun around here. Creating customized websites requires a lot of hard work. But, I believe you have to have fun. So I don’t mind pranks, trying out new spots for lunch, and playing music to keep things lively. I don’t want my employees to dread coming to work. This fun and effective culture make my staff enjoy working, which results in top-notch service for our clients. My top priority is to keep everyone happy.”
What has made Happy Dog stand out in 2013?
“We believe the internet can change people’s lives if done right. So we don’t slap on some crappy template on a site, we craft a design specifically for the customer. That definitely sets us apart from our competitors. I also encourage my staff to stay up to date with what’s happening in their industry. That way they are aware of the latest technology. Our dedication to go above and beyond for our customers really makes us stand out.”
Okay now for the big question, where is HDWP headed in 2014?
“The Happy Dog family is blazing the trails as an upcoming web firm. Happy Dog is going to continue to grow. We have plans to increase staffing to keep up with the increase in business. We’re doing something right! We are growing, but a big focus is to make sure our current clients don’t get lost in the shuffle, so we have some client communication strategies and benefits that allow us to grow with our clients in mind.”
Lastly, what is the best part of your job?
“There are a lot of great parts! One thing that is overly satisfying is getting the final testimonial from a client and hearing you went beyond their expectations. We’ve seen clients cry and jump (literally) with excitement from seeing their new site. It is experiences like that, where I can smile the whole way going home, that makes this job so rewarding.”