Business

Clinton duo build Web sites from the ground up

Ryan Binford and Richard Fagan make up Richard Consulting, a new South End Web site design company that caters to small businesses and people without a strong Internet presence. - Spencer Webster
Ryan Binford and Richard Fagan make up Richard Consulting, a new South End Web site design company that caters to small businesses and people without a strong Internet presence.
— image credit: Spencer Webster

CLINTON — There is a new company in the South End that is looking for people and businesses who want to make a bigger splash on the Web.

With more than 150 million Web sites already in existence, it’s easy to see why. Richard Consulting, a Clinton Web site design and online presence business, aims to help its customers be seen past all the flotsam.

The company consists of Richard Fagan and Ryan Binford, a duo that first met when they both worked in the same office at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders Inc. in late 2005.

The following year, Fagan noticed the large number of calls Binford was getting from family and friends who needed his expertise with Web site design. So later that year, they decided to form a company, at least unofficially, Binford said.

The two began working together during their off hours, gathering clients and getting experience in both the design and business sides of the house.

While Binford worked the design aspects for clients, Fagan worked on project administration.

“My background is in the telecom data business, cellphones and data and multimedia; a lot of product development,” Fagan said. “When I saw what Ryan could do, it was a natural fit.”

And the clients came knocking.

“After a few months, we were getting more business by word of mouth,” Fagan said.

Binford decided that if the business was to succeed, he’d need more education, so he began attending classes in information technology administrative management.

As luck would have it, Nichols Brothers laid him off, which allowed him more time to spend on classes at Edmonds Community College and working with clients.

“I was learning the business end of the tech world,” Binford said.

Binford, 26, was born in Coupeville and raised in Clinton. When he was a junior at South Whidbey High School, he discovered computers.

“Since junior year at South Whidbey High School, I picked up on computers. I started to learn computer software. The family and friends gave me Web site projects. Richard said we could turn this into a business. It feels good. I never pictured myself working for myself.”

In November 2007, Nichols Brothers laid Fagan off and for the two, this became a jumping off point. They took their business to the Uniquely Whidbey Business Expo and got a lot of positive response, Fagan said.

Fagan and Binford offer their clients an affordable assortment of services including Web site design, hosting, maintenance and Internet presence.

They also build customer relationships, Fagan said.

“I am the low-tech person of the team,” he said. “I make sure the product meets what the customer asked for; and using technology, bringing that to life. I like working with people.”

Each new client presents unique issues and elements that the team must overcome, Fagan said.

“No two projects are the same and there is always a new challenge,” he said. “It certainly is not a boring day.”

Fagan, 46, and Binford have found they enjoy working with customers who do not have preconceived notions about what a Web site should be.

“Our mission is to work with small businesses or startups that don’t have a Web page, or one that is not fresh or updated,” Fagan said. “When we work with a new client, we are also learning from them. We get to live vicariously through our clients.”

The duo also concentrates a lot of their energy on Whidbey Island clients to maintain a closer client relationship, Fagan said.

“Because of cost and time involved in this enterprise, we’re very responsive toward our clients,” he said. “The fact that we are local is important, because we’re going to see people in the grocery store. Word of mouth and reputation is everything.”

One of the first local clients the company helped liked the service he got from Fagan and Binford.

“They did everything but the written part,” said Michael Nichols, owner of Whidbey Green Goods.

“They do good work. I gave them a general idea and they ran with it. I was absolutely delighted. It doesn’t look like a mom and pop site,” he said.

For more information about Richard Consulting, see their Website at www.rcbizdev.com or call Fagan at 320-0777.

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