The Web Communications Group was opened in July 2011 with the purpose of educating and bringing value to small business owners by providing professional-grade consulting and strategic planning services for their websites.
This vision was realized in some part. 2013 was a banner year for the company, bringing consulting and development services to over a dozen clients. The company also sat 5 interns from regional schools, to provide the students with an opportunity to learn a little of the “behind-the-scenes magic” of web development, the services industry, and running a small business. Finally, the Web Communications Group exceeded its revenue projections by 250%.
But there was something lacking. When I founded the company, I had a vision of bringing together collaborative groups of professionals on a per-project basis – kind of like an A Team of Web Design and Development – based on the needs of each client. This did not materialize. While I did have the opportunity to work with very talented and impressive people along the way, I had trouble getting an ad-hoc “team” to really gel. I anticipated doing more strategic consulting than I ended up doing, and also doing much, much less communications planning. While building and nurturing a web communications plan for a company’s web presence sounds nice, real-life demands dictate attention be paid to the apparently more immediate needs of basic website service and maintenance. Also, while the Web Communications Group satisfied a branding goal of portraying general and broad online communications services, the inverse was also true: it failed to speak to the specific web development needs of Pittsburgh-area businesses and non-profits who needed specific web maintenance and development work done.
And so, after much consulting, deliberating, and counseling, the Fort Pitt Web Shop was born. The Fort Pitt Web Shop’s goals include continuing the tradition of bringing in area-students for internships and assembling customized teams of talented web professionals for clients, but also focusing more on the blue collar, gritty details of a business’ website needs.
The intention is to focus on servicing Pittsburgh-area business websites as the utilities that they are. Sure, business websites need upgraded to “new models” from time to time, but businesses do not need a brand new website package every year, they do not want to chase the latest technology before understanding the consequences. They want their websites to help their business grow and satisfy the needs of their own customers. For that to happen, the site needs to be serviced and maintained, just like all the other utilities and tools that businesses deploy in the course of daily operations. And the Fort Pitt Web Shop is here to provide that help.
Thank you for the successes, lessons, and friendships developed over the past two and half years. I look forward to continuing them under this new shop, and to I look forward to continued successes together.