Isn’t it funny how we so often watch from the sidelines, never telling someone that we admire their accomplishments? Or to really break it down into a common example…how we may think in our head that we just LOVE someone’s hair, but we don’t offer out a compliment? I’ve tried to be more vocal, you never know when someone may need to hear a bit of praise or encouragement! It’s why I reached out to Stephanie Reid, President of Kingston Webworks, a company who knows nothing about sitting on the sidelines. Not only do I envy her hair (I mean come on, she’s got some gorgeous tresses!), but her accomplishments have held my attention for quite some time now. She is motivated, and you can tell that this motivation comes from an authentic drive that comes right from her heart. I wanted to feature her company because I truly believe that many from the Arrow It Forward community could highly benefit from a relationship with Kingston Webworks. In talking with the women entrepreneurs I have featured on the blog, I know there are aspects of their business they would love to hand over to the experts! I love putting people together, and my hope is that someone will read this feature and then reach out to Stephanie and her amazing team, feeling confident that they will be in good hands.
What can Kingston Webworks do for a business just starting to emerge on the scene or a pursuit that has plateaued?
As a new business or a business that feels like they’re hitting a plateau, fully taking advantage of the online world is a must. Businesses should never feel like they are hitting a plateau. There is so much opportunity. If they are finding themselves here, they need to get re-inspired and we can help with this! When online marketing is done wrong, it can cost a business a lot of time and a lot of wasted dollars. We’ve got a team of marketers, social media experts, Google certified reps that handle strictly search engine strategies and even an offline marketing team that can make the brand flow seamlessly all the way through. If you are a new business or a business looking for ideas, I invite you out to our free workshops. The first step in taking your business to a new level is learning what is available out there. We love to help local businesses grow because Kingston needs successful businesses. If you just want to attend the workshops, come on down. If you want to build a partnership and get your business moving in the right direction, we’re your team!
In starting this journey, what was one thing that was a source of fear? How did you overcome it?
I had the experience with customer service and working with clients to meet their online needs, however starting up a brand new business was scary. I had a small team to get things going. I had to learn a sales role. I cannot believe how far I have come. You need to trust that when you genuinely care and are passionate about what you do, it comes easy! Putting myself out there in a new role made me vulnerable at times and scared, but taking the risk was so worth it. I’ve learned in business you have to take big risks to reap the rewards. Deploying a new business is never easy but it’s something that if you want it bad enough you have to stick with it.
Tell us about the creation of the Kingston Webworks team!
Our team is the best! For several years we had been asked from people in the community if we would do a website for them given our expertise in the death care industry. Up until about 7 months ago we were solely focused on the death care industry. For 20+ years, we’ve helped more than 2,500 funeral homes with their website, technology, and marketing all over North America and to be honest, it was the right time with me returning from maternity leave for us to start doing what we love to do right here in Kingston. Even our workshop sessions are backed by experience. Our Marketing Director has been a professional speaker at more than 50 state and national association events across North America teaching all sorts of marketing techniques to small businesses. We have grown locally here to a team of marketers, website designers, developers and so much more, it’s neat to see how quickly this all came to life.
How do you balance being a mom (of twins no less!) and a forward thinking business woman?
Well I definitely miss my sleep! I’m not going to lie, it’s hard work but at the end of the day, you just do what you have to do. If you’re motivated enough then the drive comes easy. I have always been dedicated to my job and working long hours has always come with that. It’s just a matter of restructuring my day. I work during the day, go home to my family, and when the girls go to bed I work. There are times I need to work during family time and am grateful I have a supporting husband that understands my job.
Are you more of a slow planner or high energy doer?
I’ve always been the kind of girl that needs structure and process, however Kingston Webworks has thrown me for a loop as some days I fly by the seat of my pants and nothing goes as planned…. and that’s ok! It’s what I do and wouldn’t change it for the world.
Do you ever think about what you wanted to be when you grew up? Do you feel you can see elements of that in what you do?
I had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up. Growing up in a family-run funeral home, I’m sure there was the hope I would work there too. That is something I definitely was not interested in (sorry Dad). I carried onto nursing and after 1.5 years it just wasn’t something I saw for my future. My father had started a technology company, called FrontRunner Professional, for the funeral industry and had been hoping I would join. Eventually I did and loved it! I got a lot of experience doing different things and feel so fortunate that I was able to be a part of something big. I’ve watched it grow tremendously and couldn’t be more proud of where it is today. After 12 years of working alongside my father, and many other family members, I decided to take my knowledge and work into the local market. At the end of the day, a funeral home is no different than any other business. I do the same job, minus the sales component being new, but focus on businesses outside of the funeral industry.
In relation to the work you do, and thinking back over the past month, when did you smile the biggest?
We have an event called #MyYGK Mixer coming up. It’s to bring business owners and community leaders together to celebrate the success of Kingston. We do it every year. When we sat down to start strategizing for this it made me realize how far we have come in such a short time. We have been a part of so many events and been fortunate enough to meet so many great people. The new relationships that have been built are truly amazing. We just recently received notification that we are one of the top three companies in Kingston for Web design. I couldn’t believe it. I mean I can, I have a team that does great things, but how when we are so new? I seriously love my job, love the people I work with and just smile knowing I get to do this every single day.
What works best for you when you need to recharge?
To be honest, I never feel I need a recharge from my job. As you know, I have 2.5 year old twins. They make me run for my money! What makes me recharge is going away with my husband, which I rarely get to do, but when I can, I come back refreshed and back to my old self. We are going to Vegas in one week and cannot wait!
Often entrepreneurs try to do, quite simply EVERYTHING. Explain the value in letting Kingston Webworks take on tasks that let your client focus on what truly drives them.
In one word: SAVINGS. When someone tries to be great at everything, all the little pieces tend to be done with only half the effort and many things fail. When you add technology, websites, social media, ranking in Google and the list goes on and on for what businesses HAVE to do today to grow, it gets a bit overwhelming. Most business owners don’t know the first thing about these areas. Building a website, having that website rank high for the amount of searches that happen each day in Google, even having a successful social media strategy that actually brings you business; all of these things not only take work, but a ton of expertise. Our team is a Google Certified Partner. We’ve built thousands of websites. We have to complete extensive social media training and more every single day. If an entrepreneur really wants to grow and look back in a year and say holy, we did well, then invest in your future and hire the experts. Don’t waste your time or money only to be frustrated that it is not working. We see it all of the time! Give us a call and we will build a strategy around your goals and do everything in our power to get you where you want to be. We might even see opportunities you didn’t even think of!
Reach out to Kingston Webworks, meet with them, talk about the services they can provide that are custom-suited to your business needs. Maybe you are reading this feature at the exact time when you feel overwhelmed and know you need help. Or maybe you want to have things executed perfectly right from the start. Regardless of your current situation, Stephanie and all of Kingston Webworks are passionate about making sure your passion stays viable and relevant. I know us entrepreneurs tend to have a do-it-all controlling personality, but it’s so often the best choice to get some much needed help.