Chamber membership critical to business
Most of the business Chris Nastav, KC Web Specialists, receives is through personal relationships and referrals. He says his participation in the chamber provides an opportunity for both of those, plus credibility.
“Being a part of an organization like the chamber adds a huge amount of credibility to our work,” Chris said. “That’s always the great thing about the chamber is that it lets people know that we exist and it might lead to work. People do business with people they know and trust.”
When Chris first opened his business seven years ago, he shopped all the different Johnson County chambers to determine which one might be the best fit for his business. He says he landed on the Shawnee Chamber because of the variety of businesses and his ability to stand out within the chamber.
“You guys have been a critical part of my business since the beginning,” Chris said.
Chris spent seven years in the Army before becoming a business software trainer for various corporations. He learned HTML so he could teach those classes as well, and took up several freelance projects on the side. When he was laid off from his corporate position in 2007, he decided to join networking groups. Through the networking groups, he landed several freelance jobs developing websites.
“The amount of web work coming to me from the networking group was amazing,” Chris said. “In June of 2007 I was working full time on my own. By November I had so much work I hired my first developer – a student at Johnson County Community College. He’s still with me.”
Today Chris’s business continues to grow. He has four full-time and two part time employees as well as an additional four contract employees. They are actively working for about 40-48 clients at any given time.
KC Web Specialists provides web services including new website development, rebuilding or maintaining existing websites, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), mobile web design, hacker protection and blogs. He says about 15-20 of the jobs they work on each month are for new clients, and attributes a lot of his business to the Shawnee Chamber.
“Without a doubt, the chamber has been a quality source of relationships and business revenue for my company,” Chris said. “There have been several really good business relationships that came out of my chamber involvement – the Shawnee Chamber was one of my first clients. Today we have about 35 active clients that were secured because I attended chamber events and built relationships with them. We get lots of referrals through chamber connections as well.”
He believes the more his business is out there, the more business they get. Attending coffees and ribbon cuttings is one of the main ways Chris stays involved.
“I think it’s very important to support other chamber members,” Chris said. “They’ve made an investment by hosting a chamber event so I want to support them. It’s also a great opportunity to learn about their business.”
Chris says KC Web Specialists is different from about every other web design company because they provide consulting, billed by the hour, and 100 percent of the final work belongs to the business owner, not KC Web Specialists.
“My golden rule is – As a business owner, you should be able to walk away from your web design company at any time, for any reason, and still have a website up and running in your name,” Chris says. “No monthly contracts, we just want to be your partner when you need us.”
KC Web Specialists typically partners with small and medium sized service businesses. As owner of a service business himself, Chris can easily connect with the business owner and understand them.
“We have similar challenges,” Chris said. “It makes me feel good to help them out. When they succeed, I succeed.”
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