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Posted by Firedove on

Increase in Rate

Increase in Rate

Today we are announcing an increase in our hourly rate. The new rate is $75 an hour.

We are doing this to accommodate for a significant increase in demand for our agency and our projections as to how that demand will continue to increase.  We’ve tracked every hour of everyday for the past seventeen months and our model suggests a period of unparalleled growth for our firm in the coming months.

To date, we’ve served 100 clients. Our agency continues to grow and we still put value and fairness above all else in our pricing. We’ve been in business for 17 months and we have become ultra-efficient with our time and extremely proficient in our abilities. We look forward to continuing to work with people from all different walks of life, industries, and sectors.

Posted by Firedove on

BBB Accredited Business

Firedove is now a BBB Accredited Business! We decided to pursue accreditation because there are a lot of bad actors in this industry, and the BBB is well recognized as an authority on business trustworthiness by both people and businesses. Firedove is already trusted in Spokane, which was made possible by our initial clients who originally took a chance on us. We’ve received 16 glowing consecutive written reviews to date, lots of verbal praise, and a steady stream of referrals from former clients.

We could be charging exorbitant rates for poorly built websites, but we started Firedove to be a direct challenge to an industry where we saw people getting taken advantage of merely because they weren’t experts themselves. Our BBB Accreditation is us reaffirming that original commitment to be different and be better than our competitors.

Truly fair pricing. High quality end products. That’s Firedove.

 

 

Posted by Firedove on

Founder’s Profile: Robbi Anthony

Robbi Anthony is the founder of Firedove. Robbi brings a background in web development, marketing, and technology to any project to make it a success. She uses her experience as a marketing director, start-up founder, and small business owner to make client projects successful, budget friendly, and high quality. Robbi’s has received numerous award for her entrepreneurial efforts, including first place in a 2014 MBA Business Plan Competition, a 2012 semifinalist in a Social Innovation Fast Pitch, & a 2012 finalist in a Undergraduate Science and Engineering Competition.

She attended The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing in 2014. Robbi has founded many companies, starting with a small t-shirt company in Spokane, Washington at the age of 15. Since then, she’s worked on countless projects ranging from a portal projector for tablets, a pre-JOBS act equity crowdfunding platform, and even selling rice in a plastic bag as a remedy for a wet cellphone to college students.

When she is not working at Firedove, she spends time with her fiancée Lillian Warto. She also is the Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Inland Northwest Business Alliance. Robbi couldn’t be happier to fly with her own wings as an entrepreneur with this latest, but certainly not last, company.

 

Posted by Firedove on

Mobile App Development

Mobile App Development

As technology evolves, different problems require different solutions. Websites have become a must-have for just about every business, whereas apps are starting to become an amazing opportunity for certain organizations.

As technology evolves, different problems require different solutions. Websites have become a must-have for just about every business, whereas apps are starting to become an amazing opportunity for certain organizations. In the same spirit of providing high quality results at affordable pricing, Firedove is now soliciting app development as a service.

We can help create apps (iOS & Android) for events, business directories, restaurants, retail stores, employee handbooks, and more!

On the flip side, we are not the firm to develop the next social media app, a multiplayer game, or take equity in an idea in exchange for payment. We love those big ambitious ideas, but our focus is on small to medium sized businesses. We’d rather be really good at a few specific things than stretch ourselves too thin trying to do everything.

App development can be expensive, but our wide range of tools and expertise can allow us to create an app that fits your budget while still delivering on all the key functions.

Not everyone needs an app, but if you do, contact Firedove for free consult today.

Posted by Firedove on

New Year, New Rate

New Year, New Rate

As of January 9th, 2017 we are increasing our hourly rate to $50 per hour. As we’ve spoken about this before, this increase is due to certain revenue milestones being achieved. The thought is that the more accounts we service and corresponding revenue generated, the greater our value (in other words, the demand for Firedove continues to increase and our pricing reflects that.).

We are still substantially more affordable than a traditional advertising agency (some having rates starting at $150 per hour) and we still take tremendous pride in being able to provide excellent value to our clients.

As a reference point, below are category averages for some of the type of work we take on.

Technical Support (Hardware, Software, etc.): $106.27

Graphic Design (Logos, Advertisements, Print, Web): $128

Website (Design & Development): $524

It is worth noting that each project is unique and with that the price can vary greatly. We’ve built incredibly affordable websites for small businesses and we’ve also created very complicated and intricate website that ended up costing significantly more than the average.

The overall quality and value of our service increases with each rate increase as we are able to invest in more equipment, software, and anything else that helps make our office smarter and faster. The faster we work, the more you save. The smarter we work, the better the end product.

Posted by Firedove on

Keith “The Original CoFounder” Tatham

Keith “The Original CoFounder” Tatham

  October 13th, 1991 – December 16th, 2016


On December 16th, 2016 Keith Tatham lost his battle with cancer. Keith battled desmoplastic small round cell tumor (DSRCT) which most notably has a survival rate of 15% after 5 years. Keith fought the disease for 7.

I’ve known Keith for 12 years. He’s been my right-hand man in every start-up, every pursuit, and all the whimseys in between. He was my best-friend.

Keith helped conceive the original idea of Firedove Technology. He joined as The Original CoFounder a few months after I had started and was the reason we were able to establish an physical office. Keith ended up going on medical leave from the company as his health became increasingly difficult to manage.

As Issac Newton said, ‘If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.’ Yesterday, I lost the giant whose shoulders I’ve been standing on for the past decade.

Keith is largely responsible for most of my innovations. Him and I would spend collectively days vetting idea after idea. Those close to me, would typically hear my latest pitch for a new product preceded by ‘Keith thinks it’s a good idea, so it must be pretty good’. His opinion became a gold standard for innovation.

There is so much to say about Keith. I could spend a lifetime telling stories about him and lionizing him as he deserves to be.

But at this exact moment my heart is shattered and I’m still struggling to grasp what has occurred. I ask my clients for patience during this trying time. I will be in touch and try to meet all of our obligations.

I love you Keith.

I miss you Keith.

Posted by Gabe Fernos on

Meet the Intern

Meet the Intern

Introducing Gabe Fernos!

It is an honor to be chosen as the new Firedove Tech Intern! I am currently a Graphic Design student at Spokane Falls Community College. Robbi has provided me with a great opportunity to get my foot in the door with the design industry.  I hope to provide some amazing skills for the Firedove company and its clients. As time progresses the more you may see my contributions. I will be very active with the website post and company as a whole, feedback on my work is extremely encouraged. Now lets create some amazing projects together!

Posted by Firedove on

Visualization: 9 Months of Invoices

Visualization: 9 Months of Invoices

What does nine months of invoices look like by location?

It looks like this.

region

Here is a zoomed out view of the region.

wa-id

This is just if we were looking at Spokane.

spokane

Here’s what Downtown Spokane looks like.

downtown

If you’d like to see your data visualized, give us a call to set up a free consult.

Posted by Firedove on

Due Diligence & Seller Beware

Due Diligence & Seller Beware

It has been a busy last couple weeks for Firedove. We are finishing up existing client projects and getting ready to take on new ones. While Firedove is regularly making sales efforts, about every twenty days we are making a concentrated sales push and it has successfully brought in new clients for the past 8 out of 9 months.

As we’ve talked about before we will utilize Craigslist to attempt to find new work but today we wanted to talk about another sales conduit for us, which is Thumbtack.

Thumbtack can be best described as a marketplace. When you search online for “Best X in Spokane, WA” you’ll typically find a link to Thumbtack at or near the top soliciting that it can get you 5 quotes from local professionals for that service. One of those professionals is us when it comes to web design, marketing, graphic design, etc.

It is a pay to bid system, meaning that professionals can view the client request but to actually send a proposal or bid one would need to spend some sort of cash. This system works pretty well because it deters people who aren’t particularly serious about this industry. It also limits the number of respondents to 5, so the likelihood to have your proposal read is higher than most jobs.


Firedove Technology
4 reviews

 

Every now and then a “free bid” will come across our digital desks. This happens when there are few service providers in the area, and Thumbtack wants to ensure that the individual who sent out the request still receives bids. On Monday we received a “free bid” opportunity for a print job out in Post Falls, ID.

We sent our proposal and received this email from the prospective client:

“Hello Robbi, 

I want you to know I have never done a design before, I really don’t have preference for colors and design but I want a very good design. 
I need 7 different design which you will have to make 7 different design for Banners. you will make 7 designs writing ” WAIT FOR YOUR TIME, GOD’S TIME IS THE BEST” you will include RALLY FOR JESUS. You can include images of a cross on the banner and any other religious image.
Let me know how long this will take you to get it done and also get back with your total estimate charges for the Banners. Let me know if you accept credit cards.
Thank you
Pastor Rob.”

To which we responded with:

“Pastor Rob,

Thanks for reaching out! I think we can certainly work with you on this project.
To the question about credit cards, we do accept them. 
For clarification, are you looking for 7 different designs that all say the same thing? If so, that’s relatively easy as once we finalize one design we just need to alter the other 7 designs, rather than recreate the wheel for each one. I’m happy to try to find good religious images.
A few other questions:
  • What sizes are the banners? 
  • Are they going to be displayed vertically or horizontally?
  • Is there other information that you want included on the banner (a website? address? social media icons?)
  • What are these banners going to be used for? (This helps inform the design process)
  • Is there a logo to include on the banner? Or are these just stating the message of “WAIT FOR YOUR TIME, GOD’S TIME IS THE BEST” & “RALLY FOR JESUS”?
I might be able to get this done this week if this is a time sensitive project, but if time isn’t a major constraint I can see getting it done by next week at the latest.
Our hourly rate is $40 per hour. I’d like to budget 4 hours ($160) to accomplish this task, which includes finding the right photos, coming up with a design, refining the design based upon your feedback, and sending you a finalized print ready banner files. My firm typically likes to work on a per project cost, meaning that if the project takes us 8 hours you still only pay the agreed upon price (in this case $160). We can also work on an hourly rate, in which case we charge by the quarter hour.
Let me know if you have any questions. “

This is a pretty standard exchange between a client and a designer, nothing unusual. But there’s a line from the next email that starts to make this feel a bit unusual.

“I need you to let me know the name of the credit card processor you using so I can have you paid to start work….

Best regards,
Pastor Rob”

Clients typically don’t care about the name of the processor. At this point the client starts texting us.

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Prior to this text it had been established that I could get the client samples of the banner design by Wednesday (in 2 days). We told them that we’d need a 25% deposit to get started but some clients opted to pay 100% as it worked better with their accounting. This all still feels somewhat reasonable.

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The exchange above may feel really strange, but the idea isn’t totally out of the ordinary for a firm like mine to pay vendors on behalf of clients. This is a service we do from time to time. But it’s starting to feel suspicious. We ultimately end us sending the invoice because we are willing to give this individual the benefit of the doubt.

img_0023

And this is where the wheels fall off the wagon. The prospective client is continuing to be ultra-persistent with their request for an invoice and the calamity of their situation only increases as time goes on. At this point we cancel the invoice. I also decide to the call the number that has been texting me. The individual picks up claims that they’ve never heard of the individual I was calling for, that the number I called was actually an entirely different number, and that my caller ID was incorrect.

At this point it dawned on us in it’s entirety that this was a scam.

We assume that the individual was trying to do one of two things.

A.) Have us run a stolen credit card thru our processing machine and then send about $1400 to a fictitious banner printer in ID, which would have been this individuals accomplish or simply themselves. When the credit card is reported stolen, the cash when thru my operation and ultimately I get stuck with the liability.
B.) Launder a handful of “dirty” cash thru Firedove.

Option A seemed like the most likely, but it is hard to say if that’s exactly the case. The individual would end up trying to call us 9 times and sent a few additional texts. We ultimately ended up filing a police report. There’s not much more we can do beyond that. Ultimately, this is a strong reminder that our client vetting process needs to be enhanced and before anyone touches our credit card processing we need to do our due diligence.

Never a dull moment at Firedove!

Posted by Firedove on

The Tiny Lightbulb Takes Flight

The Tiny Lightbulb Takes Flight

Today we are excited to announce that our first incubator company, The Tiny Lightbulb, has officially launched.

Lily Warto makes upcycled home decor products. The Tiny Lightbulb is unique in that it only makes one product at a time and products can range from tables, chairs, light fixtures, to everything in-betweenn. The Tiny Lightbulb is a little (tiny) micro-business that resides within Firedove Technology’s office. Lily’s fleetingly company will also receive marketing and technology support from Firedove at no cost by virtue of being an incubator company.

The Tiny Lightbulb Homepage

The Tiny Lightbulb Homepage

We are really thrilled to see where this company goes. Be sure to visit her website and check out her products. Remember, once a product has been sold it is gone for good, so be sure to get it while it lasts!