I, Mike, am the founder of Calland Creative. I started my company in 2014. I had a job as a web designer at the time at one of the UK's largest E-commerce marketing agencies. I designed websites and marketing collateral day in, day out for years.
One day, I started getting a couple of small jobs on the side, then a few more leads came in and I made a few more contacts. It got to the point where the work was more profitable than my day job as a web designer, so I decided to go freelance full time. I’ll never forget that day, 11th Nov 2014.
Since that day, I’ve been working hard with my customer base, many of who have become very good friends, which I find more rewarding than just being a Mac monkey (pencil pusher). I like to offer a one to one service and manage my projects and I feel we have earned the right to call ourselves a ‘creative web studio’.
In 2017, we moved into a small office ‘a shed’ in Baltic Creative CIC, the amazingly trendy, digital hub of Liverpool. From there, we moved over to a new development in an old Guinness warehouse, newly converted into offices.
We all remember where we were when Covid 19 hit. Everyone started working from home. We gave up our office space and the team worked remotely.
We may move to another office, I’m not sure. The current way of working seems to be going well. We’re saving the planet by not commuting, we’re saving money with no office rent and we get to spend more time doing what we love. The beer fund is also growing very well.
Our route into the future is planned with a few diversions expected. We aim to stay the best design-focused studio in the area and hopefully the UK. We will continue to offer brochure and lead generating websites using the amazing Modx CMS. And we are moving forwards with our partners at BigCommerce to deliver amazing e-commerce customer experiences.
We are not modelled as a traditional company. I like to feel we’re more forward-thinking with our approach, utilising modern communication methods. I and the teamwork remotely, communicate via message, email and zoom.
We work with 2 highly experienced web developers and a marketing partner who takes care of our SEO and Paid marketing requirements.
One of the strangest questions I’ve been asked a few times is if other agencies in the area are charging £8000 for a website, why do you only charge £3000? My answer is usually, “I can increase the price if it makes you happy?”
The way our business is structured means we don't need to charge a large amount of money for projects. Also, we’re not greedy! We base our work on an hourly rate.
And don’t think for a second that the bigger agencies offer a better product. I spent 5 years working directly with agencies and also freelancing with them. I was doing the work while they sat there and made that extra £5000 profit for simply getting the job.
To bring our customers the best value from their investment.
We use the latest design and development trends, some of that has not yet hit the mainstream. This gives a longer-lasting product.
We have a proven recipe for successful digital marketing. We know what works for most businesses so we can get off to a flying start by following your road map to success.
We keep costs low by utilising modern software practices. For example, our hosting is designed to be durable but by sharing resources with other websites, we don't need to spend £300 per month on a server, we can have a slice for £30 instead.
It’s a difficult question to answer. An answer that other companies will give you. Our industry is very busy, the are many fish in this pond. Most leading agencies say exactly what we want to say and offer what we offer.
In my experience dealing with other agencies, there are 2 types of business. There is business type:
Number 1: a group of businessmen trying to cash in on this lucrative industry. Their number one focus is making as much money as they can. They often overprice jobs and base the price on how successful you are. They put a team together to get through the work but ultimately, they don't care. They just want your money.
Number 2: a creative leader running a business, someone who wants to make a difference and offer a good service and get noticed. Good honest people who just want a better life for themselves and their families.
Don’t get me wrong, I want your money as much as the ‘number 1’s’ but I’d like to think we fall under the second type.
At work, I have my strengths, many many strengths but I also have weaknesses. If I don't enjoy something, I don’t waste my time and I pass it on to someone who enjoys it. My point is, that every service under this roof is completed by an expert, someone who is passionate about what they do.
People come to us for our enthusiasm. We love to get to know you and learn everything about your business, your product and your customers. Only then can we truly help you achieve your goals. We aren’t a company that just churns out meaningless websites and design work, we put thought into the design and how they work.
Our design skills are industry-leading, having worked with large and small brands over the years. Big brands such as Very, Boohoo, Utility Design, Oddbins Wine and Tea Pigs, and smaller local brands.