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Willy Grieve: Web Design & Online Marketing Company That Specializes in Working With Small Businesses & Startups

Cityline Websites is a web design & online marketing company that specializes in working with small businesses & startups. For us, it’s all about making successful businesses. Helping companies succeed is a win-win.

Tell us about yourself?

I always thought I’d work for a company as middle management for the rest of my life. Then, at 29, I was diagnosed with cancer. I was given a 50:50 chance of survival. You certainly learn what you can and cannot control in your life when going through 9 months of chemotherapy.

Well, my treatments went well, and that was nearly 20 years ago now. Once I recovered, I wanted to be away from the chemical side of things, so I took some courses and built our company website. That website turned into 2 then 4 and became 20+ hours per week on the side. Within a few years, I made the jump to building websites full time, working for myself.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

If I could tell my slightly younger self what to do differently, it would be to hire more people, and work less. I should remove myself a bit from the day to day operations to give more time to work ON the business. Life is about work / life balance. So you need to love what you do, but also enjoy health & family.

If you ask me the same question 2 years from now, I’ll probably say the same thing, lol

What problem does your business solve?

Times are changing. Word of mouth is still important and often the primary source of new business for many companies. But people are looking online more often for products & services. Having a physical storefront on a busy corner is no longer as important as it used to. That is where online marketing comes into play. It’s now a virtual store!

Cityline Websites builds websites and promotes companies so they get found online. Our tagline is “We don’t just build websites, we build businesses.” A website will give a potential customer an immediate impression of the organization, quailty and size of a business. A great website will get more people to call / buy / or fill out a request form. Great marketing will get more people to your website. That’s what we do. We get companies more calls, more enquiries, more sales.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

I’ve always liked tech. I am old enought to have witnessed the dawn of personal computers. Although my first career wasn’t in computers, at the time when company websites became more popular, I dove in. My goal has always been to use my knowlege to make others successful. At first, it was just websites. But along came Google. Online marketing & SEO started. I feel accomplished when I am in part responsible for the success of a company. That’s my inspiration.

What is your magic sauce?

Building websites and doing online marketing is somewhat of a commodity. Anyone can say they are the best or most innovative, but there isn’t any proof behind it – just someone selling the promise. It makes it difficult to stand out.

However, we at Cityline Websites are different than most. We have built our own framework to build websites that is better suited for Google than most other websites. This framework allows us to truthfully say our websites have efficiencies that other companies cannot.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

We have about 10 staff. All are exceptional. All do their role well. I’m happy with the staffing level we have. So I don’t want the company to grow in people. I do, however, want to continue to improve our services. I want to continually improve our designs, our marketing, and our systems. That’s part of any normal successful business.

We have no milestone for the 5 year mark. The goal is to keep getting better. The continued success will come.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Over the years, the online market has certainly changed. There are a million companies out there building sites. There are many do-it-yourself website platforms. A new business owner has countless options for his / her business.

Probaby the biggest challenge is to sell our website services versus the DIY’ers or the basement template website builder. Some potential clients just see the dollar value and the trick is to educate them about the difference in product quality and the long term return on investment for what we do.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

Our ideal client is one who has a business idea, or working business that wants to have a better online presence. They may need a website, online marketing, social media, or all of the above.

I love helping small businesses. I will spend an hour on the phone with any small business owner that is looking for advice. It’s a super tough time right now, and I’m one of the fortunate ones.

To anyone reading this, please feel free to Get in touch through my website at www.citylinewebsites.com. No strings attached!

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