tarful_better_websites

Following a passion

Sal on Jul 30th, 2015

The past couple of months has been stressful but very rewarding, we have grown fast for a small design & development studio, a lot of things are happening at Tarful. In spite of that I just want to write about where we are right now as a Company, our beginnings and where we’re going.

Some people said that you can’t see the whole picture if you’re looking at it from close, and that is completely true.

At the beginning, more than 4 years ago, I didn’t know much about running a business… I was just recovering from my first failure and at that point my brother (and co-founder) decided to focus on two companies that developed from that first failure, one of them was Tarful.

Tarful for me meant following a passion, building better websites focused on an improved user experience and which were both beautiful to look at and also easy to use. The idea was clear, but the only problem was, “how to start?”.

You see, until that point, designing websites was always a hobby that I followed in my free time… nothing even close to a formal day-to-day business. So how or where to start… were only two of the many questions I faced. My focus has always been on the design part of the entire process, but at that point, Tarful was a one-man show, so basically I needed to teach myself how to code the things I designed, all of that while trying to get some clients… no formal process or structure just a 16+ hour work day, 7 days a week.

Slowly but steadily, the clients began to show up and trust my ideas and deliverables, and that was just the necessary validation I needed to be sure I was on the right path.

Fear to grow was definitely the one thing holding the company back, the fear of the unknown, and thinking that if I hired someone and I failed again how would I respond to that person, the fear of how to get all the necessary things for a proper business to run… these were all excuses.

Getting more and more clients, some of them overseas was good for the business and for sure for getting more validations for the company vision and also for helping me gain more confidence. But still I was the only full time person working in the company, having some freelances helping with some extra work, and of course the backup of my co-founder and my whole family at any moment.

At some point I came across an opportunity to get a small office in a new co-working space that was being built. I remember thinking that would be a good change of environment for me and maybe would help to get some networking that would be good for the business.

tarful_office

Without a doubt that was one of the best decisions I’ve made business-wise. The decision I made to have the first formal Tarful office at that spot was incredibly positive. After only a few weeks I had more project inquiries that ever before and the clients kept growing everyday. So the time was just right, I needed to make another decision. Let’s hire our first real full-time employee. Quickly after that, we hired our second employee (more in a consultant type of relationship), then my co-founder joined Tarful full time as well and we continued hiring. It was all a snowball effect, growing from just one to eight people in less than nine months. Now, I have the incredible opportunity to work every day with a group of seven amazing and talented individuals, following our passion with the same vision as the first day “building better websites focused on a better user experience” and now making the same impact also for mobile apps. Our learning process is continuous, everyday learning new things, techniques to face bigger and more complex projects.

tarful_team

Our team keeps growing, currently looking for three candidates for new positions and the team is also continuing to focus on making the best possible experience for our clients exceeding their expectations but also working on our internal processes and expanding our reach for new frontiers. Although getting our first physical office (that still is our biggest office) and proud to say that we have our team of eight people distributed in seven cities in two countries. Being tio close to the picture I sometimes forget how it all started and how far we have come… so it’s nice to stop and think for a minute, it helps to get an extra push to make the next step for the Company.

So now what… well, we have many ideas now and we have kept our lean mentality and are moving fast to try and iterate. But one thought is clear, our passion and vision are the same and we hope to continue helping clients in any corner of the world designing and developing both websites and mobile apps. One of those ideas we just released last week and it is the opportunity to help mainly startups and small businesses (but all companies are welcome as well) to understand how they can improve their current website or mobile app to make a bigger and better impact on their customers optimizing the user experience.

The way that works is ofering a free assessment when we analyze the current site or app and identify all the improvement opportunities based on our experience and best practices. You can visit the tool at http://assessment.tarful.com

This journey has been very incredible so far with good times and others not so good… but at the end is all part the process to build a successful Company. I can’t wait to see how we continue to work an growth as a team.