May 1, 2024 - 10 min read
Brad Maclean, a longtime client of Elite, shares his experience working with them for the past four years. He discusses how Elite’s team has provided reliable and high-quality resources for his web design and development projects, allowing him to focus on other aspects of his business.

Matt: Hey everybody, thank you for watching this video. I am delighted to be here with Brad McLean. Brad is a longtime, and I really do mean longtime, client of Elite. Brad and I have been working together now for almost four years, which is a long, long time. So Brad, thank you very much for agreeing to hop on this call and recording this video with me, and I really do value your time today, so thanks very much.

Brad: My pleasure, Matt, glad to be here.

Matt: Perhaps, just for the benefit of anybody watching this, we could start if you could just give a little bit of an overview of your business, Nspired - what it is that you guys do and how you got started.

Brad: Sure, so we do a number of things, mainly focusing on web design and development. I started the business eight years ago after working for GE as an IT leader, decided to go off and do my own thing, found WordPress, fell in love with WordPress, so I'm like, "Hey, I could turn this into a business," so I did.

I discovered the X theme and loved it. That evolved into Pro web builder, of course, stood above the rest, and that became sort of the backbone of my web development services, that led me to Matt where they started offering dev resources. So I was able to eventually back up from all the design and development work for my clients and lean on Matt and his team to do the execution, and I've been relying on them for the last four years to do so. They do my maintenance, do my hosting, and I don't know what I do without you guys at this point.

Matt: Awesome. Well if we kind of just go back then four years to when you started using us, what kind of led you to consider using us or anybody at that time?

Brad: I started getting a lot of leads, and I couldn't handle it all myself. I'm the type of guy who loves doing all the work, start to finish, hather the requirements, and turn those into design, build it, test it, deploy it, but I discovered pretty quickly I couldn't do all this myself. I tried relying on one-off freelancers here and there through UpWork and other freelance networks, but they always sort of missed. They didn't bring to the table the reliability and the quality I needed, ultimately.

I found you guys, and it started. you know, it changed things for me. I knew I could rely on quality resources who were going to execute and be responsive. So it was a no-brainer to eventually just completely partner up with you and make you the backbone of my development op. 

Matt: What were the problems that you found with using freelancers, and what made you think that wasn't really going to be a a long-term, viable strategy for you?

Brad: They had too many clients. I felt like I wasn't prioritized the way I needed to be. The biggest piec,e I would say, is they were sort of a hodgepodge team, and I sort of needed a PM, somebody who was technically competent, who has a development background, but could also step back and sort of manage a larger team and the whole web design and development workflow, and that's really what I needed.

I found it difficult to patch that all together and get people working well together that didn't already know each other. So when I found your team, I'm like, "Okay,..." You basically come to the table with like a turnkey team, like a task force. You got your PM, you got your testers, you got your designer, you got your developer, and it's like, "Hey Brad here's your team. They can tell us your requirements; put them in contact with the client and they will execute for you," and that's exactly what you have done for me.

Matt: Am I right in saying then that that's really one of the key things which has made a difference for you, by having a good strong PM there that can communicate well with you?

Brad: Absolutely, the communication has been top notch, being able to translate the requirements to the dev team, managing the developers, making them accountable, just facilitating the estimation process, being able to jump in with my clients and interact with them, and help solve their problems with with me not even being part of it, that's been amazing.

It has allowed me to sort of focus more on strategy and operationalizing my business. I do more than website design and development, so that allows me to kind of nurture these other aspects of my business, IT consulting, PM consulting, recruiting all that type of stuff. It's given me the freedom and to do those other things, to find new leads, to just manage my relationships with my clients, and to just get myself out of the trenches, so my PM is working in the trenches with a great team.

Matt: What difference does that make to you, like when you get up in the morning and you start your day, how does it feel, kind of think about what you've got to look forward to on that day, and you've got the client work going on in the background, knowing that you've got the team that's there that you can lean on?

Brad: Relief, peace of mind, confidence; It's just a good feeling just to know that when I send an email, it's going to be responded to quickly, pretty much any time of the day - it's 24/7, almost. Or just to know that my PM is going to respond to my client's needs, address an emergency, answer a question that I might have - you know, I declare an emergency when it probably shouldn't be, just knowing I always have somebody to just lean on, and know I'm going to get a response, and know that I'm going to get the result I want.

Matt: We love you, like you're such a great guy to be working with, and knowing that we have shared values, and just knowing that we've got each other's backs, that means something to me, and it means something to the team. We always do want to go the extra mile. We always do want to, when as you put it, declare an emergency - even if it might not be an emergency, why we still treat it as an emergency, or why we still want to jump in there and help you out. It's that kind of symbiotic two-way, "Well, this guy's helping us; we want to help him," and having each other's backs, and that's really what a good partnership is all about, so I can totally relate to it too.

Brad: Yeah, and it's rare to find, and that's why I feel so grateful to have it with you. I have a very solid client base now and I owe a lot of that to Elite. I almost lost clients because I was overpromising and underdelivering. I feel like I'm in a position now where I can just take on new clients, where I can say "Paolo, we got this new client. I did the initial requirements gathering; here are my notes, go run with it and estimate it for me. Put together a plan and start lining up a team," and it's just taken care of for me.

I know that that's now going to be taken care of. I'm the bottleneck now, essentially. So it's just a matter of me having those conversations with new leads and then funneling it through the team, because I know I can, I know the team can handle it, so that's the position that you've put me in.

Matt: Wow, well I'm humbled to hear you say that, so thank you. I suppose then, to wrap up, you spoke a bit about 2024, so let's look at 12 months ahead. What does the future hold for you, and what are you most excited about now?

Brad: I'm I'm excited about a few website builds, a couple new clients, and kind of starting things on a blank slate and creating something new for a new client. I'm very selective with my clients, you know I focus on small to medium sized business nonprofits, and I usually choose based on the product and service that really interests me, so I feel grateful that I have that luxury - just getting started on those things and just creating something. I just love the creation process, and it feels good to know that I could focus more on the creative side, more on the strategic side, and come up with some great stuff, and then know that I have a team behind me to execute it. I'm looking forward to that in 2024 and just looking forward to some balance in my life, getting healthy. I have a ton of goals personalized but I won't go there.

There's another side of my business, IT recruiting. I used to be a sort of a project management consultant, that's the second part arm of my business, and I did all the consulting work - Agile and mainly for bigger businesses, fortune 500 companies, that's where I come from, that's my background. Now I've put myself in a position where I can not do the work but find talent and place them at these bigger companies. So I think having those two pieces of my business, growing both sides of it is really what 2024 is all about for me.

Matt: Fantastic. Well, we are excited to be a a small part of that journey with you, and yeah, it sounds like very exciting times ahead. Brad, thank you so much for for sharing just some thoughts and some insight. It's been great just hearing what's on your heart, and it's just been great working together over the last four years, so thank you for this time and thank you for putting this together with me.

Brad: No problem, any time. I'm looking forward to 2024 with you guys.


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