How Cantilever grew from Freelance shop to Mission-Driven Global Studio

In your own words, what does your company do?

Cantilever is a mission-driven website design and development company. We work with mid to large-size companies and non-profits, and the problem they have is they aren’t getting the results they want online. We help them send the right message and encourage action. We value social equity, sustainability, wellness, and delight, and we love working with clients who value those things too.

📈 Monthly revenue: $140,000

📈 ~% Churn: N/A

📈 ~% Net profit: Do not wish to disclose

📈 Funding: None

📈 Initial cost/investment to start the company: $0

📈 Number of team members: 15

📈 Number of founders: 1

📈 Started 2012, January 

How does the company make money?

💰 Web Design & Development: We build high-ROI websites that are a critical asset for the client’s organization. We continually improve the websites we built or that we inherited from others. We also design digital products and provide branding and technical consulting services.

💰 Core Coverage: We provide strategic guidance, research and project planning, and emergency support within a single flat monthly cost. Our Core Coverage clients receive a discount on Design & Development work.

💰 Diagnostics: When taking on a new client, we do a deep dive to get to know their business. We use our findings to create a bespoke plan for their online presence and how they can get results.

3 strategies that have worked to attract and retain customers? 

Do great work: Every potential new client wants to see past work we have done that is in their niche. We have a vast library of successful engagements we use to show prospective clients that we can deliver.

Be good to people: We try to be a vendor that makes the client’s life easier. We try to earn their referral, and when they refer us, we take on additional responsibility to deliver.

Know what you’re good at We have won a lot of business by making it clear what we don’t do, and that we aren’t the right fit for everyone. When you are clear on what you are not, people believe you more when you talk about who you are.

3 things that you’ve learned about hiring and retaining great talent?

Hire for Mission & Values: When people are intrinsically motivated, they do better work and stay longer. We try to hire people who care about the same types of things and give them work that matches their vision for the world.

Transparency Matters: We default to transparency, so most information is open to the whole team. This cultivates trust and empowers the team to make independent decisions confidently.

Keep it weird: Our team loves our quirky and nerdy culture. Despite being a remote team, our group is very tight-knit. We do a weekly no-work call just to give people space to get to know each other, and it is been one of the most productive innovations we have come up with. Our culture is a primary reason people love to stay at Cantilever long-term.


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