By Anna Lothson
Most business owners are busy enough keeping up with budgets, managing employees and keeping the doors open. Creating and operating a website to promote that business sometimes suffers a lack of attention.
Enter Oak Park natives Ross Wasserstrom and Daniel Diamond, the partners of inPresence, an Oak Park web design business. But it didn't come easy for this duo.
They've learned from their business flubs when they tried to start a business too young and without the right formula. That formula now has landed them with a growing web design and marketing business located right in their hometown.
Wasserstrom, the marketing guy with an education background, and Diamond, the mathematical economics and computer science guy, crafted up a simple concept they felt was needed to bring people a personal touch on an often impersonal product: a website.
Their niche begins with sitting down with each client to learn the ins and outs of that business, understanding what's needed to reach its clients and ensuring they stay involved in any aspect of the site as needed. And it doesn't end there.
"It's hyperlocal. We know the area well," Wasserstrom said. "We saw a need for some serious digital help."
The business partners believe that too many companies don't allow for face-to-face interactions, and that many don't allow for customization. The result can be a generic website that doesn't cater to the client's needed. Not with inPresence, the partners say.
"We want to help them interact with people," Wasserstrom said. "We can show the world who they are and what they do. We provide credibility."
"It's much more fun working for businesses that you know and use," he added.
This means sitting down with them in multiple meetings, keeping in contact and marketing to the community.
Diamond said what sets them apart from other web design firms is that they take that extra step to learn what the business is about and what is needed for that specific company to succeed. There is no square model from them; they're always thinking outside the box.
"We are there to help people, show them and are able to work with them through the process," Diamond said. "We help with what people are afraid or don't have the time or skills to do."
Being products of Oak Park themselves, Wasserstrom and Diamond said they've seen a growing need for technology-driven, creative products. They've also seen an influx of high school and college students interested in the field.
That's another way they want to give back — inPresence is always looking for paid interns to bring on to help foster the same interest its creators have in facilitating more locally produced websites.
"We remember what it is like," Diamond said. "We want to expand the need."
But this opportunity isn't limited to tech-savvy students, they said. Anyone with fine arts experience, writing or computer science is encouraged to inquire. They hope to inspire other young entrepreneurs to follow in their footsteps and create a locally run business.
To learn more about this startup web design and marketing business run by two local guys, visit inpresence.us.