Krissie VandeNoord, founder of North UX, talks with Cory Miller about their work in creating people-first solutions for the nuanced needs of ecommerce and membership site owners. Krissie shares her story from her early days as a designer and blogger to launching her own agency. Her work and energy will encourage you to think beyond what is to build the possibilities that make things work better.

Estimated reading time: 31 minutes

Transcript

Cory Miller is joined by North UX founder, Krissie VandeNoord to discuss her journey of agency ownership. Their work contributes to the businesses they serve, winning big and experiencing new levels of growth from the unique solutions they bring. From hearing about her background as a natural problem solver to her experiences engaging client needs with creative solutions, you will be inspired to break through limitations into the land of possibility.

Top Takeaways:

  • Building for Nuance: North UX likes to hone in on what makes a business really unique and find solutions to highlight those things so they are experienced as an asset instead of a detractor.
  • Problem Solving Spiral: Poking around, asking questions, and figuring out ways to develop solutions spiraled Krissie from seeing and experiencing challenges to being a solution-building developer. Navigating and figuring things out is the work it takes to give you the experience to increase your confidence threshold. This can act as a springboard to making great connections and solving more complex problems.
  • Impact of Creating Efficiency: This isn’t just about creating solutions that get customers to take certain actions. It is also about saving hours or weeks of time spent on manual processes. As a small business owner, I know this makes a BIG difference, and that is exciting. Time can be invested in growth, making the impact exponential. Initial solutions fuel inspiration to shift from survival to ongoing enhancements.
  • Empowering DIY-ers: Rather than viewing self-build solutions as a threat or an indication of impending obsoletion, Krissie frames this as an opportunity to educate and become a trusted expert who will be there when more complex solutions are needed.

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Pagely-Mark-Black-752x752 The WP Agency Journey with Krissie VandeNoord of North UX — Post Status Draft 134 design tips

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Transcript

Cory Miller: [00:00:00] Hey everybody. Welcome back to Post Tes Draft. Um, this is another great story in our agency journey series. Uh, we’ll be talking to Chrissy, one of our great agency owners. At post status about her journey today, and I got to a couple weeks ago, get to know Chrissy and more about her story, and I’m really excited to, uh, be able to share her story with you.

So Chrissy, thanks so much for being on the draft podcast, talking about your journey and what you’re doing with WordPress.

Krissie VandeNoord: Thank you so much for having me. I’m super, super excited. Um, yeah, I couldn’t be, I couldn’t be more excited to just kind of be engaged in this community and seeing kind of.

Communities, specifically around agencies kind of start to develop.

Cory Miller: It’s really exciting. There’s so many good people, members of post status doing great work, and I love when I get to talk to people like you and just see what cool things you’re doing in the world. So could you tell us, uh, a little bit about [00:01:00] your agency and where you’re at now and what you do for your clients in the world?

Yeah,

Krissie VandeNoord: absolutely. So, um, I own North. And, um, my last name is Van De nor, which actually means from the North and, um, which is where North UX came from. When I started, I knew I didn’t, I wanted to be more than just me. Um, and so I didn’t want to just like, use my name. And so that’s, that’s how we got to North ux.

And ux obviously. That’s just very much the center of what we try to do is we’re really trying to deliver, um, a development experience that very much is considerative of um, how real people are going to engage with what we’re, what we’re doing and what we’re creating, and. [00:02:00] Very, very much like a people first kind of

Cory Miller: approach.

Yeah. I love that there’s real humans that actually have to use the web, so it’s kinda good to have that experience. I love, I love the, the basis for the name. Um, so what kind of work do you do at your agency? Yeah. Basis,

Krissie VandeNoord: we typically, um, find, I would say, you know, right now, 99% of our work is, is WordPress in some regard, most of it is some kind of e-commerce, whether it’s a membership type e-commerce, or whether it’s actual like a product WooCommerce, um, setup and.

I would say that we specialize in, uh, working with clients who need something that doesn’t exist in an off-the-shelf plugin right now. Um, sometimes that’s just a, a really custom user flow. Like they’re, they’re going to use WooCommerce, but they want to really walk their customers through in [00:03:00] a very set, set way.

Um, sometimes it’s custom functionality, um, like extending subscriptions or, um, We’ve done a project with Restrict Content Pro where um, instead of renewing on, um, like a normal annual, like one year from when they signed up, we needed everybody to renew at the exact same time every year. Uh, little things like that that, um, really kind of, I think help businesses and set themselves apart in an industry to be able to just extend kind of like what’s just out there and accessible to the general business population.

Cory Miller: Yeah. And so I, I’m sorry, I was writing a note, but if, if I missed it. So a lot of your work is membership site projects,

Krissie VandeNoord: um, either memberships or Woo

Cory Miller: commerce. Woo commerce. Okay. Yeah. Um, and, and particularly helping with the experiences and some of those custom things that don’t happen out of the box that I know [00:04:00] from my experience, Christy, and you know, this way better than me building the e-Commerce Pro product back in the day.

There are a thousand flavors of e-commerce times infinity because everyone has like you. I was trying to imagine when would somebody want to start the first day or whatever that could be, you know, probably a hundred different things, but like there’s so much nuance in e-commerce and memberships that why organizations, agencies like yours exist because there’s so many nuanced needs out there.

Yeah,

Krissie VandeNoord: I mean, it’s impossible for a plug and developer to be able to truly like be all things to all people and you know, arguably, Trying to do that to a certain extent is going to like water down or bloat, um, what they’re actually offering. And so we tend to work with plugins that are built in a way and intended to be easily extended by another developer.

Um, because what we just found is like businesses, [00:05:00] even though, you know, it’s interesting cuz I think businesses. There are, there are definitely, they’re buckets. You can put businesses, you know, you’re direct to consumer, you’re selling a physical product, you’re selling, um, you know, digital content. And, but at the same time, like they’re so different and so nuanced and they have such unique needs, um, that it’s just really fun to kind of like hone in on what makes businesses really unique and then like work to highlight that and, and make that be an asset instead of a detractor.

Cory Miller: Yeah, we would always have this example like, okay, you, you sell a t-shirt, but you want a membership with it. And oh, by the way, you want a 14 day trial, or you want them to pay a dollar for a 14 day trial. And, uh, I mean, you know, oh, and then you wanna be able to add consulting time or a coaching thing to it.

And that’s the day and age we we’re, we’re in right now is, The web enabling these businesses with [00:06:00] vast setups to be able to offer those things online where it was picking up the phone call and say, okay, well I’ll take one of those, one of those, one of those. Well, this is technology doing that. So I love that you all are helping people with that, because I see that need so often with these vastly nuanced, uh, needs.

Yeah,

Krissie VandeNoord: and I feel like that level of nuance was really only available at enter. Like, I mean, even like five, 10 years ago, you know, you, if you were a small business like you, you just had to try to make do, um, because it just wasn’t as accessible. And there are so many tools now that get you, you know, 70% of the way there, that that extra 30% you can bite that off and it’s no big deal, um, to a small business.

Whereas before it just wasn’t even. , you know, something they were really considering as a possibility.

Cory Miller: And that’s so great, like you said, with the enterprise, [00:07:00] um, you know, with huge budgets, Disney or some other big can code that probably for, to code that. Mainly now we have some tools and great agencies like yours now.

So tell me a little bit about your team set up and how you work.

Krissie VandeNoord: Yeah, so, um, I have. One official employee, um, and she’s a project manager and she has been, oh my goodness, that was such a, I can’t believe I waited so long to hire a project manager, . I should have done that a long time ago. Um, and then everyone else currently right now is a contractor.

Um, they are either in Europe or in the us and I find that it works best for us to kind of just work on. Hourly model. That’s how we structure our projects. Um, we give people estimated ranges and we bill hourly. And so I just do the same for, for my people. Um, and I, I just feel like that, [00:08:00] that for me, I’ve found has been the best setup.

I’ve tried a few other things, but as far as like really like paying people for like the value that they’re bringing, Really doing a true straight up hourly has been the best, best situation. And so right now we have got, um, A freelance designer and UX person, um, that contributes regularly. And then we’ve got, um, a front end developer that contributes regularly.

And, um, we have two backend developers beyond just myself. I’m a full stack develop. I started as a designer and then quickly kind of moved into the development world cause I wanted to control what things looked like and, and now somehow a full stack developer. So, um, And, and just kind of wear all of the hats.

But yeah, that’s kind of the makeup of the team at the current moment. And we’re honestly at the spot now where I’m I. [00:09:00] Very much looking towards January and having meetings with clients and them saying, we wanna do this, we wanna do that. And I’m like, okay, I need to figure out who I’m hiring on , who I’m gonna bring on

Cause we’re not gonna be able to cover

Cory Miller: all of this. That’s a great reflection of doing good work, you know? Yeah.

Krissie VandeNoord: I’m a, it’s a really, it’s, it’s an exciting place to be, but it’s also, um, I feel like whenever I bring somebody new on, there’s this trade off. Um, my productivity decreases because I’m spending time training them and getting up them up to speed and they’re not like immediately productive.

And so there’s this like dip of like, Okay, now we’re

Cory Miller: great. . Yes. Yes. Well, um, okay, so that’s how you work and you started getting in a little bit to your journey. So that’s where you are now. Um, working with WordPress obviously, but also membership sites, WooCommerce, and how your team kind of set up and how you work with clients.[00:10:00]

Tell us how you got here.

Krissie VandeNoord: Yeah, so like I said, I started as a designer, um, and. It was just like early two thousands, mid two thousands, somewhere there, , where, you know, blogs were super popular and everybody had a blog and um, and so I. I had a blog, but I was a designer, so I wanted to make the blog look like I wanted it to look like, especially if it’s like representing like myself.

And so I just, it, it happened to be in WordPress and I just got in there and started like poking around and figuring things out. And that was really kind of like my first experience with code was kind of just. Poking things. And, you know, fast forward, you know, a few years I started with a very small agency.

Um, and so we, we all wore a lot of hats. And when [00:11:00] I started it was, oh, you know, can, you know, doing a lot of design, but it was, oh, can you, you know, tweak this, you know, h t l newsletter or can you tweak this webpage or whatever. And after a few years, I would start to ask them questions and they’d be like, you know, more than we do about development right now,

And, and it just kind of spiraled into. Becoming the queen of web, um, and, and grew from there. I’ve just always been a natural problem solver. And so that idea of, Hmm, can I do this? I wanna find out , like I wanna figure out how I can do that. Um, and so it, yeah, it just kind of spiraled from there. And then, um, I was with that small agency for I think about eight years, and it just was a real obvious, um, You know, they weren’t bringing in the business to fill my plate.

And, um, and so we parted ways, but, and at, at [00:12:00] first they were like, let’s, you know, keep this relationship going. We’ll use you as a contractor. But I was like, ah, I just really want a job . Um, I was at that point in time, um, when I started my business, I had a one, I, not even a one year old, he wasn’t even one years old.

my second kid. and my daughter was three at the time. So like, I had small children and I was just like, I just want something like nice and consistent and reliable. Um, but it, I did end up starting my business and it’s been fantastic. Um, and I’ve never looked back. Um, and it’s been just, uh, like in some regards, my fear of it, lacking the stability I’m feeling.

I’ve got these young kids, um, Has like the other side of that coin is it’s offered me the flexibility to like be fully invested in work and at the same time feel like I can be present with my kids and my family. Um, [00:13:00]

Cory Miller: do good work and also live life, like Right. Live and manage life. Yeah, absolutely. Now what, what year was it when you started North ux?

Uh, 2016. 2016. And then how, how did it evolve to, to get into where you’re really focusing on a lot of commerce and membership projects? Um,

Krissie VandeNoord: you know, it kind of just happened. Organically. One of my first clients was, um, I took over a project that was WooCommerce, um, from someone else. And that was the first time I think I’d done anything with WooCommerce that really involved extending it in any way.

Um, and so I just like dove right into the deep end. And, um, man, I, I learned a lot about Woo Conversa in that project cuz we were migrating them. From a whole other system and subscriptions. And so it was, it was just a beast of a [00:14:00] process, um, that took way longer than we thought it was going to. But, um, I gained so much from the experience that then it just was a springboard towards doing more and more along those lines.

And I also made some really great connections and working on that project, kind of like. Space. Um, and so it just was kind of like a natural extension. And then I think also because I am such a, I just, I really love the problem to solve. Um, I think that e-commerce space just tends to offer the problem a lot.

And so I naturally gravitate towards like, Ooh, that’d be fun, .

Cory Miller: Um, you, you have to have that mindset and attitude, I think for that because I think of those subjects, I go, oh my gosh. Every possibility, every possible problem. But you have to be somebody that loves that rub. Rubrics cube, you know,

Krissie VandeNoord: kinda problem solving.

Oh yeah. Yeah. I used to say, um, and I don’t think this is true anymore, but especially like when I was still working at that agency now as I transitioned into my own business, that when somebody [00:15:00] would come to me and say like, can this be done? I would do just enough research to feel like 60% confident that the answer was yes,

And then I’d be like, yeah, we can do it. And then I would just figure it out. Um, and I’m also just a very much like a, I will finish it. Like it may take longer than I wanted it to. Um, but I’m kind of like, I can’t let it go until like I actually solved the problem. And so I don’t think there’s any, there’s ever been something where I like was like 60% and then got into it and was like, oh, nope.

Nevermind. Can’t do it. . Um, and I would say anymore, like I. My confidence threshold is much higher just because from experience. Um, so I’ve never, I think at that 60% mark, but that’s definitely where I started

Cory Miller: that I think that’s good though. And that’s the beauty of everything we’re doing with talented people like yourself is if you have that much confidence, confidence, at least, you know, the other part is part of [00:16:00] just navigating and figuring it out.

Krissie VandeNoord: Exactly.

Cory Miller: Exactly. Can you, can you share, um, and you don’t have to say the name, of course. We want to, you know, I know sometimes we, we need to be careful sharing clients and names and stuff. We can, can you talk about a recent project you’re really proud of, or you really appreciated what you did, uh, with, with some of your clients?

Um,

Krissie VandeNoord: stick out. Oh my goodness. Like so many of them. So many of them. And I don’t think I have any, well, I’ve got one that I’m currently working on that I can’t really talk about, but the rest are all out there for anybody to experience. Um, trying to think what’s the best, like, I think the most recent one, um, that has just like a real kind of feel, good sense to it is, um, and I talked about it in, um, the woosh, um, presentation that I.

Goodness. When was that? Beginning of October. Um, but it’s this furniture company, Giovan, and we did [00:17:00] a implementation, well, we, they were on a very static site. Um, they sh they sold through dealers and so they, for a long time just didn’t have the need for e-commerce because it, you know, dealers are pay, we’re placing large orders, that sort of a thing.

But we essentially moved them into, like, we moved them from like way old to like way new. And to watch them kind, kind of like step into this, um, digital world has been really fun. And, um, we created, you know, a 3D model that connects to the WooCommerce attribute so people can like customize their furniture pieces and like see it like in real time, um, which is really cool.

But, Like, the part that I’m loving about it is how much we are like equipping, like the people inside the company and like how it boosts [00:18:00] their excitement about what they’re doing and then, um, like how that then trickles out to like their customers. And just like having all these like improved experiences and being able to do things so much more efficiently.

I love it. We like, create efficiency for a business, like almost more so than, um, you know, when we design a great landing page and the, you know, we look at the analytics and we’re like, oh, the users are doing exactly what we wanted them to do. That’s, that’s rewarding, but, I think that I get a little bit more of like a rewarding sense when I’m like, I just saved you like 20 hours of work every month.

Um, that to me, I’m, I think just because I am a small business owner, I know how big of a difference that makes to a small business that I get really excited about this stuff.

Cory Miller: Oh yeah. Anytime you can save time like that, I hope they value and understand that like you just took a big swath of our time out, that we can focus [00:19:00] on other things now.

And particularly like a furniture company that might, that you know, more traditional sales thing and being able to have that ability now on the web I think is pretty, pretty amazing. Oh

Krissie VandeNoord: yeah. And they do. I mean that’s, um, I need to figure out how to better quantify those things when I get those calls cuz they’re harder things to try to quantify is like when you’re talking about like employees time.

But we built one system that has um, an integration that tracks like continuing education credits. And this organization put on a conference every year and they’ve got, their members are tracking their credits score. The way that they were trying to process that. It was literally like manual assignment sheets and then somebody was like data entering, like all of this stuff.

And after we transitioned to this new digital system, and it’s like the conference was over and like all of the credits were entered like in real time as people attended because it happened digitally. He was just like, I don’t even know what to do with myself. I mean, I would’ve spent six [00:20:00] weeks trying to process all of these c e credits.

And I don’t have to, like, it’s done. I don’t, like it was just mind blowing to him of like, oh my goodness, I don’t have to do

Cory Miller: this. I’ve got experience helping a mental health organization, um, offer CEUs. And, and they do have that same thing, so I need to refer them on to you to do something like that because, um, she was the point of content.

Their marketing director would spend some, probably half a day on the back end after we did a C E U. Um, To like, you know, get all the paperwork and everything ready to go. Yeah. And

Krissie VandeNoord: it’s, it’s always somebody like that. It’s always like, why is the marketing director having to do this? Because like there isn’t somebody that is, I, you know, there’s nobody else to do it and just has to get done.

And cuz you know, they do the website and so, you know, whatever, like it somehow falls in their lap. But those are the people that I think appreciate the most when you save them time too. Cuz they’re like, I didn’t wanna be doing this.

Cory Miller: Yeah. Yeah. Uh, it seems very much [00:21:00] too is like if you’re an organization business that is trying to do more of those things online to reach more people and probably secondarily don’t fully realize it efficiently, um, that’s how you help people navigate that and then build the result they’re trying to get.

That helps save time and increase the, and grow the.

Krissie VandeNoord: And honestly, I think that in some regards, when small businesses can see like that kind of a direct value, it’s easier for them to bite off a more sizable project, like financially speaking, because they’re like, oh shoot, I don’t have to hire somebody.

Well, that’s a lot of money that I’m. Saving, like sure, that’s not a big deal if I am gonna pay you, you know, 30 or $40,000 to build this, you know, site for us. Um, cuz now I don’t, I’m not hiring another person. Um,

Cory Miller: and so it’s a, it’s a big win. We see that all the time at post status with our members trying to hire hiring’s tough.

Not even now. It’s just tough in general because [00:22:00] mm-hmm. , um, there are some tech companies that can throw lots of money at someone. You, the person wants to stay engaged with interesting projects, and I think that’s where our agencies like yourself, um, really have a great solution in that. Why hire a full-time person?

That might not have the training excu, uh, skills experience that you all have access to and, and have, um, to do that. Where I, I hear a lot of our agencies, you know, they’re the support, summer support for just, you know, basic website updates, but then someone like you all just to, you know, manage, I know from my own, our own business projects, You know, when I, when we add in an e-commerce option, I’m like, who’s gonna babysit it?

Who’s gonna be there when we need to do something more than the base software might do for us? Cuz we have those new odds setups and things like that. And then having someone like North UX where you can rely on them without having this, there’s so much overhead. Like we talked just a minute ago of hire having [00:23:00] a full-time employee, but someone who knows WordPress and web stuff.

That’s even a higher bar, I think.

Krissie VandeNoord: Oh yeah. Oh. Um,

Cory Miller: do you do ongoing, um, support retainers, things like that? Yes.

Krissie VandeNoord: Yes, we do. And what I, what’s interesting is I was, I was just actually just sharing the story the other day that about a client, um, that like when they came to us, and this is, this is the same client with the, uh, CU credits.

Like when they came to us, um, they had it, they had a WordPress site, but Oh my word. It was so outdated and it was, There was, there was p h P in the content editor. Like, I mean, it was just like, and I’m like, I dunno what, like it’s, it was so like, Not great. And so it was very much like, and, and they were very kind of like, oh, trepidatious about, you know, spending money.

And so like, we started them on this like super small monthly plan where we’re [00:24:00] literally just like, we’re just gonna duct tape things to kind of like keep this thing going. And then I, you know, gave them proposal for a new site. Really like pared it down to try to get it to this point where it, it was a digestible cost for them.

Um, and so it was like a really limited scope. Um, and like, you know, that first plan they were on, I think was like $500 a month or something like that. And, um, now they’ve turned into clients and like once we launched their site, they’re like, we can automate that. And they, I mean, we probably. On a given month, do 30 to 50 hours worth of work for them because there’s just something else that they’re like, Ooh, let’s make.

New and shiny. Let’s make that new and shiny. Let’s do this. And you know, and they have really bought into like the value of what we’re doing for them. And so it’s not even so much like, uh, a support plan or a retainer from [00:25:00] just like a, keeping the site going. It’s very much like an ongoing enhancements.

And we find that a lot of our clients kind of, once we do like the first big project, they. Start to kind of move into this, like, oh, we just want to continue to iterate and add more features and functions and, um, and just make it bigger and better and, and whatnot. So it’s, it’s even beyond just the support of it.

Cory Miller: Be that backstop, be that partner ally when let them do what they do best and you all do what you do best and that seems to work fantastically. Um, okay. So, you know, with all of your experience with, with e-commerce, Myriad of versions of this. I’d love to get your thoughts on where it’s going, what trends and things and themes you see.

You know, during C O D. Um, I was just talking to an agency owner yesterday that, you know, they were working with, let’s say yoga studio studio business owners, and [00:26:00] their, their business and business model got flipped on its head. So then they transitioned to use web, which I think is such a, if there’s positives that come outta Covid, I would mm-hmm.

or, or the pandemic. I would say it’s this. Did you know the whole world exists out here for your. From an e-commerce and all these type of things, perspective, what are you seeing? What are you looking forward to, you know, out there as, as you know, particularly as you work daily with clients doing these, these cool projects for them to grow their businesses.

What, what things are you seeing that stand out to you?

Krissie VandeNoord: Um, yeah, so I think that there are a lot of people that are kind of like jumping into. Um, online business kind of a thing like for the first time. Um, and at the same time, like as so many companies have kind of come out with these, and even as work processes moved more towards like a, a, um, an actual usable like [00:27:00] page builder, like d i y kind of a website thing, um, I think that.

You know, I think you could either look at that from, a couple of, you can look at it like, oh, it’s almost like, well, we’re just not needed anymore. People can just do it themselves. Um, but the reality is like, that’s not true. But I think that the way that we are, um, engaging with the people that do want to do it themselves, um, I think there’s opportunity there and I’m kind of excited about some of the things cause I.

As nor as an agency, we’ve really served these very, um, like small businesses, but very established small businesses. Like they’ve been around for a while. They have, you know, 10 to 20 employees. Um, you know, they’ve got money to invest in a sizable project. Um, But I’ve kind of always wanted to figure out, um, a better way to catch people, like catch businesses as they’re [00:28:00] just starting because of what I’ve, I mean, so many of our clients made poor tech decisions in the beginning and are with us because we are unraveling something.

And so how can, how can with this new. Uh, you know, it’s so easy to do, like no code or page builders or whatever, like how can I walk people through, like just when they’re just starting to give them resources so they understand the decisions that they’re making and are when they’re comparing apples to apples or apples to oranges.

Cuz sometimes they don’t even know. And, um, they’ve got a cucumber and they had no idea, um, , but it’s technically a fruit. So, Um, but like give them the resources and the knowledge about technology in a way that they feel empowered to make some decisions and like also establish ourselves as, um, as experts in this area so that [00:29:00] then when they get to the point where they need the one little extra piece, like were there to help.

Um, and so I think that there is definitely almost like that, um, moving towards like a. Partner with you around some of the stuff you can do for yourself, um, as opposed to just, we’re gonna do it all for you.

Cory Miller: Yeah, I can see that. You know, we, we, we have a great friend who we helped start, get her off the ground and she was doing a physical product and, um, it was interesting trying to look at all the options out there.

And I know a little bit more than most people, uh, when it comes to these. But what we found too was like there’s a graduation point you may start selling here and it helps fill a need, but then you get into more complex, and if you’re like me, I go, I don’t do this all day, every day. I wanna find somebody, an expert to lead and guide me through these things.[00:30:00]

I’ve talked to a lot of our agency members like yourself and go, there’s this shift from, it’s not just Technic delivery. That’s part of it for sure. But there’s also this thing, I hope clients are more and more valuing that having a guide like yourself who has been there, done that do, does this every day to help you not make those big pitfalls.

So when there’s those steps, it seems like there might be a. , you know? Mm-hmm. , maybe we get on this thing, it’s the software as a service software solution, and it gets ’em to a step, but then they’re like, we’re ready to graduate. We wanna do all these things. Then they can come to North UX and say, guide me, lead me, and deliver the project too.

Yeah. Are, are you seeing that more and more to, it seems like that’s what you’re saying.

Krissie VandeNoord: Yeah, exactly. And I think what I’m, what I’ve seen is I feel like, um, I’ve encountered so many businesses that kind of, you know, they did the steps and then they got to a point where they were like, we wanna take the next step, but we can’t figure out how to do it from where we’re at.

And [00:31:00] by the time that they’re actually starting to engage with someone who knows this space, it’s like, oh, well we actually need to go all the way back. Square one because you have reached the top of where these stairs were going. Yeah. Um, and so helping them to make the decisions along the way that are really paving the way for their future, even before they really know what their future holds, um, I think is just, it’s huge.

Cory Miller: Oh yeah. And there’s so much complexity there and, and I say that’s a byproduct of success. You’ve gotten to this point that you need to come to Christy and other, other, our agency owners and help you guide them because you’ve gotten to this complexity and hopefully that’s called success. Well, you’re ready.

Yeah. You need, you need this. You’re ready to take this new step and blow your business out the doors for the next stage. Yeah.

Krissie VandeNoord: And we also, like, we’ve even. Taken clients through to where they’re, they’ve now they’ve grown enough that they’ve hired an in-house developer and like we’ve partnered with them to help them figure out like, how do we hire, should [00:32:00] we hire an in-house developer?

Um, and how do we hire and then continue to have a collaborative relationship to like supplement. , you know, their developer and like also just helping business understand like, you know, it’s unrealistic to think that you’re gonna hire one person that’s going to be able to truly do everything. Exactly.

You know, and so helping them understand like what is the range of skills and where’s like the 80% mark in a role that you could carve out? And where is this 20% like? Somebody that actually could do the 20% and then you’re still stuck with , the 80% that they’re not skilled for having to outsource, um, those kinds.

Of things of like really just walking everybody through from the point of like DIYing your first website to your big enough business that you have an in-house developer and we’ve held your hands the whole way

Cory Miller: through . It seems like that’s a trend in a lot of business, not just in the technical side, but where you might have somebody, that person, and I’m not [00:33:00] trying to devalue that person, but is a coordinator of these things that works with great groups and partners.

I don’t wanna say vendors, but partner. Yeah, that can come in and do those, and they’re air traffic control. I need to get these things done. We talk about a lot with the marketing side of things, Matt. You might have some that coordinates all these other things, but if you, like you said, if you expect that person to do everything, you’re wishing for a unicorn.

Yeah. Yeah. All right. Well, Christy, this has been awesome. I want to ask finally, um, what you’re excited. Coming up next year or so, um, with your work and your agency work in the world.

Krissie VandeNoord: Yeah. Um, oh my goodness. I’m like, what, what do I pick? . Yeah. Right. I’m excited about a lot. Um, I think the thing that I’m most excited, and I’ve not said this like out loud publicly yet, I don’t think, um, but kind of along these lines of [00:34:00] this, like to helping people start at the beginning is, um, I’m getting ready to kind of launch like a pilot program of what I’m calling like a e-commerce website in a day where, um, we have like some really specific.

Steps that like we walk them through that they engage with like some forms and like, you need to gather this and you need to gather that and you need to do that. And where they kind of like walk them through prepping all the things that they need and making some of the preliminary decisions. And then, um, they literally schedule a day with us where we’re just gonna crank out, um, you know, we’re gonna start with our, our skeleton theme and just be able to get them.

A site up and going because they’ve done all of the preliminary work, will import their products, you know, all of that stuff, and it’ll happen on that day, and then they’ll have a website. Um, that’s fantastic. I’m really excited about it. I [00:35:00] did kind of a really, a trial project with someone last year and, um, she, she does pottery and so this is again, Our, we’ve been with these really established small businesses, but starting to kind of find some people that are just getting started on their business.

And after we launched her site, she was like, I just did a new product drop and I made $4,000 at a time of the year where I wouldn’t have done an in-person event and would not have made any money. You know? And she’s like, Like, I can’t believe I waited this long to have my own website. Um, and so I’m excited about like that kind of stuff.

Um,

Cory Miller: that’s so fun when you’re able to, yeah. The work you’re doing contributes to this big win where someone’s in that setting able to like start and grow their business in a really tough time. Uh, and then like your furniture, uh, example is help them make processes more efficient and grow their [00:36:00] business.

Yeah. Exciting work. Thank you, Christie, for sharing your story. And, um, tell us finally where they can find out about more about you and your, your work.

Krissie VandeNoord: Yeah, so, um, north ux design.com is where you can certainly know all about North UX and what we’re doing and, um, Whatnot. And then as far as me, best place is probably Twitter, which, um, my personal Twitter is Chrissy Ray, k r i s s i e r a e.

Um, and I do have a North Uax design Twitter as well. Um, but it’s not quite as, it’s a little bit more, you know, polished professional. I don’t engage with it quite as much, but those are great places to find me.

Cory Miller: Well, thank you Christy, for this time and sharing your

Krissie VandeNoord: story. Yeah, thanks so much for having me.

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