As home -based businesses go, Sheero Media, a Web development company managed by husband and wife team Mark and Gail Villanueva, is as home-based as it can get.
“We have office dogs,” says Gail, referring to their two shih tzus staying in their office, which is a portion of Gail’s parent’s house in Cainta, Rizal.
“There was a time,” Mark recalls, “when a client called and they (the dogs) started barking, which is one of the reasons why we always make it a point to mention to our clients that we’re home-based. We never pretend otherwise.” [Learn how to manage a sideline business here]
Why should they when being a home-based business has made them the successful Web design company that they are now?
It was in college in the early 2000s when Mark, an Interdisciplinary Studies student, and Gail, a Communications Technology Management student, both from the Ateneo de Manila University, began freelancing as Web developers.
Together, they created websites and did graphic design. “We did mostly outsourced work for other website companies outside the country,” says Gail.
After graduating in 2003, they started Sheero Media together with three other people, still accepting outsourced work from bigger and more established design companies. [See 10 business budget ideas here]
Together, Mark and Gail made up the core team, “then depending on the project, let’s say it calls for a copywriter or a photographer, we would outsource it to our artist-friends,” says Mark, who acts as Sheero’s project manager.
According to Mark, “At the beginning, Sheero Media was just a part-time thing since it wasn’t that demanding yet.” During the day, Mark worked in a BPO (business process outsourcing) company in Quezon City while Gail was working on design projects full-time. “Still, business was really slow as we were project-based,” she says.
Mark also said there were times when they’d have two to three projects a month, “and then for three straight months, we’d have nothing.”
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