Ten Years In: From humble attic beginnings to full-fledged digital marketing company; Reflecting on Site Hub’s upward trajectory of growth

How it Started

Cold calls out of a drafty attic.

One simple goal of making one new appointment each day. 

At first, it was a way to stay busy; a new direction to take after the loss of his father. But those early YESes and small successes lead to the need for a bigger team and a renewed sense of purpose for Site Hub’s founder, Sean McKay. 

Site Hub was born out of Sean’s love for coding and web development, but his entrepreneurial spirit is owed in large part to his father. From watching his Dad, he picked up on the importance of authenticity, clear communication, and how to Get. It. Done. From those early years of Site Hub to today, our multifaceted clients have also had a major influence on Sean. His biggest take-aways? Stay curious. Don’t fear failure. 

How it’s Going

A place to call work. From our humble origins in an attic office → to an actual downtown office space → to ultimately all working from home; Site Hub’s physical presence helped solidify our standing in Rochester’s digital marketing scene. Although we are mostly virtual now, those years in an office setting felt pivotal to our growth, giving us a central location to launch new opportunities and experiences. 

Numbers speak volumes. Our cash flow is an obvious marker of our company’s growth and one that no doubt excites us. Site Hub grew in net revenue in each consecutive year since our inception in 2012.

Our team has grown tenfold. It all started with Sean and a couple of subcontractors. Little by little, he added new talent to the roster, always putting his employees and clients ahead of himself. Until, BOOM – It’s 2022; he looks around to find his company doubled in size, surrounded by a nearly all remote team of creative go-getters; eager to collaborate, learn and grow alongside him. 

Awarded for our endeavors. We LOVE what we do here at Site Hub and lo and behold – others do too! In 2021, our team earned the Tech Rochester GREAT award for Best in Digital Marketing for the THIRD year in a row. THEN, we took home FOUR MarCom awards – three Gold and one Platinum – national awards recognizing outstanding effort, achievements, and merit in marketing.

Some Hard-Won Lessons Along the Way

With ten years of success as a small business owner in the highly competitive digital marketing stratosphere, Sean has learned so much from his achievements, mistakes, and everything in between. So let’s tap his brain.

It’s okay to say no. You know yourself, your values, and your limitations better than anyone. It is almost never worth it to accept work from a client who undercuts your price, misaligns with your values, or is going to be difficult to work with. If you can sense it, which you generally can from a mile away, go with your gut and just say no.

Have an iron-clad contract. Leave no stone unturned. A handshake is awesome, but it should never constitute a deal. Always get it in writing and definitely include a mutual agreement to cover attorney fees of the winning party should there ever be a dispute. Just do it.

Hiring is scary but worth it. The fear of hiring employees in the early years stemmed from simply not knowing how to do it. But hiring staff and being in our very own office space were two major game-changers. Gone were the years of relying on 1099 subcontractors. With the help of online payroll and HR systems, growing our team has led to so many positive outcomes. 

At the heart of everything is our PEOPLE. Each individual employee sees their value reflected in not only the benefits they receive but the support, kindness, and trust instilled in them. Good things happen when employees feel valued, have confidence in the talent and diversity they bring to the table and are given the freedom and opportunity to grow as individuals and as part of a team. When our work and personal lives strike a healthy balance, everyone is able to give the best of themselves and growth absolutely happens – on a personal, team, and company-wide level. 

As we look back at all we’ve accomplished, we can’t help but feel an enormous sense of pride. But we are also brimming with excitement for what the future holds. We are going to keep doing what we do best, one SMARTsite at a time, and challenging ourselves along the way. 

We’ve grown in remarkable ways and we have no intention of stopping.