This story is part of Bplans’ “How I Did It” series—true stories of real businesses getting started, solving problems and finding success. Read the previous story here.
Christian at Big Step Consulting:
“When my wife and I launched our consulting firm, it was a highly competitive market with projects usually awarded based on feedback and a portfolio—neither of which we had. We did have a lot of time on our hands (having no work), we came up with imaginary businesses and then built fully functional sites based on their requirements.
“One of our first portfolio sites was one of these fake customer sites, called ‘Preferred Pets’—it was a fully operational ecommerce storefront that we built in house for an imaginary company that sold pet products. Even though the company was fictitious, doing this was a huge learning process for us as we worked the kinks out of the ordering system, built administrative interfaces to manage products and tied everything into a credit card processing system.
“On the backs of some of these early fake company sites, we quickly began getting projects. Ironically, one of the areas we ended up doing a lot of work early on was in ecommerce—and all of those projects ended up being built on the foundation we created with our ‘Preferred Pets’ system.”
Christian Gainsbrugh is the President of Big Step Consulting Inc. which provides web development and technology consulting services. He is also the Lead Architect of LearningCart, a website framework that allows organizations to easily sell access to digital files and online training.