Shop small – Shop Local
How Cyntergi was born, and what we want to create!
Shopping Small Business with Cyntergi
*Tell us about your small business!
Cyntergi is a marketplace and directory solely for small businesses. It was created to be a one-stop-shop for everything small businesses. Whether you’re looking for a plumber or doing some mothers day jewelry shopping, you’ll find it on Cyntergi.
Our website was designed to be neatly organized to create a wonderful shopping experience while making things simple and affordable for businesses.
*Tell us more about yourself
I grew up in a small town in Central Washington spending most of my time playing outside. I would tape a big red flashlight to my handlebars and ride my dirtbike out in the pasture until my parents came out and made me come inside!
Even as a kid I was creating business plans with my dad. We had a complete business plan on turning our house into a drive-through restaurant where I was the chef. We even went through creating pricing and calculating profit margins!
I still love to create business plans, but I am not too sure my wife would approve of turning the house into a drive-through restaurant… so I have turned my efforts towards something a bit more practical!
Growing up with severe ADHD and Depression, I struggled through school and finally decided to do online school to finish up high school. While I was doing online school I started working for our small family business full time. This is where I started to learn more about running a small business and eventually got into web design (which is what helped me build the website for Cyntergi all by myself).
I hope that one day this story can be something that helps inspire other young adults who are battling mental illness and find it hard to follow their dreams. Regardless of what you’re going through, you can achieve great things if you don’t give up!
* What were you doing before you started your business?
Before I started Cyntergi I had been running our family business. It was a diesel performance shop (Heath Diesel). I started cleaning, and worked my way into building parts and shipping, then into data entry, and eventually become the Operations Manager before the business was sold.
When I first started Cyntergi I worked a few small jobs to keep food on the table, but now that my wife landed her dream job I am working from home with our 3 daughters!
* What made you want to do this?
We have always been big on shopping with local businesses and small businesses, which is why we created Cyntergi. The idea was born after seeing a post in our community Facebook group looking for a small business of a certain kind. I thought to myself, there has to be a better way to find small or local businesses beyond just posting to your local Facebook group.
So I created Cyntergi to be a one-stop place to shop with local or small businesses wherever you are!
*How did you get started?
We picked out a name, and I started working on the website. Since I had a general idea of what I wanted to create, getting the website started was somewhat easy. Because I am wanting to create something that I hope will someday rival larger companies like Amazon, I have spent much time trying to create a smooth website that is pleasing to use.
We started with a very small marketing budget, so I initially reached out to friends and family to create the first few listings. Beyond that, I joined a handful of small business groups on social media and reached out to other small businesses to get them set up with free listings.
As time goes by I continue to perfect the website and add other features to our marketplace and directory – such as instant chat or online booking.
IOS and Android apps are also in the works, which we are excited about!
* What does a typical day look like for you?
My day typically starts when the kids wake up (at least 2 of our 3 daughters are early risers)… I blindly stumble around trying to make some coffee while the kids watch some cartoons with the dogs.
After we get started I check in on the website and respond to e-mails and messages.
Later in the morning, I will work on our blog posts a little bit and respond to more messages & emails.
Throughout the afternoon I like to browse small businesses and reach out to them about doing articles on their business or getting them set up in our marketplace/directory.
After the kids go to bed I hop back on the website and work on the blog some more, as well as go through new listings/products and respond to messages one more time.
* Where do you want to end up / what goals do you want to achieve?
I would love to have Cyntergi grow into a common name like Amazon or Google. There are over 600,000 small businesses just in Washington State – so it’s quite possible for our small business to grow into something that would impact people all around the globe.
With that, we want to create high-quality jobs to help us run our business – and plan to raise as much money for charity and non-profits as we can.
While our business has the potential to make millions of dollars in profit, we as a family have no interest in spending that much money on ourselves.
My wife grew up doing soup kitchens and working in her community to give to those less fortunate, and I want to grow Cyntergi into something we can use for that same idea but on a larger scale.
Once Cyntergi does get to that point – we plan to pick a specific number for a profit cap – and will donate everything above that limit. I have always felt like a business should not be sitting on hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit at the end of the year. You’re either paying your staff too little or charging too much. We want to grow Cyntergi into something that can be an example of what a giant is capable of with proper intentions.
* What are some of the more memorable obstacles that you’ve had to overcome?
To be honest, this entire journey has had plenty of ups and downs, especially creating such a complex website by yourself with a small budget. I think the biggest obstacle that I have had to overcome would be perfecting our website. Between building something that is smooth and easy to navigate, but also loads fast and scores high on places such as www.gtmetrix.com or Google’s page speed insights.
Especially in today’s world of SEO, it’s very difficult to gain traction with how flooded the internet is. Large corporations spend thousands of dollars every month to remain at the top of search results for so many different key phrases, so it’s a challenge for a smaller business to gain organic traction when you’re competing with giants.
That is a big reason why we wanted to create Cyntergi – to give small businesses better exposure. With the internet being smothered by large businesses like Amazon, it’s difficult to get your name out there. Especially if you’re a service-based business, like a local plumber or handyman. Cyntergi is a place where people will be able to go to find those local businesses, read reviews on them and see their work, and even reach out to them – all in one place!
*What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
Don’t give up when it is slow to take off. Even the best ideas can take a long time to really get going. Even though things might take off slowly, if you like your idea and like what you’re doing or trying to accomplish – do not give up.
When you’re trying to start your own business, you want to find something you are passionate about. Whether that is building websites, taking pictures, or painting houses. If you enjoy it, and you’re good at it, you can turn it into a business.
I would also say that you are more capable than you know, so even if it’s an uphill battle you should believe in yourself. People find out what they’re made of under pressure, so keep going and never give up… you never know when you might create something that impacts lives all around the world!
*What is your favorite thing about your business and what you do?
I love the idea that we are creating something that will help small businesses continue to grow. Especially in a world where large corporations have gained so much power, I think it’s great to be apart of something that will give some of that power back to regular hard-working people.