Montreal (September 14, 2017) Canadian Business and PROFIT today ranked LinkNow Media No. 97 on the 29th annual PROFIT 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s fastest growing companies. Published in the October issue of Maclean’s magazine and at CanadianBusiness.com, the PROFIT 500 ranks Canadian businesses by their five-year revenue growth. LinkNow Media made the 2017 PROFIT 500 list with five-year revenue growth of 746%. We also ranked as the #10 Fastest-Growing Marketing & Media Company in Canada and for a second year in a row the #1 Fastest-Growing Marketing & Media Company in Quebec.
“It is never easy to earn a spot on the PROFIT 500, but this year’s applicant pool was the most competitive yet,” says Deborah Aarts, PROFIT 500 Program Manager. “This year’s winners demonstrate the resilience, innovation and sheer management smarts it takes to build a thriving business today. Canada—and the world—needs more entrepreneurial success stories like these.”
Second-time PROFIT 500 placer, LinkNow Media stands out from the rest with their unique, upbeat and driven workplace culture. The company is made up of a diverse group of designers, marketers, writers and customer experience agents who are passionate about the impact great digital marketing can have on small businesses, and they encourage interdepartmental collaboration, promotions from within, and above all, they know how to have fun while working hard.
Websites can be very expensive and time-consuming to set up, so LinkNow’s mission is to provide small businesses with professional and affordable websites to establish their online presence.
Founded in 2009, LinkNow Media was a company made up of only three people. Now they’re one of the fastest growing companies in Canada, with 9,000 active customers and more than 20,000 websites created—and they’re just getting started!
To celebrate this announcement and discuss how LinkNow Media got to where it is today, we interviewed our CEO, Wesley Mendelovitch, to bring you the story of LinkNow Media:
Prior to starting LinkNow Media, Wesley Mendelovitch owned a student loan consolidation company and an indemnity health insurance company. As government regulated those industries, both eventually closed due to new regulations stopping private companies from offering those services.
With a goal to start a company unaffected by government regulations, he and his partner Sonny Bettan looked to a niche in the market they had spotted in their previous ventures, to build a company that would provide a full solution website design and marketing at affordable prices.
The journey getting to where LinkNow is today involved a lot of long hours, hard work, and dedication. Wesley missed most of his kids’ first years, as well as his wife’s pregnancy. However, for all the sacrifice there was a lot of fun involved. Where his career prior had been owning call centers that made sales on behalf of other organizations with very strict guidelines, he now found himself working with many moving parts and opportunity to be creative. Sales, marketing, design, content, keeping up with the constant changes of Google, customer service, collections and so much more. The online landscape is ever-changing.
Like most business owners, Wesley had two role models starting out. First, his father, and second, his brother in law and business partner Sonny.
Growing up with his father Marvin, who owned Federal Leather & Cork, a wholesale distributor for the shoe repair trade, Wesley worked alongside him, facing 5am mornings and witnessing a great example of what it means to be an entrepreneur. Honesty, integrity, and never cutting corners, his dad put in the hours. Through good months and bad, he’d never get discouraged and always found a way to turn things around.
His partner Sonny didn’t start out as his partner, a long time ago he was his supplier, then friend and then after introducing him to his sister, his brother in law. Sonny is the true definition of entrepreneur and savvy businessman. Quick to analyze situations and excellent at seeing the path to profitability, he anybody’s perfect partner.
Initially as with any start-up, money was a hurdle. Making sales was hard, and it was an evolution figuring out the best methods for doing so. As it turns out, plumbers and contractors aren’t always in front of computers. By adapting, finding investors, and repeating, LinkNow was able to move forward.
With core values like integrity, and transparency, in time LinkNow was able to help small businesses to succeed. By offering the complete solution under one roof. You won’t find another company that builds 100-page websites for $500 and includes as much marketing as they do. They have managed to build an excellent small business solution at a price that small businesses can afford.
So, what about the employees? When Wesley sets out to find a new member of the LinkNow family, he states that if you’re just out for yourself, chances are you won’t make it. The ideal employee at his company is not only hard working, but good hearted and caring as well. With this in mind, LinkNow has grown into a truly unique workplace filled with employees who are genuinely dedicated to teamwork, clients, and each other.
And of course, a little creative thinking is involved. Wesley encourages this through offering freedom. Employees don’t have someone staring over their shoulder at all times, and the work environment is created so that you can collaborate easily, or put on a set of headphones and tune the world out.
The staff also volunteer hundreds of hours a year fundraising to help children in need, LinkNow’s charity of choice. Then, as a reward, they’ve shared many memorable moments at themed milestone parties whenever they hit another 1,000 clients.
Whenever technology evolves, so do they. These changes create a constant flow of opportunity that opens doors to being able to provide even more that others don’t. Mobilegeddon was proof of this. LinkNow was able to change right along with the tech and optimize their websites for mobile devices.
When discussing leadership, compassion, caring, and the ability to inspire is what Wesley believes is at the heart of his leadership style. Starting a business means being able to sell a dream not only to future clients, but to employees as well. Inspiring and motivating others and bringing them along on the journey is key, and he has done just that.
In the future, Wesley’s goal for the company is to continue bettering service and quality. There is always room to improve and it is important that as LinkNow turns 8 years old that more and more focus is placed on giving the existing 9000 clients attention than on new client acquisition. By doing this, LinkNow will benefit by having their clients benefit.
When we asked Wesley Mendelovitch, CEO to comment on this achievement this is what he had to say: “It is such an honor and it speaks volumes to what an amazing staff works at LinkNow Media to be on the Profit 500 list two years in a row. It is so much fun to be part of such an incredible group of young, hardworking, creative and generous group of individuals here. It shows how dedication to client success and satisfaction can go a long way to growing and succeeding in an ever more competitive space.”
When asked what advice he’d give to start-up business owners, he had this to say: “First and foremost: make sure it sells. Don’t assume that you can create a product or service and people are going to want it. Start selling before you even have a finished product. At every company I have ever owned, I was selling the product before the company was even registered. At LinkNow we sold our first website before we knew how to build websites. Once you know it sells; act quickly because if you wait too long, you will become obsolete before you get out the gates.”