Where has the time gone?

Many of us are in the final quarter of 2017 and it's time to see if we've been attaining the goals set-out at the beginning of the year.

It is also a time to start thinking about the direction of our business as we approach 2018! For DANIMA, we will be entering our 20th year in business in 2018. A milestone that we are proud of, for sure, but it's not only a time to reflect on all that got us to this point in our the journey, it is also a time to begin thinking about the next 10 years...the next 20 years!

Come April of 2018, DANIMA will be celebrating all year and reflecting on 20 great years in business. A new web site is imminent, new promotional items, a new approach to our business, and much more chatter from me here on our blog. We have a lot going on that I will comment on in my next post, but for now I wanted to share this great article from our friends at The Business Link! Thanks to my friends at Light of Day in New Jersey, Carl at Transportation Safety Training and Sue at Niagara Peninsula Energy for supporting us in the publication and, of course, over the years. Enjoy this nice piece by Scott!

Niagara Falls web design agency marks twenty years of serving its clients’ print and on-line needs.
By Scott Leslie

Every day, thousands of small and medium-sized businesses struggle to market themselves on-line. That’s why it’s important to have a digital expert in your corner – someone who can make sense of your needs and deliver cutting edge solutions where it’s needed most.

Someone like the dedicated team at DANIMA Creative Group.

DANIMA Creative Group is a progressive firm that offers a wide range of services including secure website and web system development, socialmediamanagement,search engine optimization, branding and print design.

“From the very beginning we have helped our clients keep up with the never-ending changes in the e-landscape,” says Dave Rotella, president and co-owner of DANIMA Creative Group, “and that commitment has really paid off for usover the years.”

A Bright Idea

In many ways, the idea for DANIMA came about largely by accident. Back in the spring of 1998, Dave and his two friends Nick Svab and Matt Walsh were sitting around a patio, enjoying the sunshine and a frosty beverage, when the subject of the internet came up. In those days, the internet was all brand new and the three of them felt they should really be taking advantage of it. The question was “how?”

It didn’t take long for them to come to a decision. Why not launch their own web company? But what would they call their new enterprise? One of them suggested they use the first two letters of their first names, and the idea clicked. “DA-NI-MA” Technologies Inc. was born.

“Nick, Matt and I were all busy working our nine to five jobs,” Dave recalls, “but the idea of starting a business really motivated me. It created this fire inside me and every waking moment I wasn’t working nine to five, I was working on our new venture.”

In the beginning, DANIMA was just a small three-man operation, offering services like web design, web hosting and domain name registration, and developing some basic web directories.

After working out of their homes for a few years, the friends would establish their very first office in 2003, sharing a unit on Morrison Street in Niagara Falls – and turned DANIMA into a full-time business. As time wore on, they also added a few key staff including an administrative assistant and two programmers, to assist as the business began to grow.

By 2008, the company would move from its original Morrison Street site to its current location on 4056 Dorchester Road. But that time was also a period of soul searching for the company. The marketplace was changing, and the DANIMA team need to rise to meet the challenge. By 2010, DANIMA had begun to diversify and branched out into print and design services – even adopting a new name to reflect that growth: “DANIMA Creative Group.”

In the past year, the firm has also transitioned away from the web hosting business in order to focus on its core services – namely web, print and social media.

“Our philosophy hasn’t changed since the day we started,” Dave says. “We’re still dedicated to providing our clients with the tools to help them be successful both on and off-line.”

Client Matters  

These days, DANIMA is one of the most cutting edge web development and print firms around with offices in Niagara Falls and Toronto. The company currently has eight employees and over 250 clients in Canada and the U.S. including major players like Air Canada, Hilton Niagara Falls, Toyota, Garda and Hamilton Health Sciences. DANIMA has also had its share of celebrity clients over the years including Milos Raonic, John Cafferty, Elvis Stojko, Marcel Dionne, Grammy winner, Joe Grushecky, Steve Earle, Daniel Nestor and most recently legendary country-rock group, Poco.

Over the years, DANIMA has created business systems for hundreds of firms in nearly every sector – whether it’s the hospitality, insurance, music, non-profit or tourism fields.For instance, DANIMA has had success with its Platypus Reservations Management System over the past several years which has been used successfully by manyprominent local hotels and tour companies.Just this fall, DANIMA also introduced the Tango Business Management System – a suite of human resource and business modules that are tailor made for small and medium-sized businesses. 

According to Dave, the decision to get into building business systems such as intranets, project management systems and e-commerce systems was a natural one, as many businesses were looking for custom solutions to their business’ needs.

“About 10 years ago, we decided to invest ourresources into ensuring all our web products were built in-house,” he says. “That allows us to customize our products and serve our clients better.”

The DANIMA team has also increased their business substantially by focusing on several growth areas like social media and digital marketing. Print services in particular have been a great addition for DANIMA in recent years.

“We can serve all your print needs from signage, business cards, menus, brochures, window coverings – you name it,” Dave explains. “It makes for more consistent branding have all your design needs created by the same company.”

Seeing The Light

Over its history, DANIMA has been fighting hard for its clients – but the DANIMA team is just as committed to fighting for the people who need it most.

In 2007, DANIMA became the lead organizer of Light of Day Canada – a series of benefit concerts that helps raise money for the Parkinson’s Society of Canada – and takes care of all the event marketing, social media, website, and ticket sales. Light of Day Canada then donates all the resulting proceeds towards several entities including Parkinson Canada, the Light of Day Foundation, the Steve Ludzik Foundation, Queen's University Neuroscience Studies, and the London Health Sciences Movement Disorder Centre.

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder that affects the central nervous system and affects thousands of people each and every year. It’s a cause that has really hit home for Dave.

“Since Light of Day started, I’ve gotten to know many people with the diesease and havelost several friends and family to Parkinson’s,” he says. “It’s what motivates me to keep working hard so we can help find a cure and move on to the next one.”

To date, Light of Day Canada has raised over $400,000 for Parkinson’s research – and the event continues to move from strength to strength. In the past year or so, Light of Day Canada has grown to include concerts in Toronto, Hamilton, London and Kingston and added major acts like Blue Rodeo and Steve Earle to their shows.

Dave says it’s a good feeling to give back to the community that has given so much to myself and to DANIMA.

“We’ve donated a lot of time and resources in the past 10 years,” he explains. “We’ve been donating to causes, sponsoring charity events and local sports teams, and create one or two websites for non-profits every year.”

Rolling With The Changes

Dave would be the first one to tell you how much the web business has changed since he started back in 1998. And a lot of web companies have fallen by the wayside since that time. Not DANIMA.

“We've continued to evolve our business over the years to keep up with changes,” Dave’s explains. “Things have changed dramatically over the past 20 yearsand we have had to evolve or else we’d never have survived.”

The DANIMA team itself has also gone through many changes over the years. Dave’s partner Matt left the company to teach at Fanshawe College in London back in 2001 and Nick looks after DANIMA’s operations in the GTA

But one thing will always stay the same – and that’s DANIMA’s commitment to being the best.

“I don’t take this business for granted,” Dave says. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to get up every day and do something I love with great clients and a great team of talented individuals who have helped DANIMA evolve and succeed in a very competitive industry for 20 years.

When I think back, it’s hard to believe that we were here before Facebook, Google, Wikipedia, Spotify and iPhones, and we outlasted Napster, clipart, Flash web sites, floppy discs, Ask Jeeves and much more!

It hasn’t been easy, but I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”

Posted by: DANIMA Dave


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