How it started

Blog

May 22, 2024

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The inception of Hourglass Media was not just a business decision; it was a passion project sparked by a deep love for website design, programming, and development. As I navigated various business landscapes, I repeatedly encountered owners trying to overcome digital barriers. The more I understood their challenges, the more motivated I became to offer them viable solutions. This passion led to the birth of Hourglass Media, a company now recognized for its comprehensive digital services in the Buffalo area and beyond.

Little Bit About Josh

Hello! My name is Josh Bagnall, owner and founder of Hourglass Media, LLC. I grew up in central New York State with a larger family and an even larger extended family. I currently reside in Buffalo, NY with my girlfriend. During the winter months, we tend to hunker down with creative projects such as puzzles, inside-house projects, and watch our favorite shows with good homemade food. During the summer we travel around hiking (mostly locally and in the Adirondacks), riding trains, and doing outside house projects.

The Spark That Lit the Fire

My journey into entrepreneurship was triggered by a necessity at my then-workplace—an organization not directly tied to marketing or technology. When it became apparent that the company needed a robust online presence, I took on the challenge due to my extensive knowledge and experience in web development and marketing. This project reignited my passion for web design and paved the way for my future endeavors. The completion of this internal website project brought my skills to light, catching the attention of a family friend of a co-worker. This connection transfigured my first official client—a relationship that has endured for over twelve years.

Early Aspirations and Naming Hourglass Media

From the outset, my ambition for Hourglass Media was clear: to grow the business judiciously. At the time, I was entrenched in a demanding job that consumed over 60 hours weekly, leaving little room for anything else. However, my desire to create and innovate drove me to push the boundaries of my schedule.

The name “Hourglass Media” itself has personal significance. It harks back to the Hourglass bar, a place where weekly gatherings turned into lifelong friends. The choice of “Media” reflected the diversity of services I was skilled in, ranging from graphic design to video production and IT solutions, all honed from a DIY ethos ingrained in me from a young age.

Navigating Early Challenges

Transitioning to full-time management of Hourglass Media was a challenge marked by rapid growth and the urgent need to adapt. I have always been a risk-taker, but this was especially scary because my full-time job would no longer be my safety net.  This growth was exhilarating but demanded a swift evolution from a solo endeavor to a structured business operation.

Foundational Influences

My upbringing in a household with self-employed parents taught me the value of independence and hard work. My technical journey began with Adobe PageMill, leading to more advanced programming languages and website development skills. This background equipped me with the necessary skills and ingrained a problem-solving mindset that became fundamental to Hourglass Media’s operations.

Unique Approach to Web Design

What sets Hourglass Media apart is our intrinsic understanding of small business and nonprofit dynamics, having firsthand experience with the multifaceted roles within such entities. This insight allows us to tailor our web solutions effectively to meet our clients’ nuanced needs.

Securing Initial Clients

The first clients of Hourglass Media were garnered through word-of-mouth, emphasizing the trust and reliability of our services. These initial projects included working with diverse local businesses such as an excavation company, a concrete company, and a daycare—all of which showcased our versatility and client-focused approach.

Evolution and Memorable Milestones

Over the years, Hourglass Media has refined its focus predominantly towards web and digital marketing services. A notable project that stands out is the development of custom concrete calculators for a local company. This is programming we created so the concrete company could allow potential customers to get an idea of the ballpark price without taking up the time of employees, weeding out their ideal clients. This significantly enhanced their operational efficiency and customer engagement.

Core Values and Culture

The core values of honesty, transparency, and real results are not just business principles; they are a reflection of my ethos. The culture at Hourglass Media is one of openness and kindness, where honesty is tempered with empathy. This is something incredibly important here and I am confident in saying that my/our employees would agree with this in our workplace and with our clients.

Community Engagement and Continuous Learning

Feedback from our community has been instrumental in shaping our services to meet local needs. Our commitment to staying ahead involves continually pursuing industry knowledge and trends, ensuring our services remain relevant and impactful.

Overcoming Setbacks

A major learning curve for me was recognizing the strength in seeking help and expanding the team. This shift from a solitary approach to a collaborative one has enhanced our service delivery and enriched our workplace culture.

Looking Ahead

The vision for Hourglass Media is to provide more employment opportunities while continuing to nurture our current client relationships and build new ones.

Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

For those looking to venture into their own business, especially in the digital industry, it’s crucial to evaluate your motivations and be prepared for continuous learning and adaptation. Something that would have helped me to hear sooner would have been to focus on sales and finding your ideal client. 

Reflecting on the Journey

If there’s one thing I’d change in hindsight, it would be to embrace collaboration earlier in the journey. The synergy from working with others has exponentially enhanced our capacity to deliver innovative solutions.

Hourglass Media began as a personal quest to solve real-world problems through technology and has grown into a pillar of support for businesses navigating the digital landscape. Our journey is one of passion, perseverance, and an unwavering commitment to our clients and community. I am grateful for all I have experienced and excited to see what the future holds.

Thanks for reading!

If you have any questions or need support, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our team is here to help and we’d love to hear from you. Contact us today to get started.

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