Building Tucson Businesses: UA graduate created a company for an undefined market

Arizona News

Your mission, Mr. Schmidt, should you decide to accept it, is to begin a business on a shoestring budget. This business will sell website design and build services to companies that don’t know they need these services.

There is no Facebook, no YouTube, no Twitter or any other social media service. Heck, it’s 2003 and Google is only four years old.

No, this isn’t some techno-world version of Tom Cruise’s hit movie franchise Mission Impossible. This is the true story of Mike Schmidt, University of Arizona graduate in 2003 with a degree in media arts and a minor in computer sciences.

He had an idea for a company that would help the “Main Street” businesses of Tucson. The help would be in the form of websites that worked well, told the story of the company and helped them increase business through their web presence.

With interest and passion (and borrowed funds from his dad to buy a laptop), Mike started Anchor Wave. He focused on Tucson and served his fellow entrepreneurs. As Mike says in the Anchor Wave Mission Statement:

“I help abundance minded entrepreneurs who feel an undeniable urge to tap into the limitless opportunities they know are outside their doorstep. … I want to give them a significant advantage through clarity of focus in their online marketing and sales.”

Over the company’s 16-year history, Mike and his team of now 20 people have built more than 1,500 websites, the majority of them for Tucson businesses. They are a marketing solutions company, leveraging smart marketing to help clients achieve results.

By nature, Mike is a perpetual learner, and one lesson he learned early on is that a business will not grow if the owner is required to be involved in everything.

So Mike modeled the process laid out in Michael Gerber’s best-seller “The E Myth,” and built systems that allowed him to become removed from the clutches of overinvolvement in every aspect of his business. In the case of Anchor Wave, this process worked very well.

A built-in advantage Schmidt felt he had: “I’ve never worked anywhere else. The advantage of that is I had no lessons to unlearn.” If something is not right, they change it.

Anchor Wave has evolved into a place where it’s fun to work; there is a focus on family and people; good ideas abound; and there exists a strong sense of personal responsibility.

Another aspect in Anchor Wave’s success is focus, specifically focus on their clients’ online reputation.

  • 97% of people search online for a local business
  • 93% read online reviews about local businesses
  • Most consumers look at 2+ review sites before making a decision
  • 85% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
  • 77% of consumers think that reviews older than three months aren’t relevant.

For a local business (Anchor Wave’s target customer), the state of its online reviews and reputation is critical. True to form, Anchor Wave has a proven system for either building or repairing a company’s online reputation.

When nine out of 10 potential customers check out the online reviews for an Anchor Wave client, they walk away with positive impressions.

That is the kind of result that perpetuates success — for the client and for Anchor Wave.

Schmidt, fresh out of the UA, took on an impossible mission to build a business in an undefined market.

The result is a success.

Anchor Wave is a go-to web development and online marketing company that helps businesses and the overall Tucson community grow. Over 1,500 Tucson businesses can attest to that fact.



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