Today we have a special guest. A CEO of one of the world’s most famous template providers, TemplateMonster, agreed to give us an interview unveiling the secrets of professional life of the company. Meet David Braun, the CEO and co-founder of TemplateMonster.
Interviewer: Hello David! First of all thank you for taking the time and agreeing to share your experience with our readers. You are in business for more than 14 years and your example will be encouraging for many young businessmen. And this is also a great opportunity to make a statement of your company once again. So are you ready to start? Perhaps, the most obvious question to begin with. How did it start?
David Braun: Yes, this is surely the best question to start with. Officially the history of TemplateMonster started 14 years ago, but its roots go deeper in 1998, when we started a small local web design studio. We started with PSD templates. But very soon we faced the problem: we unable to please all the customers, as every one of them wanted a custom design for a moderate prize. We had a lot of clients, a limited team and couldn’t reduce the prices. That was the point where the idea of creating and selling ready-made templates was born. So believe it or not, TemplateMonster as it is now has developed from a small web studio with only 10 employees.
Interviewer: And what is TemplateMonster now? What is at the back of world’s famous brand?
David Braun: First of all TemplateMonster.com is a family. A family that amounts to thousands of members and consists of the team and of our clients. Except for them it wouldn’t be us. Over these years we developed our own traditions, corporate style and ethics. Our company’s life is not limited to the template production only. There are lots of other events in our corporate life, such as marathons and other sport events, charity, we have an active social life as well. We are the Team and every day makes these tights stronger.
Interviewer: Sounds really great! And what were the milestones in the development of the company?
David Braun: Oh, that’s really hard to answer this question. Over these 14 years in the life of the company there were so many important events that it is difficult to remember them all. And I believe you are not expecting me to enumerate them all. Those who are really interesting can find this information on our website. I will say only that the last couple of years were highly eventful. Launching Monstroid in 2015 was truly a break. And very soon will start a new era of Monstroid 2.
Interviewer: Perhaps a little bit stereotypic question, but still. The competition on the template market is rather tough. What are the advantages of TemplateMonster over the competitors?
David Braun: Yes, you are right, the competition is really intense. When we just started we had very little competitors, but with the introduction of WordPress we really have to maintain our position on the market. What are our advantages? Well, everything that I will say now will sound like promotion:) Still one of the main points I am really proud of is our support team. We provide free 24/7 lifetime support for all our premium products. Not all our competitors can boast this service. Then the amount of templates we offer is really incredible. And this collection is replenished every day. And these are really high-quality products, I can pass my word for it. All the templates are user-friendly and run on modern CMS, which makes then perfect for the end-users without any coding skills.
Interviewer: Ok, it seems that ordinary users can really take the advantage of your themes. And what about web developers? How can they benefit from your templates?
David Braun: Creating a website for your client from scratch can be really time-consuming and unprofitable. It is much easier to use ready-made template for this purpose. You don’t need to waste your time on design. You just pick up a ready-made template and customize it for your clients’ requirements. Thus you will be able to complete more projects in the same period of time, and respectively your increase your income. Moreover you can make use of our templates licensed under GPL v3.0.
Interviewer: It seems that here the whole thing is taped as well. Who else can make advantage of your products?
David Braun: If I say anyone, it won’t be exaggeration. First of all I should mention TemplateMonster affiliate program. Anyone who has his own website, or even doesn’t have any, can get additional income promoting our templates. The commission rate is pretty fair and competitive. Then for those, who don’t have a website and is not involved in online business at all, we have Social Stock project. It will fit those who are involved into social media life.
Interviewer: The question that would be interesting for many readers. TemplateMonster offers a wide choice of free templates. Are they inferior to your premium products and can they be used to design a professionally looking website?
David Braun: Actually our free themes are of the same quality as the premium ones. They have the same features, but they are a little bit lighter and simpler. The only difference is that we don’t provide support for the free themes. But they can surely be used to create a decent website, without any doubts!
Interviewer: You have mentioned that you have an incredible library of templates. But are there clients who want a custom design? And can you provide them with this service?
David Braun: There is no need to recreate the wheel. We offer more than 26K templates and all of them are highly flexible, meaning you can customize it and adjust almost every element to fit your needs and purposes. There are powerful customization modules in-built, so that you can make the changes without any technical skills. But if the client wants to have a ready-to-use theme at once, we have TM Service Center as an option.
Interviewer: What are you plans for 2017?
David Braun: 2017 is a year of great expectations for us. We really plan to reach a whole new level. However there might be not very pleasant news for our customers. We have conducted an internal investigation of the technical support of our latest flagships. As a result we got lots of positive feedbacks from our customers and reached top-three on Trustpilot. It is obvious that high-quality themes with lifetime support can’t be too cheap. So we seriously consider the possibility of the price rise by 15-20% in 2017.
Interviewer: Ok, the last question, before we are done with the interview. What is your message to the young entrepreneurs that are just considering the idea of starting their own business?
David Braun: The secret of successful business is simple. You need to love what you do and do what you love. Your business should bring you moral satisfaction. And you should never be afraid to fail. Everyone makes mistakes. The point is not in predicting all the pitfalls to avoid them, but to be flexible and to act in accordance with situation.
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