By the time Joe Garner started his own business in 1999, he had already worked for the U.S. Department of Defense at its information technology laboratory in Vicksburg and for Covad Communications, one of the nation’s largest DSL Internet providers. With three years under his entrepreneurial belt, Garner has quickly established himself as a leader in Web site development.
A native of Morton, Garner founded Garner Technologies Inc. in January 1999, working part-time on nights and weekends to build the company while working full-time at another job. When he had established a strong customer base, which included Web site design for Horseshoe Casinos and Realty Mortgage Corp., the seventh largest mortgage provider in the U.S., Garner left his day job and devoted his full-time attention to Garner Technologies.
“Before I even entered college, I knew I wanted to own my own business,” said Garner, a graduate of Mississippi College, where he earned undergraduate degrees in business administration and computer science. “I had an idea of what I wanted to do in this field and I knew I could do more for clients if I used my own ideas.”
Barbara Dorr, executive director of Keep Mississippi Beautiful, who contracted Garner to create and maintain its Web site, said “working with Joe was wonderful.”
“Joe was so very professional, very cooperative and accommodating,” she said. “We had such a good experience. We wouldn’t dream of using anyone else.”
Garner Technolo-gies creates custom e-commerce sites for specialty items, develops intranets for internal use, builds extranets for vendors to track transactions, and develops Web-based applications with industry-specific value-added services, most notably for the automotive, legal, real estate and tourism professions. The company recently created an extranet Web site for Nashville-based Advantage Business Solutions, which required separate logins with separate databases for each of their customer’s 430 locations.
“When developing a Web site or marketing project, we design the image that the client is wanting to portray and then we incorporate that image into all of their advertising and marketing mediums,” he said. “This gives the company a totally synonymous marketing and advertising collection. A digital press kit is an example of a collection of the marketing/advertising projects we develop and provide to the client on CD. It may contain several print displays for newspapers or phone directories to brochureware, Web site or an interactive presentation.
It’s one source that contains all of your marketing material.”
Garner’s creation of the Keep Mississippi Beautiful Web site was “very innovative, cutting edge,” said Dorr.
“It’s something we can be proud to show other Keep America Beautiful affiliates around the nation because I think we have one of the best and most progressive Web sites,” she said.
Garner Technologies focuses on the production, maintenance and promotion of interactive Web sites, digital business cards, digital press kits and other communication projects. They recently added interactive multimedia presentations and television commercial production, marketing and advertising services.
“We built this business on the belief that we need to treat each client as if that was our only client, and to always strive to be the best in everything we do, from design and development to the finished product, and provide after-the-sale attention to all our clients,” said Garner. “We have maintained that philosophy and have developed long lasting relationships with our clients, which is reflected in our customer base.”
Some of Garner Technologies clients include the Arts Alliance, Blackwell Auto Complex, Lake Caroline, Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association, Barbour International, Faces Cosmetic Surgery Clinic and Mark S. Bounds Realty.
“Our real estate clients can manage their own property listings instead of having to send us all their new and available property listings,” he said. “We have a user friendly tool that allows anyone in their office to manage their own listings. Automobile dealers can manage their vehicle inventories with a similar tool. That saves both of them money and time.”
Garner has experienced phenomenal growth in the last few months, he said, and several law firms are lined up for Web site design, digital business cards and interactive multimedia presentations for use in trials. Next month, he is moving from a 1,000-square-foot office in Madison to a newly constructed 2,000 square foot office on Lakeland Drive. He is building a sales force and plans to hire additional staff within the next year to include designers, developers, customer support and administrative support.
“We are very flexible on just about anything we do,” he said. “We are open to ideas from clients and we will certainly be honest with them and tell them if we can or cannot use those ideas. Most of the time, we can develop a solution for them. If they can dream it up, we can develop it. Unlike most companies that focus on just image or just on programming, we combine the two to create a total package that should positively affect the bottom line of our clients, the ultimate goal.”
Contact MBJ contributing writer Lynne W. Jeter at (800) 993-3392 or firstname.lastname@example.org</a.