West Richland digital marketing company aims to be one-stop shop

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Cougar Digital Marketing & Design’s business plan has evolved over time

Travis Hartliep wasn’t sure how long his startup company would last when he began it out of his then Tri-Cities home in 2012.

Back then, Cougar Digital Marketing & Design LLC was just him, with his wife Erika helping out.

“To be honest, I didn’t know if there would be enough work to keep myself busy,” Hartliep said. “It was not until we’d been in business three and a half years that I thought we could make it.”

We want to be a one-stop shop.

Travis Hartliep, owner of Cougar Digital Marketing & Design

Hartliep said about 80 percent of all startups don’t last beyond 18 months.

And according to Neil Patel of Forbes.com, nine out of 10 startups will eventually fail.

It’s safe to say the prospects for Hartliep’s West Richland company – at 4001 Kennedy Road – look good for the long term.

Sometime in the middle of October, Hartliep and his seven employees – four full-time and three part-time – will celebrate the company’s five-year anniversary.

It’s a result of Cougar Digital’s ability to keep abreast of the never-ending changes involved in the digital age, Hartliep said.

“When I first started in the business, I was in graphic design and website design,” he said.

But today, his company can offer a variety of services: website building; e-commerce websites; lead-generating web packages; search engine optimization, or SEO, and marketing packages; Facebook and Google ad campaigns; graphic design; brand development; and professional printing.

It’s helped company’s bottom line.

Hartliep estimated he did $60,000 in business his first year.

“This year, we’re approaching $350,000 to $400,000,” he said. “Now overhead comes along with that. But I love our culture here.”

So do his customers.

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Jeffrey Morrow

Jeffrey Morrow

Jeff Morrow retired from the Tri-City Herald in 2015. Jeff spent 30 years on the Herald’s sports staff, including the last 19 as the sports editor. Although he likes to write, Jeff still finds time to travel, golf and take care of his family’s three dogs. He and his wife of 31 years, Connie, have two adult daughters.

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