In less than twenty months, bdnmb.ca has achieved what many businesses only dream of. As of today, they have 10,000 Facebook followers and 150,000 unique visitors to the website on a monthly basis.
“We never really dreamed of the potential and if the numbers weren’t there to prove it, we still might not believe it,” said Darryl Wolski, Owner/Partner of bdnmb.ca.
The initial idea behind BDNMB.CA was drafted on a piece of scrap paper in September 2015 on a flight to Calgary from Heathrow. According to Wolski, the original plan was to have 10 to 12 local writers or contributors to submit weekly stories in their field of expertise. As well, the website would have movie listings, local news and sports, as well as a classified section.
“It was after I had this rough plan put together when I approached Jody Sass to partner on the concept. He agreed and the rest, as they say, is history,” said Wolski.
The first attempt at hiring a web developer to create a custom website didn’t pan out exactly as they had hoped, neither did the concept of having local writers who would contribute content on a regular basis. And to top it all off, neither of the new business owners had planned to write stories themselves, nor did they consider themselves to be writers. However, with a little bit of perseverance and the desire to make the website work, they challenged themselves to overcome these setbacks.
“It was sort of by fluke that Jody stumbled upon a story that would actually put our website on the map. He featured Don Ditchfield’s new business in the city’s east end, Crow’s General Store, which until that point was a hidden gem. Not only did the story take our website to the next level, it opened the door for many other media outlets to follow our lead and highlight Don’s business including CTV News,” said Wolski.
Since then they’ve been able to keep up with getting the latest news and information on the website to keep visitors coming back. In addition, the local business community has been very supportive and many business owners and managers recognize the value in supporting the popular site through their own advertising campaigns.
The next big phase for BDNMB.CA was the launch of freshly designed website early this year, which the partners are extremely pleased with following their first debacle (in terms of design) when they originally went online with the website.
BDNMB.CA has evolved even further with the launch of an IOS and Android App. Now, all breaking news and important stories will have a push notification sent right to their followers’ mobile devices. This will allow their followers to get the information first and be on top of all the latest happenings in and around Brandon.
“BDNMB.CA will always remain a free, local information source. However, without local advertising and business support, this would not be possible. We truly appreciate all those who believed in us and in our website. We don’t think we would have been nearly as successful if it hadn’t been for businesses such as Direct Liquidation, Pita Pit, Smitty’s, The Dock, Domino’s, Double Decker Tavern, Wendy’s and Taco Time who have provided us with gift cards and prizes for our Facebook page. We are so grateful,” said Wolski.
While Wolski and Sass work hard to make BDNMB.CA a successful business venture, they are also appreciative of others who have helped them along the way. Professional website developers, graphic designers, photographers such as Caley Brown and Jamie Willey, and local writers like Wanda Kurchaba who have all had a positive impact on bdnmb.ca.
“We also need to recognize and thank our followers. It’s those people who see a bus crashing into a building and those who think to send in a tip about a unique story that are also invaluable to our grassroots news and information website. Thank you to one and all for spreading the news and being part of something that Jody and I feel proud of each and every day,” said Wolski.