When Jim Elliston, a former nondenominational pastor, decided to start a technology company in 2007, he turned to a customer he knew best””the church””to win initial business.
Mr. Elliston says his firm, Clover Sites Inc., of Newbury Park, Calif., has since sold its website templates and Web-hosting services to more than 4,500 churches in the U.S. He also counts those institutions’ members among his company’s clientele, crediting referrals for providing a steady stream of leads.
He started out promoting his business by placing an ad in a booklet for an annual church-leader conference. From there, he says the business started growing through word of mouth. Some 95% of his business now comes from churches.