Years ago, when the summer camp he was running in Ohio needed a website, Eric Dingler thought he’d try his hand at building it himself. Whether or not he knew it at the time, that sparked his interest in pursuing this as a career in more recent years.
Eric started building websites ‘on the side’ to help offset the cost of the adoption of two of his children. After Eric and his wife brought their two kids home, they realized they could develop this idea further to help other families with small businesses. Thus, In Transit Studios was born. They launched as a web design business and have since expanded to include a digital marketing division. What sets them apart from similar businesses is their small business budget pricing and their 501(c)3 that profits are redirected into to help orphans find forever families.
In Transit Studios’ business goal is simple. They guide small businesses through the modern marketing landscape. Their primary services include: getting more people to your website, building an amazing website for people once they get there, and helping you convert those visitors into customers.
Their biggest achievement so far has been rolling out what they call, “The Digital Marketing Playbook”. This Playbook makes it very clear what the path to successful digital marketing looks like for any business regardless of the industry. Within each step of the Playbook there is plenty of room to contextualize and adjust to the specific business, but the framework helps keep them and the business owner on track in a sequential order that provides results time and time again.
Eric and his wife Marissa also started a nonprofit called Achieve Adoption. They operate In Transit Studios as a primary funding source for their nonprofit. Their goal is to be donating $1 million per year to Achieve Adoption by 2030. Through Achieve Adoption, they help families fund the cost of adoption, so more orphans get their forever family.
The biggest challenge for Eric when starting his own business was transitioning from “side hustle” to full-time. It required working while his family slept, but also keeping healthy boundaries. He didn’t see the logic in creating a business at the cost of losing his family. At the moment, their biggest challenge is hiring. They have just partnered with the city of Norfolk and a non-profit about bringing on some interns.
Something Eric wishes he knew then that he knows now is that it’s okay to pay for help. For example, he wishes he would have invested in business coaching way sooner than he did.
When asked what Eric’s biggest advice is to those interested in starting their own business, he shared, “Seek wise advice from those who have actually started their own business. I get very different advice from those ahead of me who have walked my path versus those that have only studied business or who have been hired in as a CEO of an established company. I mean, I still learn from them – but not the same way I learn from those who have walked the road.”