Founded in 1996
Way back in 1995 Michael Ricker decided to make a career change after many years of managing corporations for others he became an entreprenuer and opened his own business.
He had a vision that some day websites would be a business standard.
In those days, there were no classes or college courses to take to learn website design. He spent six months learning everything he could about the internet and building websites. In May of 1996 Management Specialties was registered as a business in the state of Minnesota.
This was only 2 years after the web was opened to commercial business. Internet connections were measures in kilobytes instead of megabytes like today. Internet access was done via modems. Computer screen resolutions were 640 x 480 pixels. There was no Google. Yahoo was king. Netscape was THE browser. Streaming video was postage stamp size and requied "plug-in" to view. There were no Smart Phones.
The business was launched as "home-based", which also was a signifant part of the target market. In 1997 the business was moved to a small office in Blaine, MN on HWY 65. In 1998 the business was moved to the Village Bank Financial Center to a top floor corner office.
Michael was involved in the Metro North Chamber of Commerce from the start. Sunrise Networking was a leading referral source. In 1998, he was awarded a contract to redesign a 200 page website for United Defense.
In 2005 Management Specialties was awarded the Small Busines of the Year Award by the Metro North Chamber of Commerce. (After being finalist for 8 years - more than any other business in the 800+ member organization). Jay Conrad Levinson of Guerrilla Marketing fame was the keynote speaker at one of those awards. Jay meet Michael and quickly built a rapport with him leading Jay to say "If you need a website call Management Specialties".
In 2007, Extre Makeover Home Edition came calling to our client TJB Homes. The shows producer, Conrad Ricketts of Lock and Key Productions, told our client Tom Budzynski that his website, TJBHOMES.com, was the best builder website he’d seen in 5 years of producing the show. This lead to Management Specialties building a website for the episode, which the 100th show, a 2-hour special that aired on Thanksgiving day. Conrad Ricketts had wagered with Michael that his web servers would crash under the heavy traffic load as even national builders such as Toll Brothers servers went down. Michael and son Mason, were vacationing worry free in Hawaii when the show aired. Despite thousands of veiwers per second, the hosting server did NOT crash.
In 2009, Ricker followed his dream and moved to Florida, including the business. Officially Management Specialties was dissolved in MN and rebranded in Florida as Management Specialties Web Services, LLC. Michael joined Business Builders BNI Chapter in Cape Coral and is former president of the chapter as well as served as Vice President and of course chapter webmaster.
In 2009 Management Specialties also developed a second website for Extre Makeover Home Edition as TJB Homes again was involved.
In 2011 Michael moved the business to Cape Harbour in Cape Coral.
Over the years his services have adapted as websites have evolved. Aside from technology, the way websites are used has eveloved. Over the last decade online reviews have become increasingly important. I worked to develop a solution to provide review management services for my clients. This led to the launch of GetMoreOnlineReviews.com in 2015. It is built on a platform is used by tens of thousands of businesses. GetMoreOnlineReviews.com Makes it easy for customers to leave reviews easy for you to manage reviews. Why? Because Online reviews are the new standard for business!
Michael was correct...business websites have been a standard for years now.
In 2021 he celebrated 25 years in the business and continues to serve hundreds of clients in MN, Florida and across the US.