"Danny Mola’s office in east Vancouver is little larger than a cubicle, peering into a thicket of trees so clustered it could be mistaken for camouflage wallpaper.
The 34-year-old Spaniard relishes it. When asked why he and his wife moved here, of all places, he juts his excited palm toward the window to serve up the view.
“We thought of Vancouver, it’s a very, very nice area that not a lot of people were talking about,” Mola said in a thick Spanish accent. “We like the outdoors and we like hiking. Life is better.”
From this vantage — and the dual-monitor computer at his desk — Mola orchestrates Kolau, one of the more unique businesses in Clark County, with 21 total employees spanning Alaska, Hawaii, Florida, Spain and even Kazakhstan.
Kolau is a marketing and technology company billing itself as a one-stop shop for search engine optimization. Its service hinges on helping small businesses reach as many potential customers as possible. Businesses today often live or die on the first page of a web search. A florist, accountant or local grocer who can’t or won’t pay a marketing consultant would turn to Kolau, the company hopes.
“The whole model is do-it-yourself,” he said. “We provide them the tools to do so. … We make it so easy.”
The idea for Kolau began in the mountains. Two years ago, Mola and his wife hiked through the Ko’olau Mountain Range in Oahu, Hawaii, talking about internet-based platforms that made their name by making online resources easier to access.
Websites such as WordPress and SquareSpace help people with virtually no programming experience create websites. TurboTax helps people manage taxes without an accountant. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 4.47 million of the 6.69 million businesses in the United States employed 19 or fewer people in 2012. Small businesses are growing and those online platforms are giving people more tools to be their own bosses..."