By the end of 1998, we had been working together for almost a decade, from our days as entry-level copy editors at legal publisher Matthew Bender & Co., then as freelancers on collaborative and individual projects in the world of publishing.
It seems obvious today, but at the time the future of publishing (in the broadest sense) was far from clear; still, we saw that the inevitable outcome was that the Web was the publication forum of the future. However, the business landscape was paved with inexperienced and unethical contractors, who seemed to think that having a copy of Front Page Express was adequate preparation for online publishing.
We decided that the best way to distinguish ourselves from our peersand those who tenuously called themselves thatwas to incorporate, in order to provide our clients with a layer of assurance that we were serious, qualified, and in this for the long haul. We established Union Publishing Services, Inc., on January 4, 1999.
Needless to say, our instincts proved correct: Even for small businesses, publishing— specifically, the publication of information, in the form of data, writing, music, images, video, and more— has been changed, utterly, by the Internet, and we have been happy to cut through the clutter for our clients and find them a clean, well-lighted place on the Web.
With even more time, the widening and deepening of our skills, combined with our clients' evolving needs, caused us to look critically at the way we presented ourselves. The term "publishing services," while not inaccurate, was becoming a bit of an old-school albatross around the neck of our marketing efforts, and so we spent the last weeks of 2000 restructuring the company around the services that have come to mean the most to our clients.
We identified fourWeb, Marketing, Traditional Publishing, and Data Managementand became Union Business Services. We launched a new site on January 1, 2001, and began the longest chapter in the company's history.
On January 4, 2009, the U.S. was three months past a near-fatal miss with an economic asteroid. Washington was interregnum, and as paralyzed by polarization as any time in recent history. Credit was constricting like a sponge left in the sun.
At Union Business Services, the champagne flowed.
That day, we celebrated our tenth year of steady growth, and formally realigned our business (rather, acknowledge how it's realigned us) along more specialized lines: Union Business Services now handles Web Consulting, while a subsidiary, Acorn Paralegal Services, handles paralegal and editorial services.
At this writing, we have not lost a single client to the recession, and our optimism, based as it is on confidence in our skills as technical and business consultants, is undiminished.
We promise to update this history before our twentieth decade!