Back in 2009 we started our web design business. My wife and I were out for a walk with our daughter in the pram. I raised the subject of leaving my job and starting our own business. This is a discussion most business owners have had with their partners. Should we take the leap? Should we remove ourselves from comfortable certainty into the unknown?
I am sure people dream of this, not having to work for a boss, making a fortune in your own business instead of for someone else. However, it is not all rainbows and unicorns. It has been a hard path to our 5th birthday. We have supported a family, kept us in food, clothes, and shelter, but we have not made our fortune.
Being a small operation we have had lots of new skills to learn - bookkeeping, sales & marketing, public relations, etc. So a lot of our time is spent not making websites but keeping the business running. Traditional business advice is to bring people into your business that compliment your skills. Get a book keeper or sales team. Let us do web design well and they do their job well. However we have not had the revenue to do this. We have started to get professionals in part time. Like Vivian as a content writer. Other skills we need like photography and search engine optimisation we now refer clients to other small local businesses. So we act like a big company providing a complete solution, but we are individual small professionals.
How are we doing?
We recently launched our 225th website. That is an average of 45 websites a year. A new website every week and a bit. Lots of different regional NSW clients. We recently worked for a Catholic Church, an Angus Stud and a Mechanic. It is a varied and enjoyable job.
Of the 32 websites we did in the first year, there are 26 businesses still with us. We have noticed this sort of retention is common. If you do a good job and provide ongoing support then there is no reason for them to leave.
What lies ahead?
We are currently booked through June. We always encourage people to approach us about web design.
We are also starting to do more business process software. One recent project is a Bus Manager. We have built a website that lets our client log in and manage their bus business. Organise routes they have, assign buses and drivers to these. Create access for drivers to see their roster. Archive the details for auditing.
We are going to continue to work on this and sell access to other similiar businesses. This has been satisfying work as we can continue to make the best website we can. Rather than being constrained by a budget, we can just make all the features needed.
So if you are running your business with excel spreadsheets and notes on the wall, get it touch. We can help make your business process more efficient.
Thanks again for sticking by us, for your ongoing support of our little family business. We enjoy discussing your business with you and seeing what the internet can bring to it. We wish you success in your industry as you go through your own successive business birthdays.