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Location:Monasterevin, Co. Kildare
What is the nature of your business and when did you start?
I started my business in October 2010, but I have six years experience in website development and online marketing. I provide website design and development, search engine optimisation and online marketing services to small and medium sized businesses. I also offer WordPress customisation. WordPress is a popular blogging and website management tool. Many businesses use WordPress to set up and update their website.
Why did you decide to start your business?
Since completion of my Masters in 2002, I knew I had a skill that I could use to set up my own business. The idea has always been in the back of my mind and I had been approached by people asking me to do some work for them. After turning 30 I realised that the time was right for me to start my own business and realise my potential.
The biggest challenge and achievement so far?
The biggest challenge I have is finding ways to advertise on a very small budget. Luckily I know how to make the best of Google AdWords with a small budget and by optimising my website for search engines I have gained a good ranking in the natural search results, which only cost me my time.
I feel that getting a business off the ground in the depths of a recession is a significant achievement. I have managed to achieve a lot in a short space of time. In less than a month I have launched my website, and a business Facebook page that now has over 100 fans and growing!
I am also proud of how I have managed to spread the word about my business. I have started a weekly technology article in a local newspaper, the Kildare Post. I promoted my business in the Bank of Ireland in Monasterevin during Bank of Ireland Enterprise week which went well.
Who do you look up to in business?
I think Google is to be admired for boosting their business during a global recession. The continuing success of Google has shown that even during a recession businesses recognise the need to advertise online and that online advertising works. It is this success that has been one of the inspirations for me starting my own business and although I am not comparing myself to Google their attitude has perhaps rubbed off on me a little.
What is your advice for other entrepreneurs?
I know it is a cliché but my advice is to stay positive. You will meet people that don’t believe in your business but if you have a proper business plan and are sure it can work then keep going. Business will not come to you, you have to work for it, and go looking for customers, but it is all worth while.
What makes your business different or special?
I think I make my business special. As a sole trader my customers are putting their trust in me alone so I have to be able to meet that with a good product and great service. My combination of skills and experience is special as I can provide both design and development; that is visual design and website coding. Combine this with my experience and success in search engine optimisation and online marketing and you have a very special combination of skills that other businesses with lots of staff are unable to provide. As I am a small business I can also provide my services at an affordable price range but still deliver a quality website. Quality and affordability is something many website development companies promise but don’t deliver on. I get a lot of business by word of mouth so I have to deliver both or businesses won’t recommend me.