One year and seven lessons
It is with great pleasure to announce that we are now a year old! Its been an interesting, fun, challenging and tough first year.
We have learned a lot and proved to ourselves that we could do what we set out to do. We have also been humbled a lot and realised that there is more to learn than we could ever have imagined!
What have we learned from our first year trading in the web design and development business?
1. Working for yourself is great but discipline is required
Deciding what hours you will work for the week, deciding when you will go on lunch and having the freedom to get out there on a sunny day and make up for it later is a freedom that can’t be matched. But having no boss doesn’t come without its problems. Our motivation and discipline has been tested many times and we have truly learned that to run a tight ship discipline is required. Nobody is exempt from laziness at times and having no boss is one sure way of proving that.
2. Time needs to be used productively
Having meetings, coming up with ideas, discussing items at length is all fine but it has to have substance. There needs to be actions set and work done. A huge lesson we have learned is that discussions should be productive and time should be spent on delivering not just talking about delivering.
3. Good customer service in the web design industry is scarce
This is something we suspected but had totally underestimated the extent to which it was true. There are many people in Ireland and possibly the rest of the world that have been let down by web design companies. We have made a promise to ourselves that the core philosophy of our business absolutely must be about leaving a client with a positive feeling about the entire process. As a result we can now proudly boast many references and satisfied business owners out there. We must be careful however, as the clients list grow and as the process becomes more routine we have to remember to give the same care and consideration for new clients as if they were our first ever.
4. The good competitors are great and we respect them for that
Naturally like every other business out there, we are constantly getting a feel for our competitors and sussing out what kind of work they are doing and judging ourselves as a comparison. We have seen many part time designers or supposed developers who simply download a theme and quickly churn out cheap sites. We don’t compare ourselves to service providers at that level. We do however compare ourselves to people who work at a much higher level. We have found that not only do they prove themselves to be great designers and developers but also incredibly decent friendly and professional people to deal with in any situation.
5. There are a lot of supports for start ups
Between Enterprise Ireland, Paul Partnership, Limerick Enterprise Office and all the business owners who are simply happy to give advice and guidance for nothing in return we cannot ask for a better country to try to start a business in.
6. Dealing with no nonsense clients is incredibly rewarding
We won’t lie, there are some out there who do like to waste time, perhaps talk a lot without following up or even delay in payment or not pay at all. Thankfully these are few and far between. It is a very enjoyable experience meeting with someone who is serious and professional. They want the very same thing as you do, for both sides to have a healthy, honest and sustained relationship. The types I refer to generally just want to get on with things, they want a friendly and professional conversation and for the work to be carried out in the same manner. We can never get enough of these types of business owners.
7. In the web and tech world you can fall behind at any moment
Even though we are still a new company we are constantly conscious of falling behind and getting out of date. In design, trends and fashions change so we always feel we need to deliver the right balance between being true to our own style yet addressing the modern one. The same applies to the technical side, as developers we want to ensure we are using the best methodologies, systems and tools out there, not to mention addressing the latest expected requirements from people that may have been unheard of a year or two ago.
What does the future hold for Surge?
At Surge we are constantly looking at ways to improve our service offering. We aim to continue with our philosophy of providing excellent customer service and satisfaction while expanding and testing ourselves even more in the coming year. With exciting opportunities on the horizon, the future looks bright for Surge and the best has yet to come.
If you would like to get in touch with us regarding your web or digital requirements we would be delighted to meet with you and work together, you can get in touch here