(The following article is from our writeup in the Sunday Business Post)
Start-ups in the new media sphere must be flexible and adaptable when developing their business model, according to James O’Sullivan, coowner of website developer JamjoDesign.
‘‘In our business, there is no revenue model that you can write down and follow each time,’’ said O’Sullivan. ‘‘In most cases, our revenue would come from the build stage. However, we do small bits of maintenance on an ongoing basis for different clients. We also have sites which would need significant maintenance and new content every month.’’
Jon Carroll, O’Sullivan’s partner, said that the evolving nature of web technologies helped the company to build a viable, commercial relationship with clients. ‘‘We learned a very important thing as our business grew. On the web today, the development lifecycle does not end at a launch date,’’ said Carroll.
‘‘We put in social media tools such as a blog, Twitter feeds, a Facebook group and all those tools that help the user to promote themselves. With Google going with live search and social search, company sites that are not updated with new content each week will not get the web traffic they deserve. The day of the static brochure site is gone.’’ Established in 2007, JAMJO Design is based in Cork.The company is a tight operation with few operating costs.
Keeping overheads low
‘‘The trick for any start-up is to keep overheads low and thankfully the nature of our work involves very few overheads,’’ said O’Sullivan. ‘‘We do at times outsource certain work to developers, illustrators or photographers, but most stuff is done inhouse.’’ In addition to developing sites, Jamjo also provides print and other media services. ‘‘We have a four-step approach to projects define, design,develop, refine so we see ourselves as web designers, web developers and also marketing consultants,’’ O’Sullivan said.
Jamjo has worked withmore than 100 clients in the past three years. It has just launched a new version of the business networking site SmallBusinessCan.com, which is supported by Ulster Bank. ‘‘It is a business networking platform, allowing users to openly share their knowledge and experience with other like-minded small businesses and entrepreneurs in a friendly online environment,’’ said Carroll.
Simple social web tools
‘‘Engagement platforms such as this provide simple social web tools to help people help each other.’’ Jamjo hopes to build up a global network of expert consultants to advise on projects. ‘‘We are talking with some talented people in London and theUS about building relationships,’’ said O’Sullivan.
‘‘Because the web is ultimately global, and our clients will want to have a global reach and feel,we would like to have a reach beyond the island of Ireland.’’ O’Sullivan advised new companies launching websites to use Web 2.0 tools to get the most from their online presence. ‘‘Companies such as sustainable packaging supplier Down to Earth Materials are blogging about the Electric Picnic and who the cool bands are, but they are selling sustainable products,’’ he said. ‘‘They are connecting their green business activity with their interest in music and creating a lot of activity on their Facebook page and company website.