Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business. Builds You, Err, A Custom Website For Free

Say you don’t have the time, energy or the knowledge to put together a website of your own. You could hire a digital agency, but costs can be prohibitive. Neither can you control the quality you get if you opt for a freelancer or use a crowd-sourcing service. Here’s another option, and it’s even free too:

Founded by 30-year old Greg Trimble, offers clients a customized website for free. If that sounds somewhat shocking, it should be. Trimble, who put together the site with his long-time friend Brian Barton, saw an opportunity when his father’s accounting firm had many small business owners who needed help with their technology and marketing efforts. Trimble then put together a company, Simpletech Solutions, providing a range of services for those purposes.

As the US economy went downhill, Barton and Trimble noticed that many small businesses no longer had the money to spend on web development and online marketing, and yet many clients would want to build a website. One night as Trimble lay in bed, he had an epiphany – why not offer customized websites for free? If they could help these clients become successful in their businesses, Trimble believed, that they would in turn come back to him for other online marketing services. He immediately searched for the domain, and bought it at US$500.

Building Long Term Relationships

So how do they make money? It is the company’s hope that, in the long run, the relationships they develop with clients will bring them further opportunities down the line. “Because we invest a great deal of time and money into building their website, they appreciate us and will come back to us for other services that we offer,” Trimble explains, who believes that there are currently no other companies offering something similar to what they are doing on that level.

And Trimble sincerely believes that is targeted for everyone. “We target small businesses, families, and organizations. There is not an industry that we cannot accommodate because we do not rely on pre-built do-it-yourself websites, but an actual web designer to build a custom website based off of the needs of the client or customer,” insists Trimble. And he’s not impressed by some of the work he’s seen from some of these competitors. “We see templates, and the websites from some of these large companies that are customers bring to us and we are sometimes embarrassed for them,” Trimble reveals.

“As busy as a business owner’s life is and as bad as the economy is right now, we have tried to make the process of receiving a custom website as easy as possible and we are doing it for free,” he explains. “The only cost to our customers is their web hosting.” charges customers a web hosting fee of US$19.95 a month. The feedback that they have received so far from our customers, Trimble crows, has been outstanding.

But he also acknowledges that  there is a lot of competition out there, and many of those competitors – especially the larger ones – spend hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing their services and therefore can be hard to compete against. “It will be a great challenge to overcome the marketing efforts of large companies in order to break through and take a small piece of the web design market,” he says.

“So, we believe our biggest challenge in this competitive world will be to get the word out. That is why our slogan is ‘tell everyone’,” he adds.

Learn From Your Lessons

Trimble’s entrepreneurial journey has, as he put it, had ‘many ups and downs’. “I cannot tell you the amount of hours I spent studying other entrepreneurs and ideas,” Trimble laughs. “I have had literally hundreds of business ideas in my mind that have never come to fruition.” He says there were many times he’s ventured onto some ideas and put in a great amount of work into it only to realize he was on the wrong path all along. But he believes you can learn from those lessons.

“If we take those lessons and apply it to the idea that we feel has the most potential, then we will ultimately one day find success,” states Trimble. “It has been my experience in life that the people that are most wise and have found success, are the people that approach every situation with an open mind, taking the good and applying it, taking the bad and discarding it.”

He adds that one of the biggest lessons he’s learned was to never give up. “Many people will slam your ideas and tell you that something will never work, but if you believe in it and you have faith in it and you work as hard as you can, you will eventually succeed.”

His advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to seek to fill a need. “A good idea in one economy may be a horrible idea in another economy,” Trimble adds. “If you look at market conditions and base your strategy and ideas off of those conditions, it will be much easier to fill a need.” He says it’s critical to find out who the best of the best are in your industry, and then take all of their strengths and put them together in order to deliver a complete package.

“Do not get bogged down or discouraged by not having enough money to make your idea hit the mainstream,” he encourages, adding that if your idea is good enough and if you put in the effort, ‘money will find you’.  “Don’t make it all about the money, find something that you truly enjoy, and something that you find satisfaction in. Be patient in your endeavors and remember that every seed has a germination period. Your business, and your idea, is no different.”

“Give it time, make sure to water it, and watch it grow.”

Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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