Tom O'Rourke of Win-Win Websites shares with us his ideas of success, the value of networking, and why making mistakes is good for your business...
I’d dealt with too many web developers who had all of the expertise and none of the customer service I was after – just basic communication skills about where we were at with projects. To reduce the frustration, I trained myself in web development so I could implement certain features I was after without being held ransom to other peoples’ timelines. The more I did it, the more I became fascinated by the technical side of things and so I delved into creating websites for friends and family. I also realised at that point that I could easily provide the customer service aspect that I’d been craving from the outset, so I thought, “why not do this myself as a business?” I wanted to offer great-looking and functioning websites that were geared toward winning business, at affordable rates.
Probably convincing customers of the value of a good website – in a world where Wix, Squarespace and Weebly are advertising heavily for DIY, cheap websites, web development has been devalued. However, once you get into it, you’ll see how limiting those platforms are for your business when you want to progress into new territory with your business. So, I need to convince business owners that my expertise and the time I’ll save them is worth their money.
Yes – I’m learning from my mistakes as I go and putting myself out there. But I much prefer that approach – actually experiencing a mistake yourself as opposed to reading about it, that has far more impact on you and drives the point home in an instant!
I’d like to grow my reputation in the industry and land bigger and bigger clients – I like ambitious websites that have some sort of complex functionality required.
I’m also new to networking, but would like to grow my network to develop strategic partnerships and collaborate with other professionals more.
Being rushed off my feet – I like having a pile of work to do. I also like if there’s a problem to solve and figuring out how to resolve it – it then goes in my ‘bag of tricks’ for later if I get a similar issue down the line.
For pleasure, I’m out on the motorbike – working from home, I’ll take any chance to get out of the house! I also like to explore the Peak District with my Border Collie and fiancé.
I’m also making the most of my dwindling athletic years with weekly football games, am an avid gamer and a DIY novice who views himself as a pro!
Make a plan and go for it! There are so many reasons to put things off – the fear of failure/rejection is a major hurdle, but it’s inevitable. But the key is to take it on the chin, learn from it, and press on. Read about any major player in business – I guarantee they made mistakes early on and experienced failure. However, if you press on and are passionate about what you do, I think success will find its way to you.
There’s no-one famous I’d pinpoint. However, I admire anyone willing to give up on the security of their job, take chances and pursue their passion as a career – not necessarily someone who’s made a lot of money out of it.
To be honest, this is an area I need to improve. I do minimal social media, so I need to improve my presence there, but from everyone I talk to, word-of-mouth and networking seems to be the way to go. Pretty much all of my work comes from word-of-mouth recommendations. So, I’m setting myself a target of at least two networking events per month – I’ve already met some great people who I can potentially collaborate with.
Sheer determination. It’s tough at the start and you make a lot of mistakes, but stick with it long enough and you’ll find your feet.
Tom is a skilled Website Developer (he made this site for us!) who also has extensive management experience as the General Manager of Australian Training Resource Provider, RTO Materials. He's also an NCTJ-accredited journalist!
Tom has expertise in web design and development, content creation and people management. If you need a great website that works hard for your business at an affordable price, Tom's your guy!