web designer poole

Finalists in BVM Awards: Start-up Business of the Year 2019

We’re so excited to announce that we are finalists in the Blackmore Vale Magazine Awards for the category of Start-up Business of the Year 2019!

Obviously the whole team are excited, but this means so much more to me personally as I actually won this exact award 4 years ago with The Honest Agency – a company that later became a victim of its own success and taught me some hard lessons.

Actually, it’s a very interesting comparison as both companies will be about the same age at the time of their awards and at that stage of Honest Agency, it was very similar to Dorset Tech. It was also a social enterprise giving it’s profits back to the community, just through different routes. It was focused purely on Web Development whereas Dorset Tech has a much broader service base, but the same emphasis on quality and value for money existed back then too.

We have higher rates than Honest Agency did due to having higher overheads (office, software, phone support team, etc), but are proud to still be around 1/3 of the industry average.

Honest Agency’s flaw was what we believed to be it’s strength at the time. Most of the ways they gave back to the community cost both time and money, especially their STEM education centre! The award-winning education centre was a true asset to North Dorset and one-of-a-kind, but unfortunately, due to lack of funding from other sources and a lack of volunteers, quickly became a full-time business in it’s own right and one that wasn’t generating revenue.

Dorset Tech is so much simpler than this. We still give back to the community, but in ways that directly relate to what we do and normally down to donating time rather than money. This enables us to be more “profitable” and therefore help more good local causes. We have recently taken over part of the old education centre and are looking to re-open it in a new, much smaller form later this year focusing on education relating to our direct business.

This exciting new business, while still a social enterprise, has plans that enable very quick growth, with our second branch set to open at the end of the year. The Dorset branch will move from the centre to a new more central location in April next year. The new space, while much smaller than our current offices, will allow us to support local businesses in ways that we were not able to previously, while still giving back to the community.

Honest Agency @ 7 months Dorset Tech @ 7 Months
Standard Hourly Rate £25 (later increased to £30) £35 + VAT
SocEnt Hourly Rate £20 (later increased to £25) £25 + VAT
Team Size (including freelancers) 6 13
Number of customers 27 216
Monthly Sales £5,500 £10,000
Projects completed 11 22
Tickets completed N/A 1,484
Monthly Customer Rating N/A 5/5 (91 ratings)
Number of hours donated c.100 243
Funds donated £2,750 £196

The Award Ceremony

The black-tie award ceremony will take place on 19th September at the George Albert Hotel. Good luck to all the other finalists, but especially our good local friends at Harts of Stur.

Chris Ryu "Chameleon"

Chris has been a developer for over 15 years. His unique experience crosses over into Marketing and he is well known in the Dorset Web community for his transparency. He founded the Dorset Science & Technology Centre in 2017, providing a home to the STEM subjects in rural Dorset.

No Comments

Post a Comment