Digital Expert Recommends How’s Business Popups to Transform Your Business
We spoke to Jack Karpinski of Studio Excel Web Designs, one of the expert advisors who’ll be on hand to give free business advice at the upcoming Whitby Popup Business Café on the 28th of March at Raithwaite Estate.
He said: “In a world where every single one of us knows something that others don’t, it’s a great way to strengthen our common understanding of the local market and meet people that can transform our business.”
Jack’s founded his web design business in Scarborough 2001 and it has since grown to have an international client base through managing and building over 200 websites and online projects.
We asked Jack about the event, why he chose to get involved and about the trials and tribulations leading to business success.
So Jack, what made you decide to volunteer your help at Whitby’s Popup Business Café?
There are two main reasons. First of all, as an owner of a local business, I’d like to help other local businesses by imparting some of my knowledge from over the years. The online world is full of pitfalls and I vividly remember how important the help of an experienced friend was when taking my first steps.
The second reason is building bu siness connections locally. Around 70% of my clients I’ve never met! They are spread across the UK, USA, Poland and even Australia. It’s nice to have a business handshake!
Indeed a personal touch is always welcome in business. What’s your background and what expertise will you be bringing along for those seeking advice?
StudioExcel was established in 2001. Although that doesn’t seem a long time ago it’s actually centuries when you consider that back then hardly anyone had heard of Google. I’ve been fascinated by programming since college and managed to combine my technical expertise with experience in design, marketing and management over the years. I gsouess that’s why I’m called a digital hybrid.
I’ve worked on websites for local businesses and international organisations, developed Content Management Systems, E-commerce projects and a national news outlet system. I guess it’s fair to say there are very few things in my industry I haven’t seen and done.
That’s a fair bit – Digital Hybrid sounds like a good description! I see you offered free web design support for a while – that’s nice! Why was that?
With technology and open source software so ubiquitous today it’s easy for someone to put together a website and call themselves a designer/developer. Clients entrusting such a person with their business are often in for a disappointment.
A large part of my client list are people with the same story “I paid xxx and I’m not sure I’m happy with what I got”. My mission is to raise awareness of modern standards and the importance of a website in the success of every business.
I’ll happily take a look at a website to give my honest feedback. If it results in a new business partnership – great, if it just makes someone more conscious of the online marketing pitfalls – I’ve still succeeded.
What do you think the hardest thing is when starting and running a business? Any advice?
Keeping up with the changing reality to maximise technology and advertising budgets. I like to take a step back every six months and ask myself a question: Is this the most efficient way of doing things? Is there a new tool to do it? What’s my return on investment?
Every business will have its own questions but routine kills progress and a lack of progress is a step back.
Definitely, it’s healthy to question things. Are there any recurring business problems that you hear about?
I think it’s the lack of awareness about what can be achieved online and how critical it can be to the growth of every business -there is not a shred of blame in this statement.
Business owners need to focus on doing their job to the best possible standard without trying to be a jack of all trades. That’s why I encourage everyone to get in touch and have a friendly chat.
It will be great to have you available for a friendly chat at the Whitby Popup Business Café! Why would you recommend coming along?
I think a Popup Cafe, by definition, implies a casual and informal way of connecting with others and learning a few things along the way.
In a world where every single one of us knows something that others don’t, it’s a great way to strengthen our common understanding of the local market and meet people that can transform our business.
Do you think that there are any particular challenges for new or starting businesses on our coast compared to other areas?
I don’t think there is a simple answer. Every starting business needs to first and foremost focus on building a good reputation. Taking good care of your business image (including your online presence) is an essential part of that.
I often say that a website is the result of your marketing strategy and business objectives. That’s why I’d like to spend a moment to chat about what your business is trying to achieve so I can offer the right solution.
How have you found running a business in Scarborough?
I’ve enjoyed running my business here and met many fantastic people. I think our relatively tranquil area is very conducive to building long lasting business partnerships.
Would you have any advice for people for are unsure whether to attend the event?
It would be hard to imagine that someone leaves the event without at least one useful piece of information. Don’t miss out! A chat with an expert can transform your business. No strings attached!
Anything you’d like to add?
I’d only like to emphasize that helping like-minded individuals and raising awareness of online opportunities is one of the reasons why I’m in business today.
I’m always looking to establish a long lasting business relationship, but even just being connected on LinkedIn is sometimes all it takes to be inspired and have someone to turn to when a need manifests itself.
Events like this are perfect for achieving such objectives and if a meeting results in a contract – all the better!
The Whitby Popup Business Cafe is organised by How’s Business, the Growth Hub at the Local Enterprise Partnership for York, North Yorkshire and East Riding. It is free to attend and will be held from 9am-1pm, Local experts will be available to discuss topics such as websites, marketing, finance, tax and accountancy.
To book a place, click here or visit the HowsBusiness.org website.