Today, July 19th (according to the certificate here in the office), marks the second anniversary of myself and Aidan going into business together. So I toast the occasion with a bottle of water – primarily because its not even 11am and we haven’t reached the point of having a sneaky bottle of whiskey in the bottom drawer of the desk.
Upon reflection I think its been a great two years for us. A pure learning experience, a pure development for both of us personally and professionally.
We had both spoken at great lengths during college about wanting to start something up on our own, not content with looking for a graduate position straight out of college in a job you wouldn’t know if you’d love or hate, in a town, city or country you wouldn’t know whether you’d love or hate. I feel lucky in that regard that we were able to do it in Kilkenny, to have the opportunity to establish ourselves in our home town, also securing an office premises no more than a 3-minute drive from our respective family homes.
Our main focus in the beginning was to cover events from a promotional point of view – commercial photography, design and marketing. Having worked on varying web packages and projects both in college and on the side for my four years spent living in Waterford there was a chance to develop these projects commercially, which in lead to a turn in focus quite early in the business to the web design and marketing aspects – both our key strengths.
We took our first client just a week into business, our second two weeks later, and so it has continued over the past two years. We made our first hire in December 2005, a move we hadn’t anticipated making until at least July 2006 if not later but with three hands on board we’ve remained busy for two years solid.
Now, as we turn into our third year of business we’re back to a two person operation (as I mentioned last week with John departing for pastures new) and aces are starting to slip out of sleeves. Internal projects are on the rise and we continue to draw in new clients and new business.
Of course its not as if business just falls into your lap and we’ve had a queue of people lining up outside the door – the work has to be done too. The first six months of the business were spent either in the office here (our premises) or in the office in my own home once 6 or 7pm passed. Often was the case of sitting at the desk from 8:30am to 10, 11, 12 at night and beyond. Often was the case too that you’d find yourself still on the go at 3 or 4am with buckets of coffee, burning the candle at both ends. Hell, it took me 18 months to give in and take an actual break (when I got to Toronto last Christmas) But it does pay off. At least I think it does anyway.
While I look forward to a third year in business, which by our estimates back at day one should be a busy year for us, I look back on the last two years full in the knowledge that I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Not the celebrations after a job well done, not the sleepless nights and headaches, not the winter days, not the sunny days baking at 33 degrees in the office – none of it. Best thing about it is that even after growing up with someone, living with that same person for 4 years in college and working with them for 2 years there’s still n’aer a bad word said in the office – it just works.
So on that long winded note I say “Happy Birthday” to us and here’s to another year.
“The first six months of the business … … still on the go at 3 or 4am with buckets of coffee, burning the candle at both ends.”
3 months into my own business, it’s reassuring to read your experience. Is that a light at the end of the tunnel? 🙂
I agree though – it’s worth it!
Well done Ken! Here’s to many more years of successful business.
Congratulations – thats quite an achievement! Best of luck in the future.
Good job Ken! Really pleased to hear you made it work for yourselves.
Here’s to continued success!
/raises water bottle
(…I’m on the Volvic myself. Volcanicity, they say. Still tastes like watter to me.)
Thanks to all 🙂
I’m a Volvic man myself Michael. Celebrated with a lunch in the Italian Connection in Kilkenny – great for the afternoon feed 🙂 Back to the grindstone!