At Startups.ie we love to profile Irish businesses.. Aengus from Pixelo Design tells us about his design company and his journey to date..#YourStartupJourney
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Ashbourne, Co. Meath A84 AH96
|Tell us what your business does and who founded it?
|Pixelo Design is a graphic design company aimed specifically at brand new startup’s and small emerging companies. It was set up by me, Aengus Ryan over ten years ago.
|When did you start and where did the idea for your business come from?
|We started in a kitchen in Sydney back in 2010, before moving things back home. The idea behind the business was that we were being contacted constantly by Irish businesses, and often their branding was awful. So it became a kind of mission to improve the look of small Irish businesses without the enormous and often unaffordable price tag of the large design agencies.
|Have you always wanted to run your own business?
|To be honest, it wasn’t something I thought much about in my early career. I just worked happily enough for other companies until one day I began paying more attention to how much each job was worth, and how much I was being paid. I thought, hey I could be keeping all of this instead of getting a fraction of the earnings. I was also keen to work less, train more (martial arts) and generally have a much better work life balance.
|What planning did you do before you started up?
|I began working half days for my then employer, so I kind of weened myself off 9-5. It also allowed me to test to see whether there was enough work to keep me going without giving up the safety net of employment. I realised the potential for work was great, with new start up’s constantly emerging and their need to look as well as possible in often crowded markets.
|Which entrepreneurs do you admire?
|I would say probably Jeff Bezos and Alfred Nobel. One for his clever approaches and the other for bequeathing his fortune to the recognition of amazing work.
|What challenges have you faced how have you overcome them?
|I think getting in front of prospective clients is always the hardest task. Our work is excellent, we know that, it’s just the would be client may not, so getting their attention can often be the tricky part. We have clients from our very first few months in business still working with us, so retention is never an issue, it’s the initial visit that we sometimes struggle with.
|How have you promoted your business?
|SEO (search engine optimisation) has always worked well for us. We occasionally delve into PPC, but that can be a minefield. When things are going well you are so busy with existing clients that you don’t have a moment to breath, but when things quieten down, it’s nice to have SEO continue to bring in leads.
|Where do you want to be in 5 years time?
|In 5 years time I would like to have helped a few hundred more Irish startup’s get up and running. I would like to continue to be able to offer top quality design at a fraction of the cost of the design agencies and make sure that quality design is still affordable for small Irish businesses.
|What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
|Well, from purely a design side of things I would recommend having your branding materials professionally designs. It can make a world of difference, like a quality suit compared to rocking up to a meeting in a tracksuit. You need to look the part, even if it’s just you sat at home in your undies. I have branded many clients that look like global multinationals by the time I’m finished with them, but might actually just be one or two people in their first year of business. It’s a fake it til you make it type thing.
Aengus Ryan / Graphic Designer