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Start-up stories: Smooth Websites

Smooth Websites

Duport caught up with Alex from Smooth Websites to get some insight on starting his website building business.

What does Smooth Websites do?

We (I say we, but currently it is only I) build websites, mainly. There are some which we run ourselves, but mostly we build them for other companies, or help fellow professionals to deliver them on an ad-hoc basis. Aside from that, we offer consultancy on SEO and IT with a focus on operational process improvement.

What was your motivation for starting Smooth Websites?

I moved back to the UK in March 2020, right at the start of the pandemic. I had just spent 4 years living in Malta, gaining skills in the web/IT space and I just felt it was time to try and do something on my own. I particularly wanted to start my own comparison website for online casinos – I like to have a varied workload and self-employment in the IT sector certainly gives me that!

What is the best piece of advice you would offer to someone starting a business?

Do it properly from the start, get the foundations in place early, and save yourself headaches later. If I could go back, I would immediately set up a limited company, and run all income/expenditure through that. It takes no time at all and saves tons. Also, hire an accountant to keep an eye on things once the money is coming in. As it happened, I initially operated as a sole trader using the name Smooth Websites, before finally incorporating Smooth Media Ltd this year.

On a less utilitarian note, make sure that you’re passionate about what you’re going to be doing – in all likelihood it will be the biggest thing in your life for some time.

Do you have any top tips for starting a business in your specific industry?

Web design is a crowded field, so you need to be ready to fight for the customers. One mistake I made was trying to target too many areas at once – there’s plenty of business out there, so focus on your local area and then expand from there when you’re ready.

Also, try to diversify income streams, have some sites of your own to bring in extra income, and a good sales pitch in your back pocket.

Finally, don’t be afraid to invest in tools or training that will improve your overall offering!

How do you build a customer base for Smooth Websites?

My regular customer base is quite small – I spend most of my week working for a company called iGaming Content Services. Aside from that I get more consultancy work (i.e. I need to implement this, how do I do it?) thanks to my involvement in online communities of fellow professionals and some nice reviews from former clients.

There are so many ways to reach potential customers – there’s the obvious stuff like SEO, AdWords, social media ads, and lead generation companies. But also look into your local council – mine are running a grant scheme helping local businesses become more ‘digital’, and becoming a partner there has helped to connect me with people who are interested in the service.


Thank you Alex, for your time and we wish you every success with Smooth Media Ltd.


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