Amble
Colin Harris

Member Article

Member News: It’s not all doom and gloom in Amble ? 6 months on

Businesses in Amble are already feeling gloomy over the pending arrival of a Tesco supermarket to the area in 2012, but one local business is riding against the tide.

In 6 months, Colin Harris Website Development has moved from a small one-man-band operation to a plush office on the main high street employing two staff with plans to expand further into 2012. The company, which designs and develops websites for businesses in the North East and UK, took the bold step of moving into a vacant former high-street newsagents shop, rather than the more traditional office block.

“There’s a great deal of doom and gloom with some businesses in the area.”, says owner Colin Harris. “Many businesses feel that Tesco will not only take their business away but also spoil some of beauty of the town. There’s a big ‘downer’ at the moment with some retailers which is a shame – Amble has a lot to offer as a town and there’s no reason sound and strong businesses can’t survive and flourish”.

The business found it difficult at first to find the right place to relocate. “It was a bit of search to find the right location to put the business in, once I had outgrown a small office I rented above a shop in Amble. The only purpose built offices are at Fourways and they were far too large and inappropriate for my operation, and other local offices to let were too small or no better than where I was. An opportunity came to take over a former newsagent and with a little lateral thinking and some interior modifications our new office was perfect for our needs.”

Colin also needed to think about recruiting staff after 5 years of running his business as a freelance operation. “The extra room was needed as I wanted to expand the business and offer more to my clients. I needed a great working environment for the creative and technical people who work in our industry – noise and distraction is a real problem when you are creating the next great website. Clients have often complimented on how studious and business-like our working atmosphere is.”

6 months into the relocation, and during the tough economic times, what problems has Colin Harris found so far? “The only real problem I’ve had was managing the number of customers coming ‘off the street’ to ask us about our products and services. Most businesses in our sector are in office blocks so rarely come into contact with the public directly. It’s been an interesting exercise and always a pleasure answering customer’s questions and advising them, even when enquires fall outside of our Internet-based operation. My turnover has thus far exceeded my hopes when starting out on this journey and it’s up to me and my staff to carry on the good work.”

So with the first 6 months over, what does the future hold for the next 6 and beyond? “I’ve really enjoyed the challenges of expanding the business. Amble is a great place to work and business is all about seeing an opportunity and taking advantage of it. In the next few months we will be taking on an office manager and in 2012 expand the design and development staff we have to help cope with increased demand. I’m also part of the Amble Business Club and I look forward to helping out other businesses.”

About Colin Harris Website Development

Colin Harris Website Development is a website design and development business based in Amble, Northumberland. The business was set up in 2006 by Colin Harris, who has more than 10 years experience in Internet and Digital sectors. The company’s work involves creating bespoke, interactive websites for a number of local, regional and national companies - translating business ideas into fully-fledged working websites using web technology. More details can be found at www.colinharris.net.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Colin Harris .

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