Describe your company in 5 words.

Zen Cart experts and evangelists!

What’s your business philosophy?

We know that building a website takes a big investment in both time and money so we strive to deliver quality and value to our clients – in bucket loads! We want our clients to be fully operational with their new zen cart site as quickly as possible and to achieve that all important first online sale! We know how wonderful it feels to get that first sale from your online business 🙂 We run our own zen cart sites and we still get that warm fuzzy feeling when we receive a “New Order” email (even after 10 years!).

Describe your office environment:

We are totally 21st century! We work virtually. We always work in style and comfort. We work whenever we need to, to get the job done on time. We work from home. We work from an office. We work from coffee shops. We work from the beach. To achieve this, we use the latest technology including iphones, ipads (and we love them!) and, of course, wireless mobile broadband.

Describe how your team interact and work together.

We use a bunch of online services to manage our team, our tasks and our work flow. This enables us to communicate with each other effectively and to ensure that all team members have access to the tools and info they need to get the job done (wherever they are). Here are a few of our favourite services:

  • skype (for communication – chat, calls and the fabulous screen share!)
  • basecamp (for managing projects, tasks and timelines)
  • freshbooks (to manage invoicing)
  • mind-node (for brainstorming)
  • evernote (for storing notes and having them always accessible – between laptop, iphone and ipad)
  • google apps (for mail, reader, docs etc)
  • twitter (for keeping up to date with what’s going on in our industry and the world and (on Monday nights at 9.30pm) #qanda)

What makes you different from other web design companies?

We are internet entrepreneurs who walk the talk. We don’t just build websites; we run our own internet businesses and know the challenges and pure joy of internet businesses. The business model is beautiful – but sometimes the implementation fails the model!

How do you get the majority of your business?

Referrals from our wonderful clients and people who we have met through our seminars and other networks. Oh, and through the Google search engine of course.

Describe how you manage projects from the initial client contact to completion and handover.

We receive your initial enquiry (phone or email usually). We talk through your vision for the website and how you envisage the site will work. We scope the job. We provide a fixed-price quote. 90% of the time, clients pick one of our existing packages and no extras are needed! We then liaise with you throughout the project. Once the website is complete, we all celebrate We then provide you with various training resources (depending on your package) and also internet marketing support (again, depending on the package). Basically – we are with you on your journey for as long as you need us!

What do you think is the most crucial element of creating a good client relationship?

Delivering on our promises and, of course, communicating effectively and regularly with our clients.

If a client was trying to decide between a shortlist of web design companies, how would you recommend they go about selecting the right one for them?

Pick up the phone and talk to each company. Then choose the one that you think will best assist you to reach the goals you have set for your internet business and that you feel most comfortable with. You are going to be spending a lot of time together over the coming weeks, months and possibly years (if everything goes well – expect your relationship with your web developer to last years)!

Where do you see your company in 10 years?

In this business, i reckon it is pretty hard to predict where we will be in 3 years time, let alone 10 years time – but I think it is safe to say that we will be running internet businesses in one form or another (and who knows what they will look like!).

How was your company name chosen?

It took a massive brainstorm lasting about four weeks and involving a bunch of different people (including a crowd sourcing service)! We knew we needed to have the words “Zen Cart” in there – so that doesn’t leave much room for anything else! And we wanted the name to be a bit different. So duplicating the “Z” and 3 letters seemed a neat solution! The zoo theme also gives us loads of animal metaphors to explore and, of course, inspired our Zebra logo (another Z but sadly 5 letters!).

If you were to give your clients one tip on how to get the most from their website what would it be?

My top tip is about internet business rather than websites: with every business (including internet business) make sure you do your due diligence first! You have to know that there is a market that will buy what you have to offer. If you just leap in with both feet first (business idea –> website –> launch –> no sales –>oops!), then you may end up with a fabulous website that is not getting any traffic and not making any sales! [If you don’t know how to do due diligence, talk to us about how we can help).

Once you have identified your target audience (and demonstrated that not only do they exist but that they are hungry), then think about how you will market to them. Your website is a tool to engage and communicate with your target audience. So you have to know who they are first! The other part of the equation is getting your target market to your website! This will not happen on its own. Your website also plays a role in this – but so do a bunch of other (online and offline marketing) strategies. If this all sounds like gobbledegook to you, give us a call and we’ll walk you through it! It is really important that you understand this stuff (it is the core of internet business) before you get started on this journey. Otherwise, the ride could be a lot rougher and tougher than you might like!