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Interview By HK Economic Daily - 經濟日報的專題報道

好開心接受經濟日報的專題訪問,談論創業的經驗。

《80後創業 成功先要懂面對孤獨》 - PDF Version

撰文:梁耀康
欄名:理財專題

工字無出頭,80後90後想極速上位,甚至開公司做老闆,乘搭網絡快車兼擔當起手機apps寫手已成為捷徑,今期就找來年輕設計公司老闆Samuel和大家細說苦與樂。

富與貧未必一定是講財富,更重要是人窮志不窮,正所謂「咩都可以輸,信心就唔可以輸」,80後90後經常被傳媒甚至社會負面標籤為懶散及只懂「伸手」的一群,但其實作為香港的接班人,更多的卻是在默默耕耘,靠自己雙手打天下。由今期開始,每逢月底的一期我們都會找來一些活生生的真實例子,和大家看看年輕一代如何重新打造香港精神﹗

執着成為創業的原動力

Samuel是年輕的80後,亦是一間網頁設計及Apps(手機應用程式)設計公司Designworks的老闆。他從衣着以至形象一眼就給人設計師或IT人的感覺,很有活力,也十分醒目。

Samuel雖然年輕但絕對不能稱為新晋,因為由自立門戶至今其實已經歷了三個寒暑,日子不算長,但也稱不上短。

談到最初泛起創業的念頭,原來全因是典型的藝術家脾氣作祟,Samuel滿臉沉思的回憶起說︰「記得有次舊老闆交了一個網站設計項目給自己全權負責,我滿心以為有得發揮所以很俾心機去做,誰不知相隔一星期老闆的設計意念完全變了,最後他竟自己怱怱重新做過交給客人,這件事令我覺得很失望,亦開始萌生起創業的念頭。」Samuel言語間還是帶點為自己不值的感覺。

創業原因可以很多,但亦可以很簡單,希望完完全全展示自己的作品於人前就已經是一個很好的理由,亦是那份執着成就了今天的Samuel。

可是大家不要以為Samuel和舊老闆就此鬧翻,其實他們仍保持十分良好的關係,而且舊老闆其實仍十分欣賞Samuel的設計,外判了很多工作機會給他,Samuel對此亦十分感激。

成功先要學懂面對孤獨

創業從無到有,要走的路絕不平坦,而且更多時是有苦自己知,Samuel說︰「身邊大部分的朋友都仍然是打工,見到自己創業做老闆,很多人都以為自己很好甚至羨慕,但其實當你做老闆的時候你就會知箇中苦處,特別是當你賺到錢都不敢使的時候。」

「打工你會知幾時有糧出,可是做生意就完全不同,生意差時真的很難捱和擔心,到有錢時又不太敢使,背後有多辛酸只有自己和家人能夠體會。別人的預期與現實有矛盾,想和朋友呻他們又未必能理解,在不知不覺間是會被一種孤獨的感覺侵襲。」

生活充滿挑戰,但Samuel仍能積極面對︰「當我覺得有所迷失的時候,我會靜下來回想最初創業時的信念,亦是那一份信念和曾經幫過我的人令我堅持。而且做生意始終有更大的創作空間和自由度。」困難似未動搖Samuel的決心。

「此外,當你全心全意去做好設計和創作,最得到客戶的認同和讚賞的確會帶來很大的滿足感。」Samuel用帶滿足感的語氣續道。

用心設計及人脈成關鍵

Samuel本身做開設計,而且間中有幫人寫網頁賺外快,就是憑着一股對設計的熱誠和兩個據他經驗估有九成機會接到的項目,再加上10萬元由自己積蓄和朋友投資得來的資本,就膽粗粗在金融海嘯後創業。

Samuel由自由人到全職投入,說起來好像順理成章,但老闆往往喜歡有意無意地跳過最重要的關節,對於如何打通脈絡取得工作,在追問下Samuel才和盤托出︰「其實以前用來接freelance的網頁在搜尋器優化方面做得幾好,只要在搜尋器輸入『freelance』,我的網站都會在頭五位出現。不過,當然首先要設計真的做得好才能吸引客戶查詢及用我們的服務。」搜尋器優化現已成為推廣必備的功能,但是在三四年前其實並非太多人懂,掌握新技術永遠都是成功必要的元素之一。

「除了設計吸引的網站,人脈亦十分重要,朋友、舊公司老闆及同事,甚至舊客等都是新客戶推介的主要來源。」Samuel細訴他如何為生意籌謀︰「做一門生意要有好的質素外,話俾愈多人知愈好,因為當他們有需要的時候,第一時間就會想起你或介紹你給其他人。」

透過出色的創作和設計、網上推廣及人脈,Samuel在這幾年間除了替中小企及個人撰寫網站,他亦有份參與好像保險公司AXA安盛(前稱AXA國衞)及法興等跨國大企業的項目,Samuel帶點興奮地說︰「最近亦在朋友介紹下有份競逐一間澳門酒店項目,雖然知道自己應會落選,但都無不開心,反而知道自己公司能夠和行內龍頭去比較,已經有很大的滿足感,而且據朋友透露,評審其實是喜歡自己的設計,只是礙於價錢和公司規模才落選。」競投失敗無令Samuel灰心,反令他更肯定自己的能力。

憑信念進軍Apps業掘金

除了網頁設計業務,數個月前Samuel更找來合作新夥伴一同進軍Apps設計領域,他指︰「由於過往有互聯網的經驗,令我相信social networking(社交網絡)根本不應該是坐在電腦面前,而iPad的出現令我更相信可以取代電腦,所以Apps一定大有可為。」

「此外,我發現現時大部分的Apps只着重功能,我深信在功能以上再加上出色的介面和圖像設計元素將更能吸引用戶下載。這亦正如我們Designworks的理念Design it works﹗」

為了做業務推廣,Samuel更首次參加6月在會展舉辦全亞洲首個以Apps為主題的智能手機博覽,他自信地說︰「這個是第一個以Apps為主題博覽,插咗枝旗先一定有利以後發展,而且在當中亦接了幾個客,相信都有機會傾成。」

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【採訪札記】人脈=財脈 有朋友創業路好走

Samuel大膽創業很主要的原因是他對自己的設計有一份執着,筆者對他的作品亦十分欣賞,但更觸動人的是他並非意氣用事遞了辭職信找過份新工便算,反而是有計劃地為自己打出另一條路。走怎樣的路其實亦是一種選擇。

創業難,守業更難。Samuel能夠經過幾個年頭不倒之餘更有力開拓新業務,除了出色的設計功力,很大原因其實是能夠得到朋友介紹客戶,而舊客再介紹新客,對於年輕老闆而言,人脈即等於財脈,絕對要好好管理。

網頁設計師出身的確有助Samuel自立門戶,但他並沒有墨守成規,反而從最初只做網頁設計到現在拼行發展Apps的新業務,Samuel透露遲些更有意遷到更大的寫字樓配合業務發展,預祝他成功﹗

New website finalizing

Designworks' new website is now finalizing, and entering final beta.
Crossed tested with IE7, 8 , Firefox, Chrom, Safari.
Now updating new contents and new works.
We are so happy that the site should be officially updated in days!!

Welcome to help testing, and tell me what error you spot. Thanks!

Designworks is now recruiting web designer!!

Designworks is a production house which makes professional websites that serve only one purpose - helps the client's business in a certain extend. We make design that works.
We are now looking for self-motivated individuals with a willingness to learn, grow and thrive as a part of our crew.

Job Duties:

- Mainly responsible for website development and maintenance, including HTML and flash website

- Develop graphic design for different kinds of marketing materials, e.g leaflet, banners, eDM's, just to mention a few

Absolute Requirements:

- Diploma or above in Web/Graphic Design or related disciplines.

- Immediately available

- Proficiency in CSS, AJax knowledge, Action Script Programming, PHP programming and Basic Mysql database programming is a MUST

- Sensitive to trends in internet development, web design and graphic design

- Strong sense of duty, attentive to detail and able to work within tight schedule alone or as a team player
- Creativity and strong sense in the trend graphic and web design

The following is a plus:

- Knowledge of expression engine

- 3D & Motion graphic skills

- Experience in different CMS systems

- Experience in web design, preferably from ad agencies/design-related field

- Mac user is an advantage

Others:

- Fresh graduate will also be considered upon review of genuine and creative portfolio

- Student in related field is also welcome to work after school
- We will NOT consider freelancers or application without portfolio and/or clear salary expectation.

Interested parties please send your full resume, expected salary, online portfolio and examples of work (MUST) to hr@designworks.hk



Personal data collected will be used for recruitment purposes only

Email Marketing Service Launched by Designworks Production Limited

Designworks Production is now extending our business to a new area - Email marketing.

Problem in the market
We understand that there are lots of troubles and problem raised for those people who want to do marketing. Many company just aimed to sell the account, then the user are very frustrated on the ugly designed user interfaces and the functionalities. They are just bringing more and more problems to the client, instead of helping the clients to solve problems.

The second reason is that we understand email marketing is a powerful marketing tools, but if it is being handled it badly, the emails will be regarded to spam which people annoys that. You can recall your experience of getting those annoying, ugly, pointless, spam mails filling up your email, and you have to click hundreds time of delete button.

But if that is a professional, nicely designed email, with something that you are interested in, like the apple promotion email, fancy and beautiful email from your favorite fashion brand. You probably will read the email, and click the link. The email not only pushes sales, it is a very important tools to keep your customer in touch, keeps your brand in their mind. It is generally speaking, a very powerful marketing, branding tools

Our Methodology
We want to provide a service to the market, a solution to the client. Which we handle everything that it requires to send a email, so that our clients do not have to worry about anything, do not have to handle any technical things which it takes a very high opportunity cost for them to do.
From hosting, contact list installation, custom HTML email template design, list segmenting, spam proofing, sending, error detection, error handling to customer support, we handle everything. The client will be totally problem free. The only thing the client need to handle is the content.

Which they focus on the content, produce better content with more efficiency. They can also handle their main job duty with more time and more efficiency, resulting a better working performance.


Our Professional
We extended our professional from web design to email marketing , it is because we think Email marketing should be handled professionally, and it is a necessary marketing tools for every brand and business. We are professional in HTML building, designing something that is attractive and appealing to the target customers and designing something with message, with function. People, not only the client but also the targeted customer will love it.

Therefore we are very sure that we should extend our business to the Email Marketing area. It helps alot for our methodology, we make design that work. And email marketing is a very important to have the design or the business through the internet.
And also, we do not want any more spam mails, ugly mails and meaningless mail sent to our mailbox. We want something that we are interested, something that can catch my eyes, something that will work in our mailboxes. And we are chasing that goal by moving one step forward to the email marking field.

Pricing
We set our price extremely low, is because actually we want people to know what we can do. We want more people can try out our methodology, can enjoy to focus on their own job duty and work more efficient.

The service we provide is customized html email design, a design which will work! We think that is very important in email marketing. People differentiate whether the email is a spam or not, mainly from their appearance, and how difficult to understand what the email is about. This requires a high degree of design skills.
This is nothing that a template can achieve and compare. No matter how many template a company is providing, in email marketing, whether it will work or not heavily depends on the design. Because no matter how attractive your product is, how good your product is or how nice the promotion is, people will treat the ugly and messy email as SPAM. That will just waste all your effort and resources.

In terms of the service we covered and the proficiency of the service level. We are very confidence on our price setting, and I am sure any entrepreneur will be happy with the number of trouble we are taking away, and how much revenue and effect we are generating for them comparing to the cost that they are paying.

Please feel free to contact us for more information about our email marketing service.
+852 3188 4286 or click here to know more about our brand new email marketing service.