By John Rother

In early 1996 I decided to make the leap and set up my own business.

I was a designer at the time and was just getting to grips with designing websites. I registered the name Design Brothers which was unknowingly soon to become a web design company.

With my newly-formed business I worked from home for a number of years and occasionally worked part-time for other web companies. I was designing more and more websites and as my skills developed so did the business.

My portfolio was looking good, now consisting of 50 local businesses in the Beckenham and South London area. I wondered how I could expand this portfolio and introduce larger clients.

Unfortunately in 1999 I experienced problems with one of our original hosting companies and customers were calling threatening to leave and use another web company. This was horrifying.

After a few days of intermittent services customers left and I was extremely disheartened. I could not blame them as I would have done the same.

Following this valuable lesson we transferred a large majority of our clients' sites to more reliable companies and have hardly experienced any downtime.

Design Brothers has grown and we have moved to larger offices supplying businesses with a wide range of internet solutions including our very popular Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) service which is 'flying off the shelf' during an economic downturn and, fingers crossed, will continue to.

Just recently a large hosting company in the UK has outsourced its services to another country. Things have not been the same for them since and I am glad we do not have any websites with them as we would have had a similar situation to the one in 1999. If this were to happen now it would probably result in a total loss of business.

We now host websites for hundreds of clients and provide SEO services to even more companies. Compila have been a contributor to our success by providing a reliable and cost-effective hosting service for our clients.

Through experience we have automated and streamlined the way Design Brothers operates, all except customer service. All of our clients know that they can reach me in the office or on the mobile, and if I am in a meeting I will usually call them back within the hour.

We take pride in surpassing normal customer expectations. As a result we are often asked what other web products we provide. This is a golden opportunity to sell our SEO services.

We really look forward to the New Year and continuing to expand through use of companies like Compila.

To anyone thinking of starting a business I cannot stress enough how important it is to use a reliable web and email hosting company.

John Rother
Design Brothers