When you’re working with a web designer, it’s important that you know exactly who you are going into business with. A website isn’t just an online version of the now outdated Yellow Pages, it’s the virtual shop window that will grant people access into your business, what you do, what your ethos is and what sets you apart from the rest of the competition. 
In the age of the online shopper, the above is one of the most important aspects to any business, and so asking someone else to take control of setting your website up for you is a big responsibility. As such, you don’t just want someone who is good at web design (granted this is important) but you want someone who completely understands you and your business, and as a result, someone you would be happy to entrust with so much responsibility. 
For you to feel more comfortable with talking to itseeze about your web design plans and allowing us to help your business grow, we asked itseeze Horsham owner John Wright to tell us a bit about himself. 

Why did you decide to start an itseeze Franchise? 

I wanted to set up my own business, and the idea of doing so by starting a franchise was very appealing. Owning a franchise provides the flexibility of running your own business while benefitting from the support, knowledge, and expertise of the Head Office team. The best of both worlds! 
I looked at several franchises and none fitted the criteria I had set. Then I read about the itseeze franchise, and it seemed to fit the bill. I attended a discovery day at their Torquay head office and was blown away by the team down there. It was clear that everyone had a genuine desire to provide their clients and franchisees with the best product, the best service, and the best support that they can. I came away knowing that I had found the right franchise to work with. 

What was it about itseeze Horsham that you think made it, and continues to make it, stand out? 

I'm very aware that getting a new website can seem daunting and confusing. And it can also be very expensive. So, our whole focus is to make it as easy as possible for local businesses to get a website that provides a great showcase for their business.  
We make it easy in four ways: 
Easy to get hold of; because we only work with businesses in Sussex and Surrey, we are able to meet with our customers, so that we can fully understand their business, their clients, and their requirements. And we are always at the end of the phone to support our clients and to answer any questions they may have.  
Easy to afford; itseeze website packages have a low upfront cost, and an affordable monthly fee. 
Easy to understand; we leave all jargon behind and talk in plain English! 
Easy to edit; itseeze websites are extremely easy to edit, which means our clients are in control of changing pictures, text and much more. 
We constantly review how we work and ask ourselves what tweaks and changes we can carry out to make the process even easier for our customers. I believe that is what makes itseeze Horsham stand out, and more importantly comments and reviews from our clients support that belief. 

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most? 

A new website going live. Clients, understandably, are very excited when their new website goes live. I share their excitement, and just love it when all the hard work pays off, and a new website becomes visible to the online world. 

What aspect of your role (if you had to pick one) would you say you enjoy the least? 

Cold calling. Or to be more specific, the thought of cold calling. Once I have tidied my desk for the fifth time, done the filing and counted my paperclips, I know I can longer put off cold calling perspective clients.  
But the actual process of making the calls is nowhere near as bad as thinking about it. I have enjoyed countless interesting conversations with fascinating business owners. And of course, there is the benefit of gaining new businesses from many of those calls. 
After five years of making cold calls, I would have expected to no longer dislike the thought of making them. Especially as I usually enjoy it once I get started. But the aversion is still as strong as ever. My desk is very tidy though! 

What are the types of businesses that you find yourself building websites for? 

Our client base is incredibly varied and diverse. We build websites for a lot of trades, such as builders, carpenters, plumbers, heating engineers, kitchen and bathroom installers, window installers, decorators, electricians, garden maintenance, and roofers.  
Other clients also include photographers, architects, surveyors, cleaning companies, coaching and training businesses, charities, dentists, dog groomers, therapists, a Christmas tree farm, a Professor specialising in embryo research, removal companies, hotels & B&Bs, printers, financial planners, mortgage advisors, butchers, cafes, wedding venues, social clubs, osteopaths, barbershops, will writers, a genealogist and much, much more.  
I just love the variety of businesses that we work with. It means that every day is different, and never dull! 

What would you say your goals are within the next three years at itseeze Horsham? 

There are three main areas that our goals for the next three years are built around: 
Business Growth. We have been delighted with how itseeze Horsham has grown over the past five years. And I'm looking to build on that by growing at even faster rate over the next three years. 
Customer Retention. Making sure our existing clients are happy with their websites and with our service is our priority. That can become harder as our client base grows, which is why Rachael Colbran has recently joined the team as our new Customer Support Administrator. Rachael will be on hand for our existing customers, answering any queries they may have, holding website reviews with them, and helping them to keep their websites updated and looking fresh. This will help us provide excellent support to our clients, which in turn will help keep our customer retention high. 
Fundraising for our Nominated Charity. Although I personally do some fundraising activities, it’seeze Horsham have never had a nominated charity that we work with. That will change from next year, and we are looking forward to announcing which wonderful local charity we will be fundraising for. Watch this space to see who the charity is, and for details of some great charity events that we will be holding and sponsoring.  

What is it about itseeze Horsham that resonates so much with the customers you work with? 

The local support. When we start working with them, most of our customers know very little about setting up websites, and even less about how to update the content on their site. They are always relieved to know that we can meet with them, either at their premises or in our office, and talk face-to-face about their business, their clients, and their website requirements. And we never over complicate things by using jargon or complicated technical terms. 
And once their website is live, we are there to support them, and to help ensure that their site evolves with their business.  

What work do you like to do outside of itseeze Horsham? 

I really enjoy spending time exercising outdoors. My favourite forms of exercise are running and hiking. I also love listening to music and going to see live bands, whether it's a local band in a small club/pub, or a much larger band at somewhere like the O2. 
I also like to take on a challenge, especially when it's to raise money for charity. The most recent events I have undertaken have been walking round the Isle of Wight to fundraise for St. Catherine’s Hospice, a wing walk for Chestnut Tree House, and running the Brighton Marathon for Jane's Wish.  

What would you say to those who are sceptical about hiring web designers? 

As mentioned earlier, hiring a web design company is a huge decision to make because not only are you enlisting the services of someone, but you are entrusting them with one of the most important parts of your business. As such, you should make sure that you are comfortable asking for the help of an organisation by getting to know the kind of people that work for them. And I would always recommend meeting them in person to discuss your business and your website requirements. Or at the very least, meet over a video call.  

Finally, can you answer these five questions about yourself, that are not likely to be listed on your work profile? 

What book are you reading right now? 
I'm reading Face It, by Debbie Harry the lead singer of Blondie. There is some fascinating information in there, not just about Debbie and Blondie, but also about the wider music industry of the 70s and 80s.  
If you could only listen to one band/artist for the rest of your life, who would it be? 
Queen. There are so many bands and artists that I love listening to. But if I could only listen to one, it would be Queen because of the great diversity of their music.  
Tell us something that no-one in your business network is likely to know about you. 
I once played a Panto Dame in a panto for a local Amateur Dramatic Society.  
What is your favourite food to cook? 
I'm not the world's greatest cook, which is one of the reasons that I enjoy cooking spaghetti carbonara. It's fairly easy to cook, and it's one of my favourite dishes to eat! 
Tell us about a contest you've won. 
Many years ago, I won the week's adult talent contest at Warmwell Holiday Park in Dorset. I sung 'words' and the main (only) reason I won was because I was the only person entering it that week! The prize was a week's holiday there later that year, to take part in the annual talent contest. I didn't win that one though! 

Want to know more? 

The above insight into what John enjoys about his work and life outside the office is a great way to get a feel for the people who could work on your website so if you want to know more, then do not hesitate to get in touch
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