Getting to Know You.....
Posted on 11th October 2021
When you’re putting your business, your brand, and its reputation in the hands of a web design company, you want to ensure that those hands are safe ones. Whilst it might not matter if you have anything in common with those you choose to work with, it can help make the process smoother and more pleasant. So, here’s the inside scoop on Ian Watson, your local it’seeze web design consultant, from why he started out to what’s next - oh and his top tipple and favourite foods just for fun!
Why did you decide to join it'seeze instead of starting your own company?
I decided that I wanted to come out of the corporate world as the stress had gotten the better of me. I had just taken a couple of years off to basically recharge the batteries after a very stressful time in a senior role with a huge American corporation. I initially thought about setting up a leadership coaching business or business development firm. I was looking around on the internet for some ideas and came across a recruitment website, which was advertising franchises.
I hadn’t thought about franchises until then. I had also started to realise that there were a lot of business leadership consultancies out there and I was starting to feel like establishing myself without a current contact base would be difficult (I had been out of the country for 5 years by this point). It was on the it'seeze website that I noticed the opportunity to partner with the brand. Granted, the bulk of my professional life was spent in sales and marketing; however, I am engineering qualified and so I felt I would be a good fit working in web design.
Why did you end up choosing it’seeze?
I found out about the company and ended up getting in touch to gather details and arrange to visit them and see what it was all about. I always tend to go with first impressions and they were great, very friendly and easy to get along with, so it was immediately obvious that they were very customer-focused. That ethos runs through the business at it’seeze - they put the customer at the centre of everything they do. I looked at the competitor landscape and although it is crowded I felt that this was something that fitted with my skill set and I would enjoy, so I took the plunge.
What aspect of the role do you enjoy most?
The aspect of the role that I enjoy the most is the initial contact with local business owners and helping them figure out how they want their website to work, talking through how to communicate effectively through the website with visitors and how to engage with them. There are two different types of clients from this perspective, those who know exactly what they want and those that have no idea. I enjoy both; but I think I enjoy working more with clients who are going to engage with the site and build their online presence. I don’t really do anything other than the website because I believe it is easy to spread yourself too thin and neglect what the business should be focused on. Over the last 2 years I have built up relationships with other small businesses that I can refer to my clients to ensure they can build on their online presence. Copywriters, photographers, videographers, SEO specialists (local and national), social media experts, branding experts and Google Ad experts.
What aspect of the role do you enjoy least?
The aspect of the role that I enjoy the least is waiting to see each finished website that our designers have created from scratch. I am by nature impatient and once I have built the brief, I want to see the new website straightaway!
What types of businesses have you built websites for?
Every day has a new feel to it as there are so many different types of business that I talk to and ultimately develop websites for. One client makes radar masts for the offshore oil industry. I have also worked with hairdressers, electricians, a pest controller, a company that supplies doctors to the NHS, a company that supplies CBD products, electric scooters, an antique dealer, greeting cards, charities, and the list goes on.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Over the next 12 months I would like the business to continue to grow, by ensuring we continue to offer a great product with great service. Ultimately, I would like to be in a position to add an additional person into the business in 12 months in a support role for me and for my clients.
Can you tell us some fun facts about yourself such as who you live with, where you went to university and other interesting things?
I currently live in Surrey with my wife Anne. We have 2 dogs called Margot and Barbara, who are a Bichon Frise and Shih Tzu, they are named after the characters from the TV programme The Good Life.
I didn’t actually go to university as a young man because I needed to go out and work to help support the family. I ended up getting an apprenticeship in Engineering and they put me through an HNC in Mechanical and Production Engineering. In later life, when I was about 48, I decided to go back to study part-time and ended up completing a Master of Business Administration at the Open University in 2009. Ultimately, this helped me get the role that I was aiming for, which was managing director of the company I was at.
I love to eat and drink as I’m a bit of a foodie. It’s difficult to say what my favourite food is because I tend to like pretty much everything. I was lucky enough to live in Tokyo for 12 months so I do have a soft spot for Japanese food. Although, on the other hand, you can’t beat a good curry either can you? The main thing with food is that it needs to be made from the best ingredients.
I also like to have a drink and have a very varied taste. With wine, my favourite is Volnay from Burgundy, which is a very subtle Pinot Noir. I also love whiskey and think Japanese is the best. My favourite cocktail has to be a straight extra dry Martini without an olive but with a twist, stirred not shaken.
I was an officer in the Royal Naval Reserves for 16 years and commanded a Sea Cadet Unit for most of those. I also once brought a guard of honour of local youth organisations to attention for Her Majesty the Queen.
In my spare time now I like to play a little bit of golf and also restore, repair and service antique clocks. I also enjoy assisting my wife with running her antique business. I’m currently studying once again with the British Horological Institute to become a master clock maker.
It’s not fun but an interesting fact about me is that I once spent 2 nights in a Vietnamese hospital with a viral infection. I discharged myself when the bill climbed up to 17,000,000 Vietnamese Dong (yes, this sounds like a lot but it only comes to around £500). That certainly wasn’t the most pleasant experience of my life but I have managed to make a habit out of it. Now, whenever we go on holiday, my wife always prepares to visit a hospital as I seem to either catch something or have an accident of some kind. I even once spent 5 days in hospital in Singapore Hospital when I contracted Dengue Fever. Now that bill was expensive (around £10,000) but luckily it was covered by my insurance.
In my younger days I was an extreme outdoor sports fan, mainly white water kayaking and sailing.
As you can see, the talented team at it’seeze Web Design Twickenham are very personable, friendly and proudly passionate about what they do. It is this kind of attitude which makes it’seeze one of the best organisations to build your company’s website as it is this passion and personal ability that allows our designers to really understand what your business does, what your values are and what separates them from the competition, which can all then be put into a slick and easy to use website at an affordable price.
We are 100% committed to helping businesses grow so if you would be interested in working with us then please do not hesitate to get in touch and we would be happy to discuss what we can offer.
Contact it'seeze Web Design Twickenham today
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