The strands of success
BUSINESS partners Michael Janes and Michael Connolly are celebrating a highly successful first year for their web services company E-Strands with new premises, an expanding team and a fast-growing client list.
The company is working on a new website for visitTeesvalley in partnership with BGroup and Northern Creative.
The contract was secured soon after they moved into their new offices in The Innovation Centre on Kirkleatham Business Park, Redcar, managed by UK Steel Enterprise, the Corus subsidiary that supports businesses with finance and premises.
“We are delighted about the visitTeesvalley contract as we are helping to market an area we both love,” said Michael Connolly, Director of Web Services.
“The website will feature everything from more recent attractions such as the Big Wheel and mima at Middlesbrough to accommodation, sports, the coast, dining, music and heritage sites.”
E-Strands Ltd started in February 2009 in Michael Janes’ living room.
Since meeting 12 years ago, the pair have felt that their unique combination of skills and expertise in web development, sales and marketing, gained with organisations such as One North East, Dixons and LINDY Electronics, afforded them a great opportunity to start a business.
“When we were faced with redundancy, it was the push we needed to take the plunge and we are just so pleased that we did,” said Sales Director Michael Janes.
“It has been an exciting 12 months with clients coming from across Tees Valley and as far afield as Liverpool and Gloucester.”
E-Strands has already taken on one web programmer and is looking to employ a second to work with clients that include a computer company, a cookery school, an ICT network business and a local church.
The partners believe that their wide technical and specialist knowledge in bespoke design, search engine optimisation and hosting coupled with their expertise in sales optimisation and marketing strategy is helping E-Strands to win contracts in a competitive sector.
The company works with businesses to understand their unique selling point and develop it so that they use the vast potential of the internet to the maximum.
It was recently awarded reseller status for the New Mind ECMS (Enterprise Content Management Solution).
E-Strands believes that New Mind is the leading supplier of technology solutions to the tourism sector and is committed to developing a long-term relationship with them.
“The support we have had from UK Steel Enterprise has been excellent and we now have all the space and facilities we need at The Innovation Centre,” said Michael Connolly.
“We have also been helped by Redcar and Cleveland Council with funding from the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative and are looking ahead to our second year with confidence.”
Simon Hamilton, Regional Manager for UK Steel Enterprise, said: “E-Strands has had a very successful first year and is already creating jobs.
“Our Centres in Redcar and Hartlepool are specifically designed to support young businesses that may have started out in a small office or at home but now need more space and facilities such as meeting rooms, the latest digital telecom systems, a manned reception and security.
“We provide competitively priced offices and workshops on easy-in easy-out terms so that new companies can concentrate on growing their core business without worrying about long leases and maintenance.”