Nick Currie is one of MUSE’s members, a creative entrepreneur and founder of WebDel.
Nick Currie, MUSE’s very first member, has been running his own businesses for over a decade, yet he doesn’t consider himself an entrepreneur. Intrigued by his grounded and unpresuming manner, we asked him what initially inspired him to start his first company Feast Creative, and more recently WebDel (Websites Delivered), launched 10 months ago.
Having run my business for a long time [Feast Creative], for me it was really about wanting to take it to the next level. I just don’t think of myself as an entrepreneur. It’s funny, it is such a buzzword now, but not long ago it was just ‘sole trader’. That’s what you were, a business owner. Now you’re an entrepreneur if you start something.
I kind of fell into it back then. I got a few decent clients and liked the idea of working for myself, so it grew organically from there. With WebDel, I wanted to have a point of difference, and I definitely got some inspiration from a guy who I will call an entrepreneur: Mark Alfred. He is the founding director of the Institute for Leadership, where I completed a business coaching course which certainly was a little bit of a launchpad for WebDel in providing ideas, structures and strategies.
What makes WebDel stand out as a service provider?
Rather than trying to position myself as a premium agency, I was looking at the shift in the market: small businesses who needed websites were facing a lot of confusion and wasting time working out which platform was right for them; finding the learning curve was steeper and the support wasn’t really adequate. The alternative to that was overcapitalizing, but small companies need to allocate budget to SEO and marketing, where they are actually going to get a return. If you just build a website, it’s not going to do anything on its own. So it was really about identifying that need and genuinely not wanting small businesses to waste money.
WebDel is about educating them with what we know is the best technology to build a website that doesn’t have limitations and can grow with the business. We are targeting a local market and creating actual relationships. We sit down and build your pages with you, show you how the back-end works. That’s an efficient 90-minute session, and the key difference is really that face-to-face guidance, as well as our care plans. So many web designers will build your site and walk away, but we ensure you have good, ongoing support.
Can you name one aspect of being an entrepreneur that you find to be the most challenging?
I guess it’s always being in that position of a jack-of-all-trades. You need to get across everything, so you need to find that balance of outsourcing effectively and not spreading yourself too thin – making sure you’re spending time on the things you’re good at.
What tips would you give to young entrepreneurs in today’s fiercely competitive environment?
Always keep learning and focus on professional and personal development. There are lots of free online courses, and great paid ones that are worth investing in. Think of it as investing in yourself.
Collaborate with someone on a project, even if there’s nothing in it for you financially, because if you’re an entrepreneur you are often on your own. So make the most of any opportunity to work with someone on a project and you’ll always be surprised what you might learn. You can never anticipate where a relationship might lead.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I renovated our house a few years ago. I actually built our polished concrete kitchen bench top. I’m pretty proud of that thing, it gives me a fair bit of satisfaction every time I use it. I really enjoyed doing that. I also do a bit of oil painting. I did a series of dog portraits in oil a few years ago. I like to get my hands dirty. I think that’s why I’ve moved away from graphic design and more into web creation, because I like the idea of building something as opposed to just designing it.
Can you name one of your favourite artists and tell us how their work has inspired you?
I’m not a big art person even if I am very creative – I don’t sit at home reading books about artists. But I’ve always loved Salvador Dali because of his insane imagination, and his commitment to perfecting technique and form, which is definitely an inspiration.
What is your favourite spot in Surry hills?
Trinity bar. That’s where I first met my wife.
How would you describe your experience as a member of MUSE?
I was probably one of the very first to enquire because I really loved the building. I’ve been waiting and am very happy to be finally in. For me, it’s all about the space. The building is just beautiful and has tons of character – the MUSE have refurbished it so beautifully and have really done it justice, they have impeccable taste. It made me realize how valuable it is to enjoy where you work. When you are in a space that you love, it does inspire you and it is satisfying.
There is also a real interest in what we want as members and in our feedback. The MUSE are adamant about creating the right space and a great experience for the members of the community.