Are you looking for a way to generate more revenue, reduce costs and improve your company’s productivity? If that’s the case, it’s time you gave the web design professionals at LinxSmart a call. Based in Ancaster, this innovative web development firm has been helping hundreds of North American companies to build a strong brand and strengthen their presence online.
“At LinxSmart, we work closely with our clients to develop web apps that are tailored to meet their unique business needs,” explains Ryan Barichello, the president of LinxSmart. “We’re not here to change the way they do business. We want to help them run their business more effectively.”
Serving small to medium-sized businesses, LinxSmart provides a variety of web products and systems to help their clients become more efficient and profitable. LinxSmart’s wide range of services includes web development and design, mobile websites, business apps, search engine marketing, and social media marketing. They also pride themselves on their affordable pricing, quick turnaround times for updates and maintenance, and being able to make their clients’ projects simple and enjoyable.
“We help smaller companies take advantage of web technologies to improve the way they do business,” Ryan says of LinxSmart. “In the past, only large companies could afford customized business apps because they were so expensive to develop. Now the playing field is much more level.”
A World of Opportunities
Getting into the ever-changing world of web development wasn’t always in the cards for Ryan. Back in 2002, he started out in the marketing program at Mohawk College in Hamilton. But he soon decided to change his focus.
“When the second semester came along, we had to split off into our own preferred career paths,” Ryan explains. “Most of my friends were moving into the e-business program so I decided to join them. That early move into the computer technology environment was exactly what I needed to open my mind up to all the opportunities in the field.”
After graduating from Mohawk’s e-business and computer science – web applications programs at the age of 22, Ryan launched LinxSmart from his parent’s basement as a part-time graphic and web development firm. It didn’t take long for the young entrepreneur to see real success, however. By 2008, he had an accomplished team of developers, designers and account managers in place including Creative Director Chris DiBenedetto.
With the astronomical growth in the web development industry in recent years, timing played a big hand in their company’s initial success. But Ryan says their team’s commitment to delivering just what their clients ask for is a big plus for their business.
“We’re committed to developing customer specific software for our clients,” he says. “We take advantage of modern technologies and adapt them to fit our clients’ needs.”
Ryan says one of LinxSmart’s most popular solutions is a website management program known as LiveTools.
“LiveTools is a user-friendly website content management system,” he explains. “With it, we focus on integrating many other third party systems like Facebook, Salesforce and PayPal. It’s flexible enough that we can adapt unique business logic into it for each client’s individual needs. It’s really an ideal solution for any small or medium-sized operation. We can install LiveTools with any of our websites and have them up and running in just a short amount of time.”
The LiveTools content management system has proven incredibly helpful for many of LinxSmart’s clients. For instance, LinxSmart recently implemented a new website and business apps at the Ontario College of Health & Technology in Stoney Creek to help the college improve their operations and enhance communication with their students. With the new LinxSmart website, students were able to enroll in programs, and receive transcripts and faculty announcements. Teachers also had the ability to manage attendance, grades and individual course notes.
According to Ryan, the college was able to reduce their paper consumption costs by over 90% after they implemented the LiveTools system. It also allowed them to accomplish everything they wanted at a fraction of the cost of most licensed software.
“The world is becoming increasingly digital,” Ryan says, “so we often help our clients with things like eliminating paper records or encouraging web-based communication. That way, we can help our clients lower their administrative costs substantially.”
Mobile web design is another one of LinxSmart’s big specialities. In the past few years, mobile devices such as iPhones, Blackberries and Androids have all become incredibly popular ways to access the internet. At LinxSmart, they create more effective mobile websites for their clients and provide a greater return on their investment.
“Mobile web design is the next big thing,” Ryan says. “But mobile devices also have limited download speeds as well as screen size restrictions and input methods. You use your finger now, rather than a mouse. Fortunately, we can develop a mobile website that’s optimized for size and speed, offers a cleaner design and layout, and has ‘to the point’ content that will yield better results.”
Awards and Accolades
Since it began back in 2006, LinxSmart has grown rapidly – from a modest start-up into a progressive web development firm servicing over 300 clients throughout Canada. In the next few years, Ryan is hoping to expand LinxSmart’s client base in the U.S. and Canada and double their present staff.
And the accolades keep coming in for Ryan and his spirit of innovation. This year, Ryan was honoured with the 2011 Mohawk College Alumni of Distinction Award in the Entrepreneur category for the success of his web firm. Just this past month, Ryan was also named as a finalist in the Young Entrepreneur category of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce’s 2011 Burlington Business Excellence Awards.
Ryan says he was especially honoured to be recognized by his alma mater.
“Winning the award meant a great deal to myself and LinxSmart,” he says. “I’m a proud alumnus of Mohawk, and I was thankful to have the chance to show students and graduates how important it is to pursue an education and follow their dreams.”
Ryan says a core reason behind LinxSmart’s swift growth is the systems they develop for their clients are all based off open-source software. This way, their clients can make changes on their end or choose to work with other developers. It also allows the LinxSmart team to serve a large number of clients with a smaller team.
“Our clients have the ability to pick up and leave at any point,” Ryan says. “Our excellent client retention rate is a result of our clients’ desire to keep working with us, not because our technology forces them to.”
For Ryan and the LinxSmart team, their success all comes down to one thing – looking after their clients’ best interests.
“Strong client communication is one of the most important factors when it comes to working in this industry,” Ryan says. “And we’re very proud of our expertise and our ability to develop quality products. But we do more than just build websites for our clients. We’re committed to making them a success. We stay ahead of the curve – so our clients don’t have to.”