In high school, Ryan Barichello decided one day that he was going to be the boss.
The 25-year-old, who now has more than 100 clients and two full-time employees, creates websites and software applications for business owners from Hamilton to Toronto.
He branded his Toronto web design company LinxSmart (linxsmart.com) in 2006.
"A website is more than just making a page and putting nice stuff on it," says Barichello, whose basic web package starts roughly at $1,800. "It's about building online success. You want to convert your website visitors into leads or sales."
He called on the expertise of Erik Nystrom, 22, now his director of software development, and Chris DiBenedetto, 29, creative director, who joined the team last year.
With sites such as the Burlington Sound of Music Festival and Toronto's 5th Element Events under their belt, Barichello understands where the industry is headed and hopes to see his staff grow to 50.
Online sales in Canada increased at a double-digit pace for the sixth consecutive year in 2007, Statistics Canada reports. Total private and public sector web sales hit an estimated $62.7 billion, up 26 per cent from 2006.
"Some people think if they don't actually sell their product on the Internet then they don't need to be there," Barichello says. "But you do sell your product on the Internet by providing the information and converting those visitors to calls."
The team can provide applications for customers to manage their site themselves.
"Implementing LiveTools allows people who are not computer-savvy to be able to manage these essentially complex sites," he says.
Clients such as Canada Coaster in Dundas operate their manufacturing cycle through Barichello's software.
"I laid out our production system, and he made it work," said owner Tom Vejvalka. "It makes us more efficient."
The Hamilton Spectator
(May 2, 2009)