2018 - present

TinySites are a subscription website coupled with a consulting service. It helps small entrepreneurs get online at an affordable cost, while giving project opportunities to young creatives.

The challenge

One evening on a call with my friend, I called out a problem... "it's hard to keep a sustainable income as a young freelancer", she concurred, and added "it's hard for me to afford creatives as a new business owner". My friend couldn't afford to pay thousands for her website and online channels, but she said that she'd 'pay a €100 every month to have me on the phone for advice'. That's how TinySites started.

At the intersection of two needs, I created a small subscription consultancy helping small entrepreneurs get and succeed online, while sustainably supporting freelancers (currently a small network of 12 young creatives).

Getting a website is a complex, confusing and expensive ordeal. Most clients, especially small businesses, would rather focus on what they are good at instead of technical difficulties.

But they still need a proper website, guidance, and complete service — online strategy, branding, marketing, and maintenance... What are the exact needs? What are the key, most valuable components, of these elements, and could anything be productized without sacrificing on impact?

So, I experiment with a different approach:

→ Splitting the cost over several years, thus making it less prohibitive for starting businesses

→ Productizing key processes & tools — light branding, building a custom web framework, creating strategic exercises

→ Providing access to a curated network of additional talent to use at key moments

As a result, small businesses would easily get on-boarded and we'd be ready to support them as they grow.

During my initial market experimentation, I noticed a great response particularly from female entrepreneurs. This perhaps highlights an under-supported group of female makers who would benefit from respectful approach and good advice in technical domains in which they are still often considered less capable (even in this day and age).

So, the branding and tone-of-voice center around that, but also my values and communication preferences (first name basis, friendly, honest, egalitarian). People in our creative network are evenly split between male and female creatives, and our approach to customer service is one of close collaboration rather than one-sided service delivery.

Currently there are seven sites launched. The few websites we launched play a key role in our customer's business and generate revenue. Ourselves, we have a stable monthly recurring revenue, and three of our clients regularly purchase additional services & marketing support from the network.

And so, I consider the service-market fit validated. The next question is viability & scaleability of this business model over long-term. Now my goal is to try operationalize the network, build formal scaleable processes that can be picked up by a team, and then attempt to scale the business to several dozen sites.

Visit Tinysites.co

Illustrations purchased, customized.