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I was invited to go into The Beach — one of our local radio stations near Collingwood — to talk about Switch Video. These types of opportunities serve a couple purposes; to share my vision about starting and growing a knowledge-based business in a small town; and to put the word out about where we are going in the future.
With the speed that technology has started to move in the past three years, the gap between what today’s web-based businesses are doing and the everyday Joe grows by the second. I take opportunities like a radio interview to try and close that gap. Even though the technology and the language that we use may be unfamiliar to most people, it can be broken down and simplified — much like what we strive to do at Switch.
Our business goals are fairly straightforward: to sell short animated video that will allow our clients to engage more with the visitors to their website. We know that when a website has video, people are 80% more likely to contact the company behind the website.
The question they posed at the Beach and one that I often get is: Why operate Switch Video out of Collingwood?? With most of the action happening in larger urban epicenters, why would we invest and set up shop in a small-ish town?
The answer is twofold:
1) I want to reap the benefits of a work/life balance; and I want to utilize the ability of web-based communication to make a living. I live at the base of Blue Mountain, and get to experience all that this beautiful area has to offer. I ski and go to the outdoor spa in the winter; I kayak and swim in Georgian Bay in the summer. Being able to get to the office in 15 minutes is just a kickback.
2) Because of the fact that this area is so closely tied to the business world through its long-established reputation as a destination for weekend warriors, I am able to network and continue to grow the business from here. It is easier to stand out as a company doing cool work in a smaller place. Perhaps Switch Video has benefited as a company brave enough to call the city’s bluff and actually enlist the abilities of Web 2.0 so that we can live one place and do business all over North America and the world.
With Switch having just turned 2 years old, I can look back at our 150 videos for more than 50 clients with pride, and revel in all that we have learned and accomplished. But mostly, I spend my time looking forward to all of the possibilities. I am psyched that in 2011 I can enjoy the small wonders and slower pace of living in a smaller community, but still blaze a path in the business world by walking the walk and working in the cloud.
– Andrew Angus