Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in digital marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Xavier Vivas, Founder of Xansibar Design, located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Our primary focus is to help individuals and companies via smart web solutions encompassing three main categories: Web Design/Development, digital marketing, and UX (User Experience). Such services include, but are not limited to, SEO, Google Ads campaign optimization, web design, e-commerce development, app prototyping, UX research & usability studies, chatbot implementation, lead magnet tools, etc.

Our customers are primarily small business owners in different categories, ranging from products to services, such as university divisions, law corporations, real estate professionals, service businesses, etc.

Tell us about yourself

The first time I got into the web design world was by pure chance while a teenager, just when Dreamweaver started as one of the first platforms to create visually attractive websites. By then, the internet was still in its infancy, so I did not consider it a career. However, about a decade after working as a translator, I had a big project with a software company that needed help localizing their WordPress website. So they trained me on how to use that CMS, and since then, I fell in love with WordPress and decided to go deeper into the rabbit hole of web design, development, and digital marketing.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

One of my biggest accomplishments was probably on a personal level. Being a web designer and developer allowed me so much freedom to create any kind of project in a relatively short time and with very few resources. One such project was creating e-commerce for sporting goods used on my favorite activity at the time: slacklining. Thanks to that business, I learned so much about entrepreneurship; it deepened my knowledge of web development and online marketing in brief; it was my graduation into the business world. However, the cherry on top of the cake was allowing me to meet so many amazing people, help grow the Vancouver slacklining community, and even meet my love partner.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

The most challenging part of being a business owner is that you must simultaneously be accountable for so many projects and tasks. This includes a commitment to help your clients solve their issues the best way possible. However, sometimes such tasks are not so evident due to many variables like timing, available resources, budget, communication, etc. You have to be very organized and transfer that skill to your business so that the gears rotate without squeaking. Thankfully, in the digital world, many tools are available to leverage one's time, resources, and knowledge. So, in the end, you have to be smart to vet the ones that can help you achieve your and your customer's goals with the least possible friction.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

In these rapid and challenging times, freelancers and business owners will be more necessary than ever. First tip I'd give to anyone just getting started is to choose something they enjoy doing (even as a hobby) because, most probably, they will have to spend quite a lot of time refining their craft.

Then, I'd say to focus on marketing because that's one thing that comes up no matter your profession. When I was trying to be a professional musician in my 20s, I realized I was spending half the time in marketing and the rest on my music project.

Last but not least, understand that entrepreneurship is not for everyone and requires a lot of tenacity and consistency. That said, if you fail in your first or second attempts, it won't be a waste of time. You can learn so much from failure that it helps you grow as an entrepreneur. Then just try again and start another project. Only this time, you'll have way more tools, experience, and knowledge to help you succeed, eventually.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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