Tinkit Web Studio is based in Härnösand, a city in Västernorrland county, mid-Sweden. Before establishing the company, Kent worked in various IT and web development roles. Similar to many areas of work today, in web development short-term contracts have become common. This was Kent’s experience and left him knowing his skills were in demand but he suspected that working for himself could give more security. In 2012, Kent established Tinkit.
The company grew slowly but steadily. Kent didn’t expect an overnight success and committed to develop the company for at least 3 years. This strategy proved fruitful as now in its 5th year, Tinkit is a busy, client-focused, web development studio working on projects large and small.
Kent believes that focusing on serving your clients well will also result in developing a good profile for your business. Word of mouth has proven to be powerful advertising for Tinkit. Kent explains: “My clients tend to find me…I don’t go out myself and knock on the door and say I’m a great web developer…If I have done a good job, they will recommend me and come back.” One group of clients important to Tinkit are small, local companies. They often approach Tinkit with a specific project and then return when they need additional help. This forms a stable client base for the company. But when bigger projects arise Tinkit is well-equipped to deliver. Kent has strong networks of expertise and draws on these to work on bigger projects that come along.
Being based in Härnösand has the advantage of a relatively low cost base and also access to high-speed fibre broadband. However access is not uniform throughout the area. Kent highlights the importance of internet speeds, and not just to digital businesses: “You can’t run a company without a good internet connection, for any company, even if you are running a clothing store, for payments, for book-keeping, everything is moving to the cloud”.
Tinkit not only provides services to clients but Kent also spends time developing his own projects both in digital and physical space. He is collaborating with another local company on a project that has attracted innovation funding from local business development agency Almi. In the often time-pressured world of web-development, Kent also finds expressing his creativity in other ways is beneficial. Kent has another studio at home where he carves and builds different structures, from a doll’s house for his daughter to a concrete effect feature-wall in his home inspired by local architecture. He explains: “Switching between working with your hands and web design, it helps me on a daily basis…doing this is both inspirational and helpful…in the process of doing it the creativity emerges”.
We interviewed Kent as part of series we’re carrying out for a creative momentum project. This is to help build our understanding of creative entrepreneurship in peripheral regions and inform the policy recommendations and research emerging from the project.