Paul's Design for Life; Mission to Help Firms Make the Most of Internet Marketing

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Byline: MARTIN WILLIAMS

AS a teenager, Paul Lyons had a creative design for life. A pupil at Blessed Edward Jones High School in Rhyl, Paul achieved record-breaking GCSE and A level results (straight As across the board) and was all set for a place on a design course at a top university. However, an apparent administrative error meant every seat of learning he applied to rejected him.

Rather than sitting back and feeling sorry for himself, Paul changed direction and started again.

Now 34 and managing director of thriving St Asaph firm Designweb, he is making a mark on the world of internet design and technology.

As a youngster Paul dreamed of being an architect, but the dad-of-three insists he is happier than ever owning his own business.

"In truth I would have relished going to a top university, and was asked to apply for the 'Oxbridge' exams along with my best friend at school. I rejected the chance and decided to follow a career path in design," said Paul.

"I believe to this day that the school did not put my UCAS form in on time, meaning someone with the highest grades the school had ever received got rejected from every university they applied to.

"I spoke with UCAS but they were not willing to divulge why I had been rejected by eight universities."

He added: "I had wanted to work for a firm of architects throughout my teens but after changing my career during my A levels I eventually went to university to study design technology, computer-aided design and graphic design - I planned to work in the design industry."

After graduating, Paul got a job with an internet marketing firm in North Wales as their design manager.

"I worked there for six months and got very disillusioned by the service supplied to the customer. There were a couple of clients who prompted me to set my own business up with the promise of giving me their contracts if I moved.

"This would allow me a couple of months income before I needed to look for other projects to take on board. I still have these clients today and we have been trading for 12 years."

Paul's day-to-day role is pretty hands-on. He is the face of the company, but considers himself very much an equal to the team's other developers.

Employing three people on St Asaph Business Park, in a unit shared with North Wales Colocation, run by his brother John Lyons, he is now looking to develop the SEO (search engine optimisation) side of the business.

"Over the past year we have increased the SEO side of things and taken on someone with over 10 years in the SEO sector," he said.

"We are utilising them to further our clients' website rankings on Google, Yahoo and Bing."

New contract wins for Designweb include the Marsh Tracks website for the Rhyl BMX and road route on Marsh Road.

"Designweb beat some top creative agencies in the region for the work," said Paul.

region for the work," said P "We are also currently working with one of the internet's leading online designer glasses retailers SpecSuperstore.com, on both web development and search engine optimisation. There are some exciting projects in the pipeline."

e are also currently working with one of the internet's leading online designer glasses retailers SpecSuperstore.com, on both web development and search engine optimisation. There are some exciting projects in the pipeline."

Paul has no immediate plans to expand, though he is looking to employ a new graphic designer in the near future.

company aul has no immediate plans to expand, though he is looking to employ a new aphic designer in the near future. According to the Liverpool FC fan, there was no better feeling than taking on his first member of staff. …