Jade Lafond, 25, knows how difficult building a website can be. She is currently in the process of setting up her own website business called Jwaga.com, an online community showcasing various events happening around the city.
“In retrospect, as a child I remember being bored and looking for things to do. I would get involved in summer sports and community events,” says Lafond, who graduated with an honours bachelor of commerce degree from McMaster University in June 2006.
In later years, the same problem persisted for Lafond. She never knew what to do on a Friday or Saturday night. “There was not one place to go to see what was occurring in the city,” she says. “There was not a place with all types of events suited for all types of individuals with all types of tastes. That’s when Jwaga came into play. I was looking for work after I graduated and decided that this would be a great way to put my education into practice.”
For Lafond, everything started with the idea, but she quickly realized she had questions that needed answers: What things were needed to start? What would the website look like? Who would build the website? Would the business need to be registered? How much would it all cost? And, most importantly, what would the name be?
“I wanted a name that was salient and easy to remember. After many days of looking … Jwaga was not taken,” she says.
After registering the domain name, Lafond spent about six weeks designing the layout and coming up with a business plan. She hired a web designer to bring her ideas to life, which took about five months. Finally, after testing the site, it was complete.
However, not all plans go without a hitch.
For one thing, Lafond didn’t expect the web designer to take five months to design the website. This led to delay in the launch. However, in the end, the launch did come together.
“When starting a business one needs to be flexible and expect the unexpected. One needs to be proactive as opposed to only being reactive. That’s definitely been a big lesson to me during the process of making Jwaga a reality,” says Lafond. “Things may not always go as planned, but if you persevere and keep trying, you will eventually succeed.”
Next, Lafond plans to expand her website nationally and beyond and she’s determined to dream big.
“Never believe that you cannot do something,” she says.
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