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Achieving great things in information technology

WRITING software for a local leisure centre while still a university student created a business opportunity for Ryan Bilsby.

Mr Bilsby has run Phoenix IT, a Bunbury-based information technology consultancy, web and software development firm, for the past

five years – initially out of two

spare rooms in his mother’s house.

He won the Young Business Achiever of the Year award in this year’s Small Business awards.

“After I’d done the program for the leisure centre I thought there might be a market for my work but I knew it wouldn’t be enough to pay the bills so I started to do IT support work,” Mr Bilsby said.

Half of the company’s work comes from IT support and the rest from web page and software development.

Mr Bilsby said his work schedule involved working on IT support during the day and programming at night – sometimes working until 5am. The company employs two staff – one full-time and one on contract. It runs out of an office above a law firm.

“We do their IT support so we get a good deal on the rent and get to use their receptionist and boardroom,” Mr Bilsby said.

He said Bunbury was a good market for his type of business because there was not a lot of competition.

His list of clients is quite impressive and includes such

names as AlphaWest, Iluka Re-sources and Millennium Chemicals.

“I have no problem retaining clients,” Mr Bilsby said.

My main competition is from Perth and they’re charging three times my rate.

“There’s also a growing market down here.”

He said he would consider other under-serviced regional markets. At the top of his list is Kalgoorlie.

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