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The serial web entrepreneur determined to get local businesses online

The entrepreneur behind the widly-successful Stayz site has turned his attention to SMBs, launching a start-up to help business owners create a professional and easy to manage and market website.

Bislr (pronounced Biz-ler) founder Chris Sharkey says he’s on a mission to end frustrations felt by business owners, who battle with complex programs when building and running an online business.

After selling Stayz in 2006, Sharkey was approached by literally hundreds of businesses wanting his help to build an online presence.

“I started seeing everyone, everywhere was struggling with the technology, it was costing them a fortune to get a simple website up and they just had no idea how to market their business online. I wanted to help,” he said.

So, Sharkey joined forces with his brothers Michael, Peter and a team of web developers in 2009 to begin designing Bislr, which is still in the beta invite-only stage. The program allows users to build a free site in a matter of minutes. Users start by choosing a professionally designed theme and then build their website via a simple drag and drop process. Not long after this process, the site goes live.

Bislr also gives users the tools they need to market their business online and socially connect with their customers on Facebook and Twitter.

“We looked at every aspect of running your business online; creating and maintaining your website, adding forms, videos, photos, email marketing, social media and search engine optimisation. We’ve tried really hard to make all this stuff easy, we’ve been there ourselves and that’s what’s driving us everyday to make Bislr the best and easiest place to run your business online,” Sharkey said.

Sharkey’s start-up has attracted the attention of investors locally and in Silicon Valley, and was also recently accepted into the Australian Technology Showcase (ATS) in NSW to help support the export of the product overseas.

Bislr is free to setup and use, and businesses can join Bislr premium for $199 per year which includes a free domain name and provides more benefits such as increased bandwidth, storage and email credits.

Business owners interested in being invited to Bislr can visit www.bislr.com. Invites are released daily and wait time is averaging 2 days.

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Lorna Brett

Lorna Brett

Lorna was Dynamic Business’ Social Web Editor in 2011/12. She’s a social media obsessed journalist, who has a passion for small business. Outside the 9 to 5, you’re likely to find her trawling the web for online bargains, perfecting her amateur photography skills or enjoying one too many cappucinos. You can follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/dynamicbusiness">Twitter @DynamicBusiness</a>

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