15 May 2015
They say starting work is the beginning of your education, not the end of it.
That was certainly the case for Chris Byrnes, a TAFE graduate five times over and a driving force behind Brisbane’s emerging tech and digital marketing scene.
Chris began his journey in 2002 at TAFE Queensland Brisbane’s South Bank campus, taking on both a Diploma of Multimedia and a Certificate II in Information Technology in his first year of study.
It was during this time that he and a fellow student first noticed a gap in the agency market – one that they were only too happy to fill.
Late nights spent studying became early mornings planning for the arrival of their brainchild: a full-service digital agency now known as Klyp.
The business was built on the rudimentary coding skills both co-founders had picked up at TAFE, but it soon became clear that more study would be needed to turn their startup into an unequivocal success.
So Chris found himself back in the classroom two nights a week, this time getting to grips with a Diploma of Business.
“Starting out so young, and having run a business for some time, I’d picked up a bit of knowledge but I’d also made a lot of mistakes. I needed to get serious, fill in the gaps and get the right skills to re-affirm what I thought I knew about business,” he told MAKE.
Now counting offices in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and working with clients like Gloria Jean’s and Eagle Boys Pizza, it’s fair to say Chris has gotten serious.
Returning to TAFE most recently to study and even teach digital marketing, he said he feels most confident selling Klyp’s services when he understands them completely.
Asked whether he has advice for other entrepreneurs with big dreams, Chris says it all starts with education: “Skill yourself with the right tools for success. Accounting, budgeting, HR and sales can all be learned on the job, but believe me you make a lot of mistakes along the way. Getting the right education and advice early in your business just helps you identify some mistakes before they happen.”
Originally published in Issue 4 of MAKE magazine.