Shojaei highlights the importance of people - both customers and employees when starting a business. Read on to know the best practices while going the biz route...
Eventually, every business will reach its peak level. Sometimes, it is only a matter of the market size or company resources, and other times, the local economy may be shifting. Whatever the reason may be, companies need to be ready to shed their skin and reinvent themselves.
This is better done sooner rather than later. Great company leaders and executives are skilled in predicting the market and current trends, as well as taking into account the company’s resources and possibilities. If reinvention is done before something is broken, the company has better chances of succeeding and flourishing.
Often times, the best and easiest moments are right before downhill. Thus, as a business owner, it is vital that you know when to make the change and what kind of change is the best course of action.
Expired base of competition
Often times, the base of competition expires right before the company reaches its peak level. As an example, let us look at Nokia, the cell phone provider that (a couple of decades ago) was the leader in its market. Nowadays, however, the market has been taken over by Apple and Huawei. This is not because Nokia does not have the resources or technology to follow these big-time businesses, but because Nokia failed to see the much-needed call for reinvention.
As we are talking about Nokia, we should not forget that Nokia did reinvent themselves years ago, and extremely dramatically. Before Nokia manufactured cell phones, it used to make rubber boots. And as the markets changed and cell phones started to take over, Nokia was quick to shed its cocoon and turn into a butterfly.
In fact, Value Marketing, a Malta-based iGaming company, did the same.
“We used to operate in the field of face-to-face marketing. However, I didn’t much care for it myself, and I had no passion for it. As I am an avid poker player and I saw many fantastic possibilities in iGaming and online-based businesses, we changed our business model and market completely. I do not regret it for one second”, says Reza Shojaei, the founder of Value Marketing.
Nowadays, Value Marketing is a successful multinational, multi-million-dollar company that is expected to have a valuation of 3-5 million dollars in 2020. It appears that changing the business model resulted in effective and profitable results for Value Marketing, that is in charge of Casino Topp and CasinoTop.com.
Hidden capabilities give room to grow
Many companies have hidden talents and capabilities that may allow them to expand and grow within their own market. Oftentimes, high-performing businesses have hidden skill sets that keep them in the ever-changing game. To use an example, Toyota does not only manufacture cars. Instead, it possesses engineering skills as well, which has allowed them to put Lexus and the Prius on the market.
On the other hand, music industry has evolved within its market as a whole. Before, we listened to music on cassettes, from where we moved up to CD’s and then digital music distribution. Effectively, selling music digitally on iTunes, for instance, allows wider and faster distribution with less costs.
Value Marketing has made its mission to be a global conqueror in their market. Slowly, they are taking on different countries, now servicing a total of 12. As iGaming is big around the globe, there is much room to grow – for the company and for the people who work for the company.
Talents within the company
Every business wants to make as much profit as possible, which is ultimately achieved by keeping the costs low to increase the profit margin. Too often, this is done by hiring less employees and giving each of them more responsibilities. However, in order to keep the company growing and with the times, it needs skilled and talented employees who are motivated and passionate about their jobs. In other words, innovative up-and-comers can give you some outside insight and a pair of new eyes to look at the company, and possible new business opportunities, on another level.
“We have hired multiple copywriters, editors, designers, and developers from around the world. Granted, our business operates purely online, so it is easy to do so. Hiring globally allows us to bring in the best and most motivated talent with much needed skill sets”, Shojaei explains.
Value Marketing has three main products: CasinoTopp.net, Norges Casino and Casino Top, they both operate on the iGaming market, but they service different countries. As Shojaei has on-boarded freelancers from different countries around the world, they are able to tackle language and cultural barriers when it comes to iGaming.
“Your company might be able to get ahead of the curve and reach higher levels simply by hiring new employees, freelancers, or even temporary consultants. Reinvention may not even be needed – just a simple shift in the way the business operates” according to Shojaei.
The top dogs need to change when needed
Let’s face it: executives, CEO’s, and founders have a lot on their plate. Running a business (especially a big one) is not a piece of cake. While other executives are great at running the business on a day-to-day basis, whereas others are excellent at entering new markets. Both of these skills are needed for the business to expand, grow, and (in some cases) even reinvent). Though the entire roster of executives may not need to change, it may be beneficial to bring in outside consultants, at the very least.
In fact, this is something that can pose a problem and even halt the growth of the company. Shojaei points out that, “ with his business, the problem was the location of all the copywriters. As many of them live in different time zones, messages came in at different times of the day or night”. He solved the problem by hiring a head of content, who is in charge of all the content and copywriters. This way, the writers have a point of contact while Shojaei can focus on growing the company.
Reinvent your goals
Each successful company has both short- and long-term goals. Short-term goals are easier to reach, and they may be set on a quarterly basis, while long-term goals are set on an annual basis. As your business grows, there may become a time to reinvent your goals, especially the long-term ones. In the long-term, you should take into account new trends, possible market changes, and other things that are constantly evolving and moving.
We are currently operating in 12 countries, but we are slowly taking on new markets. Our goals shift and change, as we complete these checkmarks on our list, Shojaei tells.
Put people first
Shojaei underlines the importance of people – both customers and employees. Without customers, you will not have a business. Without happy customers, you will have a bad business. Ultimately, your employees are (often times) the contact between your business and the consumer, so the employees need to represent the company in the best possible way.
Happy customers talk and recommend – but unhappy customers talk, too.
“Our goal is to write valuable and honest content for our readers. The most important thing for us is transparency and the fact that the readers can trust us. It makes them come back”, Shojaei says.
Some researchers have shown that when employees have room to grow within the company, they are happier. Giving them possibilities and motivating them to do better, they are ultimately willing to go the extra mile that can be a vital difference between a successful and unsuccessful company. That being said, sometimes all a company needs is a shift in what they offer – or a shift in employees.
When is change and reinvention desired and needed?
Maybe by this point, you have determined that change or reinvention are sort of needed. The first few years in the lifespan of your business are often the years of getting started. The business may be still in the startup phase. Making small changes at this point is vital if needed, but drastic changes should be carefully considered and made only when absolutely necessary for the company’s relevance and success.
The next phase is the growth phase, which is when it may be ideal to reinvent the business with small or big changes. Anything can trigger the need or want for reinvention: maybe you are bored, maybe the market has shifted, or maybe the business just is not growing anymore.
Decide what and how
After the decision for reinvention has been made, it is time to decide what to change. This decision can be a hard one, as the ultimate goal is to be profitable (maybe even more profitable than before) and at the same time, meet your personal goals.
If the reinvention is needed to make the company profitable, it is suggested to work out what your company’s core strengths are and focus on them, while making possible budget-cuts. It is also vital to make the decision between where the budget can be cut and where it should be increased.
Sometimes, the goal may be to do something completely different, like Shojaei did with Value Marketing. “Changing from face-to-face sales to iGaming was not only a business decision, but personal, too”, says Shojaei. Shojaei has always been a passionate poker player, which makes iGaming market interesting for him.
“I love what I do, and I look forward to work every day”, he explains.
Making the plan
Every successful business owner is great at making plans and sticking to them. Depending on what kind of reinvention and changes are needed, you may even need to make a whole new business plan and start from scratch. The only difference is, that this time, you will be changing and existing business into a possibly completely different business model.
The key factor here is to make a plan and work the plan. Changing the concept may be challenging, so changes can be done slowly.
Green light and go
As a business changes from an old business model to a new one, there needs to be an exit strategy in place for the old business. In addition, your new business needs a ramping up period, during which you negotiate leases, take on new business practices, and even hire new employees or train the existing ones. For a while, it may even be as if you were running two businesses at once.
Despite all this, it is important to stick to the exit strategy as well, no matter how much you just want to let go of the old model and dive into you new business. A successful shift is vital, and it should be done carefully, taking into account everything that could go wrong. It is also recommended to note that sometimes during the shift, profits may go down before the new model is ramped up.
Reinventing your business can give you a rush, it can motivate you, inspire you, and even give you new ideas. It can be exciting and wonderful. While you let go of the old business, give yourself time to really let go of it. Many business owners have built their companies from the ground up and letting go of it may require a sort of a grieving process. Letting it happen can be beneficial, all the while maintaining the excitement about the new journey ahead.
(Brand Initiative – Content Provided by Growthxo)