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How to run an online business

How to run an online business

We speak with Andrew Markou, CEO of Dynamis, the online media group responsible for BusinessesforSale.com, FranchiseSales.com and PropertySales.com.

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We speak with Andrew Markou, CEO of Dynamis, the online media group responsible for BusinessesforSale.com, FranchiseSales.com and PropertySales.com about what it takes to run a successful online business.

How do you turn a paper-based business into an online business?

Having come from a paper- based publication, it was a natural evolutionary step to say "OK, what is the offline proposition?" It's classified advertising - let's take that, but add the benefits of what you can do online. So to take that proposition and make it into the biggest site in the world was, for me, a relatively simple exercise.

How do you reach a global audience?

To my mind localising is globalising , where we can tailor the offering of the site so it speaks to our user in a more pertinent, relevant fashion. We started with countries where English was the first language and we secured a dominant market position. 

We also found success in ex-pat communities in other countries like Spain, Thailand, Malaysia - countries that you wouldn't think that we - a company in London   could establish a dominant market position in. 

And the next step is for us is to make localised language versions. That obviously presents new challenges for the business, but we're meeting them head on.

How does an online business fare during a recession?

The recession has really benefitted digital businesses, the reason being that all businesses need a channel to its audience. Traditional media has taken a backseat as a result of this recession, as businesses were forced to look at ROI, look at how cost effective they were being. We were no different, - as we are a marketplace and we have advertisers - that's how we support our proposition. 

We may not reach the top of the mountain, but if we've had a good time along the way then we can't have too many complaints.

We have been a beneficiary, of businesses thinking about how they reach their market cost-effectively. Yes, it's been a torrid time, but, it's also been a fruitful time too.

How do you maintain a client base?

AM: I think with the internet people are inherently disloyal and fickle about the services, sites and applications that they use. So as an online business you have to work very hard to secure the loyalty - and it has to come back to good value.  We wouldn't be here today if we hadn't strived for those principles. 

As an online business owner, how hands-on are you?

For me the motivation for continuing to work at the rate that I do for the business , is that there is so much more to do. There is a vision, there's a strategic view of how the business needs to play out, and it's important to hold that vision in mind. 

And yes, the road to that vision may not always be straight, but there's value to be created. For me, I still get a sense that we're nowhere near the destination. I think once that we feel we are, it's time to hand the reigns over to someone else. 

How do you make the business a success?

To me, profit is really a scorecard by which you can measure a business' success - an end, if you will. The means by which to reach that end is more important. I think in life we spend more time with our work colleagues than we do with our own families, so the welfare of the staff and the career path that you offer your employees is important. 

We may not reach the top of the mountain, but if we've had a good time along the way then we can't have too many complaints.

What is the future of the business?

We want to understand the nature and behaviour of the market and act as a positive feedback loop from the market to itself. We are that medium. We are that mirror.

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Adam Turnbull

About the author

Adam manages all editorial content on BusinessesForSale.com as well as on all other titles in the Dynamis stable. He has written and commissioned content on a wide range of business topics, producing news, comment and market analysis.

@adamturnbulluk

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