Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hello! We are George Chatzicharalampous and George Margaritis, founders of lv8 - Consulting. We offer digital marketing services and consulting that helps businesses reach their goal.
Our services include video production, social media management, web development, SEO, and PPC management.
We are situated in Lamia, central Greece and we have the opportunity to travel all around Greece to help with the business.
We started officially in December of 2020 and we are currently generating about $12,000 per month and we are helping some of the biggest companies in our area. In one of our clients that we also used as a case study we achieved a 2680% increase in revenue in one month compared to the same last year.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
Our career paths have crossed when we started working together in the in-house marketing team of one of the biggest e-commerce websites in our country.
But before we even met, both of us had a remarkable career portfolio.
George Chatzicharalampous used to work and live in London, the UK, and George Margaritis in Gothenburg, Sweden, both in the IT area. We both started working in the field back in 2004 as freelancers at first and then as managers to different e-commerce stores.
Our idea about our agency came one rainy afternoon when we discussed that other agencies that we worked with were not performing the way we would like as a client.
Specifically, they were always slow, missing deadlines, and very difficult to communicate. This was the moment that we said: “Let’s start a digital marketing agency that actually cares about their clients”.
We had validated our business way before starting lv8 - consulting because we had many calls and offers from prospective clients even before leaving our main job.
Currently, we are expanding rapidly because all the revenue we generate is invested back in the company, either with new employers or into hardware and software.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
The funny thing is that we had faith in our vision from the start. We never started as a side project but we have rented our headquarters even before having any client. But we knew that the universe was on our side because when we rented our office we found this canvas on the wall that we still have.
We bought two second-hand PCs and we were ready to go. No fancy stuff, just the bare minimum to start as quickly as possible.
Our services are always based on two simple principles:
1)Think like a client
2) Always deliver a top product
And because we had a very big experience working with other digital agencies we knew right away what was needed from the client’s point of view.
Describe the process of launching the business.
The business was financed 100% from our own funds. This way we are very lean and flexible and we can have quick financial decisions.
Right after moving to our offices, our first customer came and he immediately started working with. We saw it as a big opportunity to show our work right away and from the very start, we saw a very large increase in revenue and that led to bigger exposure, both to him and us. We still use his success story in many of our case studies
And living in a small city this is the best advertisement. The clients started to snowball and in the second month, we hired our first two employees. Currently, we are 5 people working full time and 3 more working part-time.
The biggest lesson is to have a vision and a goal. Start moving step by step towards your vision without having negative things to your mind. Stop thinking about why you can’t but rather start thinking that it has already been done!
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
The main way of attracting clients is due to word of mouth. We have done minimum advertisement so far but we let our client do the work! And this is by far the best advertisement.
We also used local news websites to promote our case studies to have more buzz around our company. One of the articles that went viral was when we gained our first award and it was promoted by a very large news website.
We have recently started writing marketing articles in our blog and sharing our case studies and traffic from these sources has started to pick up.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Currently, we are barely profitable because we are reinvesting all of our revenue into the business. We try to expand as hard as possible. Our motto now is: Expanding, expanding, expanding!
We are looking to rent a second place to use only as a conference and meeting place.
Also, we are in the middle of the process of renovating our headquarters and we are upgrading our hardware with new PCs and a server.
We are also reviewing new employers to bring into the team.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
The biggest lesson that we have learned is that you must always have a face-to-face meeting with a prospective customer. That way you can get to know better his needs and understand him as a person. That way you know what you must offer to make him successful and happy.
Do not lose time and take care of your negative thoughts. Be conscious and when you catch yourself having a negative thought reject it right away.
Lastly, we only see the mistakes that we made as a stepping stone to becoming better so we are not attached to them. After all, if we have not made mistakes we could not become better.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
We are investing heavily in software that will either help our productivity or add new features to our clients.
The tools that we are using daily are:
- Smarttask for our project management
- Keeper Password Security as our password manager
- WpOven for our managed server needs. Huge thumbs up to these guys, their support is top A+++
- Slack for team communication
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
So many books have influenced us to write about. A few of them are:
- Reality Transurfing by Vadim Zeland (a must-read to achieve your goals)
- As a Man Thinketh by James Allen (a powerful manifesto of positive thinking)
- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki (a classic book that helps you learn the difference between assets and liabilities)
- Fastlane Millionaire and Unscripted by M.J. DeMarco (truly excellent books)
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?
Just do it! Pick your goal and start moving towards it. Do not lose time and take care of your negative thoughts. Be conscious and when you catch yourself having a negative thought reject it right away.
Do not dwell on the past, start living the moment and visualize your ideal future!
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We are always looking to onboard new people to join our team. The main thing we need to fit in our team is to be a positive person.
Currently, we are looking for a senior web developer and a social media marketing manager for a full-time position. If you are interested shoot us an email!
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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