Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hello! My Name is Mahamud Hasan. I am a graphic designer, entrepreneur, startup business consultant, and one of the founders and CEO of Zovo Team Ltd. In My career, I have worked as a freelance graphic designer at Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer and our Bangladeshi based Kajkey platform since 2016. We (Zovo Team Ltd.) provide full-stack digital marketing solutions, web development, search engine optimization, graphic contents (image+ video), app development, content writing, copywriting, and full brand identity solutions. We have six subsidiary brands to provide A to Z solutions for entrepreneurs. The estimated revenue is 12.5k$/month and yearly 150k$+. The sub-brands of Zovo team Ltd. are;
1) Zovo Geeks (The f-commerce agency in Bangladesh) (coordinator - Mustafizur Rahman Khan)
2) Zovo Zip (The leading web and software development company) (co-founder - Al Nahian)
3) Zovo stock (A graphic stock market brand) (co-founder - Yasin Arman)
4) Zovo tools (A web development-related tools brand) (co-founder - Alamgir Amir)
5) Zovo Pharma (An offline based Model pharmacy brand) (co-founder- Monowar Hossain)
6) Aiops BD (Top-rated printing brand) (co-founder - Abdullah)
So, you can say that our teams are focused only on the development of new entrepreneurs by our effective solutions.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
As you know, in my career, I have worked as a freelance graphic designer since 2016. I have studied Graphic Design Technology at the Graphic Arts Institute. The journey of Zovo Team Ltd officially started on 14 November 2019 but the plan of Zovo Team Ltd was created in my mind almost 2/3 months ago in the same year. I want to start my story with the one-man army Mr. Abdullah al Nahian who worked with me as a co-founder, advisor, and technical team member to execute my startup plan.
Focus is far more important than hard work.
I am really lucky that I have found a co-founder like Al Nahian. In 2019, we started our journey as a graphic design agency, and day by day, we added new services like web development, app development, etc. After 6 months, we realized that a lot of entrepreneurs don't have any technical knowledge to start an online-based startup. That's why we researched the market and rearranged our packages, service fees, and customer support as per budget-friendly effective support for every new startup brand.
In 2020, we again realized that not only technical knowledge but also business-related knowledge are missing for every entrepreneur. For this kind of issue, we added a lot of services and support that allow entrepreneurs to start his / her business from 0% to 100% growth rate. You can say that Zovo team Ltd. is a startup that helps new startups who want to develop and make a lot of improvements in his/her startup by our team of experts. We focus on customer problems and give them an effective solution that they can work on very quickly and take action to develop their startup.
Our startup cost was 200$ USD for a domain, hosting, web development, etc. As for my financial status, I came from a middle-class family. I have gotten a lot of support from my mother, father, who inspired me to do the Zovo team Ltd. startup. The year 2020 is special for our team because we have been recognized as the top 4 entrepreneurs by Apollo Company. We have also been recognized as the Top 3 Branding agencies in Bangladesh by Clutch. Top 6 branding agencies in Bangladesh by shortlisting. In addition, Zovo Team Ltd was officially registered as a corporate brand in Bangladesh. So by far, this has been a game-changing year for our team.
It was possible because of the hard work and efforts of our expert team members. I am thankful that every team member is an expert and dedicated to his work. We are all working in a friendly environment. There are no strict rules or any regulations which decrease your freedom of working. So we respect all of our team members who want to share their ideas or opinions to improve our plan.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
Our work is based on a service which is graphic design. Earlier in my career, I had worked with over 200+ brands as per freelance-based work worldwide. Day by day, those brands wanted more and more designs for their social media and marketing purposes so I decided to add more team members to my team to provide quality-based designs for my clients. I faced a lot of issues; for e.g, our client was paid as per quantity. If they need 50+ designs per month then our team should provide the designs for a minimum of 5-7 days. Which is tough for the whole team. So, I had to hire people as per project-based. That's why I added a lot of team members which were maybe 70+ but maintained the quality and quantity. I saw that a lot of team members have a lot of concepts and a lot of issues. So, I again built a strong team that loves work and has the passion to do work better. After all, my team gave me a lot of effort and hard work, and also the result was positive and unbelievable. After a few months, we added Web development, App development, Search Engine Optimization, Animation, and a lot of essential services.
As I said earlier, my startup cost was 200$. This amount was managed by my savings. In the last report of our analyses, Zovo Team Ltd has reached 120k$+ revenue per year which averages 11.5k$/month. For accounts-related work, 70% of accounting is managed by me and one accountant helped me to finish. I use to manage my client list and their work by Google Sheet, Google docs, Google Drive, and Business mail. For customer relation management, I use one of our Bangladeshi-based startups called atithisheba.com, they help me to receive client calls, customer inquiries, email replies, SMS reply and more.
For project Payment collection, our company uses local banks, mobile banking, Paypal and Payoneer. As we know, market analysis is more important than executing any plan. In my general education, I have studied in the Science group ( SSC and HSC). So, I have no knowledge about business strategy, accounting, business execution plan, how to run a startup, and also which niche is better for me. Then I use Google search engine, Bing, business-related news portal, case study, business youtube channel and also follow the SWOT rules. I spent a lot of time learning more about business-related industries, even though I had previously done a lot of online-based courses to increase my skills and knowledge. When I realized my English speaking skill is at a very poor level, I found a training center called SALT LAB. The founder of that training center is Mr.Ashiqur Rahman who helped me for a long time so that I could improve my speaking skills and it worked. In a single month, I spent a minimum of 300+ hours on it.
After 1.5 years of startup age, we decided to do our legal documents to work smoothly, and also we respected the country's law. Our team researched and provided important hints about the legal document. We rearranged our online-based startup to an Incorporation company (formally Private limited). We also got 4 new shareholders, 7 co-founders for our sub-brand.
Do work which you like the most and are interested in, don’t work if it doesn’t give you happiness and pleasure.
Our Business and brand trademark, Tradelince, TIN (tax identification Number, BIN (Business identification number/VAT registration) within 3 months. For this kind of document registration, I got a lot of support from my beloved friend Mr. Syed Rifat Hossain. I am really lucky that a lot of people helped me in my startup career like Al Nahian, Mr. Syed Rifat Hossain, Rubel Mia.
Describe the process of launching the business.
This is my startup business launching plan: how to start it and what kind of support I needed for that time.
A skill never dies if you learn it properly.
Graphic design is a big industry that needs every kind of brand. I decided to run a design agency without any kind of suggestion, and single information. I ran my startup on a Facebook business page. After 37 Days, the first revenue generated 10$ from a Bangladeshi startup brand that needed a logo Design which was done by one of our team members. So, it was a great time in my life that I got a potential client from a single Facebook page. Our Facebook marketing was based on:
Sharing attractive graphic contents
Driving traffic from Social media group
Inviting Facebook friends
Trying to share informational contents
Making content Marketing strategy etc
That was a really hard time for me because I didn't know the domain and hosting how it operates or what is necessary for them. At that time, I got a lot of support from Mr.Rubel Khan, who helped me to register the domain and hosting of Zovoteam.com. In my startup career, I didn’t take any loans or credit balance for it. I used my full 5 year+ freelancing savings. I didn’t know that a startup needs funding to execute its plan. After 2 years I realized that. Then I took shareholders for funding and they helped me a lot to do the huge innovation in our brand. We are thankful to our beloved Business partners who helped us a lot.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
We started our journey officially on 14 November 2019.
In my 6+ years of Freelancing and entrepreneur career, I learned that. If you have the willpower to do something then no one can stop it without the will of our creator. So, we shouldn't take any negative advice or negative suggestions. It not only decreases your willpower but also passion. Business is like a war. If you want to go to war, go with a strong team who thinks like you, who helps you achieve your goal, who thinks smartly, and who gives you all kinds of suggestions. As an entrepreneur, we are never strict on our team members. We just control our minds and focus on development.
If you think that, my team members are not only team members, they are my partners, friends, goal achievers, and also the fuel for my startup. In my career, I came across a lot of people who just work for money, not for pleasure. Even if they were not getting any suitable position, it could, however, can give them a lot of money without any hard work. These kinds of people are working in your startup like robots. So, if you build a dedicated and passionate team, share your goals with them, learn from the feedback you get, and give opportunities. Only then will you be successful as per your set goal. Starting a business in the next 1 year, we shouldn’t think about sales. Because, If you only care for sales then you are not a real entrepreneur, you will only look like a salesman. So, focus on client satisfaction, represent business transparency, do it positively forever then the growth will be best.
When we started our journey on the Facebook page. The visitor was maybe 200/300 per month but now it is 10/15k per month from only the Facebook business page. Our teams follow 95% of the time and only do organic marketing so we have done few paid campaigns on Google, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, etc. Our expert members said that “content marketing is king, SEO is the kingdom”.
If you help someone in their hard times, they will help you in your hard times.
Here are our few running organic marketing campaigns(client work) screenshots at the Facebook Platform;
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Recently, our team regularly attended the webinar about industry, skill and personal branding development. As per revenue prospect, the customer acquisition cost depends on your whole (marketing budget /customer amount) = per customer cost. But most businesses follow the traditional rules for counting the data. From 100% customers, we got at least 75% return customers every month which reduced our customer acquisition and paid ads cost. From Our social media, we got 25k/30k traffic from (Facebook, Linkedin, Google My Business, Youtube, Google, Bing, etc).
As per our short-term goals, we are trying to change our marketing and strategy algorithm for 30 to 40 days. Which is good and smart. We set targets for new industries, new staru[p and business models. One of the core and main targets is that we wanna help new startups, build new startups to ensure the growth rate of the whole industry of our county. The subsidiary of ZovoGeeks.com is focused on the F-commerce and E-commerce industry to improve every entrepreneur's business. This is happy news for us then, within 3 months, our new subsidiary zovo geeks has reached 500+ clients. The whole customer rate is increased by 3,000+ brands in Zovo Team Ltd.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
From My personal experience, I learned a lot of things that are essential for every kind of entrepreneur.
- You need to learn something new about business
- Follow the industry leader, see their activities
- Keep up to date industry news every time
- You need to learn the basics of every sector (digital marketing, customer analysis, data analysis, basic SEO, organic marketing, user experience)
- Regularly read the business case study on Starter Story/BBC/Business portals
- Set your final mindset about the road map
- Develop your secret strategy
- You need to make the Plan-A, Plan-B, Plan-C for your startup
- Never lose your willpower, just keep motivated
- Never share your idea, plan, and execution plan with your competitor
The advantage of starting a business is amazing and unbelievable. Because, not only money but also a lot of love, respect you will get from it.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
We use Social media such as Facebook Business Page, Linkedin Business Page, Twitter, Google my Business page, etc.
For video content sharing, our team uses Youtube, Facebook videos.
As per the retargeting Marketing, our digital marketing uses Facebook Pixel for it. That will help to show active paid ads to your targeted customer.
There are a lot of live chat tools which help to talk with your live visitor. We are using Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp my Business. For general inquiries, feedback, our expert's team uses business brand email and SMS.
One of the productivity tools that Google keeps, Google calendar, saves my time more than 60% every day.
For CRM, we use this product.
For Customer data, contact info.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
I would like to recommend one of the best books Rich Dad, Poor Dad, that will give you a lot of motivation and also you will learn a lot of real experience from it. For video-related content, I always follow Think Business, Dr.Vivek Bandra's videos and more.
These kinds of resources are most important for every kind of startup. You will get a lot of Business strategies, Business case studies, and more.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
These are the most expensive and exclusive tips for upcoming entrepreneurs who want to start their businesses. You should follow these tricks for your business. I believe that these are top, game-changing tricks that I learned from my startup which made us unique from our peers;
- Don’t think for revenue or profit.
- Build a strong team with vast expertise.
- Never compromise the quality for money.
- In business, Honesty is the best policy.
- Never take steps without any kind of preplanning.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
Yes! We are looking for a Search Engine Optimization Specialist for our Zovo Team Ltd. as per remote/ freelancing based. Job details.
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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