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One hand entrepreneurship and innovation - specifics in management and attraction of employees in a startup company

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Startup companies, in addition to usually offering new, innovative products, also offer a different work environment. What is it characterized by how a niche company is tolerated by the turbulences of the last two years and which lessons they carry, says Yasen Rusev, CEO of ESCREO.

You have created and offered a different, innovative product with care for nature. What are the challenges that accompany the launch of a lower business?

ESCREO is a new generation paint that turns any surface into a whiteboard, thus taking care of wildlife, and significantly reducing the use of paper. The product and the company strive to be increasingly concerned and appropriate to nature.

The challenges are endless and we face them every day. The realization of a Bulgarian product on the international market is a task with increased difficulty, but also with very good opportunities. In recent years, there are many examples of Bulgarian companies that develop business abroad, not just with software products. Distribution is a main challenge in hardware solutions and physical products.

The focus of our work is to identify the right partners and distributors, build trust, and convince them that ESCREO is good enough in quality, brand, and market position. The products we produce are very niche and this allows us to grow and cover a large market share.

How did they affect the company and the working processes during uncertain times of the last two years and what are the lessons that you learned?

The industry, with creative spaces, had undergone a serious collapse during the COVID pandemic - large office buildings and business owners have stopped working or transformed their work from home. In a very short time, we have fallen from a large peak in sales and this is one of the downsides to developing in a very niche market when you rely solely on it. We have struggled to survive and succeed, but now we are catching up and we reinforce our situation.

Our team has been reduced to 7 people, but now we are supporting our activities through external outsourcing marketing services and an external warehouse partner. The lessons I want to share are that you have to believe in what you do and convey this faith and courage to the people you work with, to be constant, and have a really good team. One must be prepared for turmoil and have alternatives so that he can compensate and resist in a moment of crisis. The truth is that the beauty of the startup business lies in the constant challenges.

The plus is that at the time of crisis is found the possibility of additional activities. With accelerated growth, mistakes are made and when there is no buffer resource, it is difficult to maneuver and manage the process. We used the moment we had reduced the volume to structure our work - we integrated the ERP system that we connected to the site and the warehouses we work with. We have built an automated process that now helps us more. We have changed our focus and point of view so that we use the time to improve and in the future minimize losses, scattering, and confused orders.

Now everything is easier and more successful. We deal with the fast pace and requirements of the market through quality products and the speed of implementation, so that we can establish ourselves as a leader for Europe and the EMEA region, and our plans are to establish ourselves as a world brand. We have been able to attract a key player from the UK for our team so that as an experienced expert in the business development of innovative paints, he contributes to our recognition and sales in more and more markets.

Quality vs quantity - what is the difference between the work in startup companies with small teams, from large organizations with thousands of employees?

It is very different, I have never been part of a large corporation, but communicating with our clients is noticeable in the dedication of each employee. In a small company with talents of up to 15 people, each is valuable and feels like a nucleus, which has one common purpose and contributes to it.

Yasen Rusev

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