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Business weighing 300 grams or how to open during a crisis

The crisis, that only about him or wrote over the past six months. On the Internet you can find a huge number of articles, blogs and videos on crisis management. Everyone talks about how to “stay afloat”, “not roll back to the side” and “survive” in such an acute and stressful time for a business that even without it had to develop in the conditions of a fragile economy of the post-Soviet countries.

We went further and wondered if there are so many ways to “survive” in the market, is there a possibility of development during a crisis or even starting a business from scratch?

Having monitored the most dynamic of the markets – the market of IT technologies, we found the company CitySites, which showed high growth rates precisely in a crisis time. About what came out of it, read below.

CitySites is a network of urban sites in 6 CIS countries, such as Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Lithuania. In these countries, the company has already opened more than 100 sites of the city.

Interesting was the fact that the company began its active development precisely in times of crisis, back in 2008, and in 2014 again showed a surge of activity, opening a record number of sites for itself. Representative offices of the company appeared in 65 cities and this is just in one year (the dynamics of discoveries are displayed on the website of the company ). Naturally, we wondered if there was any connection in this or the guys were just lucky.

Our editorial board was able to talk with one of the top managers of the company, who answered our main question:

Are such development rates not random and are the company’s planned steps, as well as part of crisis management?

“You see, today the market of Internet technologies and IT business, in comparison with traditional types of business, is the undisputed leader in increasing its turnover and growth rates. Considering the high marginality in online business, it is becoming more and more attractive for our entrepreneurs, ”commented Ivan Polienko, Development Director of CitySites.

“It just so happened that we had to develop our network exactly when it was the hardest thing, but as it turned out, it played into our hands, and now we are to some extent reaping the fruits of those victories and the experience that we received in 2008 I will tell you more, we have now even made a box with our franchise, in order to encourage more of our partners during the crisis, to give them confidence or something. Sounds funny, but believe me, it works. ”

What kind of box, what’s in it, tell me?
We have not invented anything new. It’s just a box with our product, but the paradox is that the product is a business, and even on the Internet, which is impossible to see or touch.

Therefore, we decided to give our franchise a physical shell. Even from the point of view of a banal psychology, it is much more pleasant to realize that what you bought can be held in hands, in this difficult time we are trying by all means to increase the trust of our partners to the company.

The boxed version of the city site (the working name of the franchise kit) includes certificates for the site itself as a product, electronic versions of all documentation on physical media, and corporate literature. By corporate literature, I mean instructions on the adminzone of the site, books for managers and, naturally, a book describing the business model itself. It took us most time to prepare it, since we wrote this book exclusively to the company’s internal top management, trying to create step-by-step instructions on how to develop this business for several years.

I can say with confidence that we did it at a decent level, since we are always happy to share all our experiences with partners. We didn’t want them to make the mistakes that remained for us a long time ago, and act according to a strategy tested by dozens of our partners in various cities and countries.

That is, the crisis CitySites not afraid. Share with us why? Indeed, in times of crisis, many close, leave the market, reduce costs, and you have the opposite. Maybe you know some secret?

There are no secrets, and we are not really afraid of the crisis.

First, a lot depends on the nature of our business and the specifics of the business. It is not a secret for anyone that the essence of making money on a city website is the sale of advertisements for your resource. She, in turn, does not require expensive development, printouts, splitting, filming or stuffing, so together with a decent level of monetization of the site, the correct distribution of the cost part and a high percentage of our managers’ sales at the minimum rate, we get a very high margin from the sale .

The crisis itself also plays into our hands, providing an opportunity to get low-cost rent, qualified specialists, which in the labor market are becoming much more due to the closure of companies or the reduction of staff.

And the most important thing is that he gives us clients who now think more carefully about where to spend the money.

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