Andrew Markou – Co-founder and CEO of Dynamis Online Media Group

Andrew Markou - Co-founder and CEO of Dynamis Online Media Group

Learning to know when to stop and switch off. Productivity is about quality of time, not quantity of time.

Andrew D. Markou is co-founder and CEO of Dynamis Online Media Group, which operates the global online marketplace BusinessesForSale.com. Based in London, Markou has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Sussex and master’s degree from the University of Birmingham.

Where did the idea for BusinessesForSale.com come from?

Back in the 1980s, my father, an accountant, used to fax lists of businesses for sale to and from clients at his business. My brother Marcus, my cousin Nick and I started the magazine “Businesses & Premises for Sale” in the mid-1990s and then launched BusinessesForSale.com to an international audience in the late 1990s.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I try to compartmentalize as much of the day into buckets of certain activities. Turning off instant messaging and Skype when intense focus is necessary is the best way for me to prevent distraction and interruption.

How do you bring ideas to life?

My goal is to bring a usable prototype to market quickly, then use feedback to refine and perfect it. It’s important to be surrounded with motivated and engaging and engaged people–bringing any idea into the world is a collaborative process.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

Good user design that is helping people get more done even when doing less is very exciting. Processes are becoming more efficient and unencumbered, as demonstrated by the open source technologies.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Learning to know when to stop and switch off. Productivity is about quality of time, not quantity of time.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

Working on a farm over the summer to help move hay bales – where I learned to always wear gloves.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Take the time to learn and understand the opinion of others.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Question all assumptions. Running almost any business is a dynamic, organic endeavor – what was right for one year may not be right in the next year.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Innovating our product and cross-selling in new marketplaces was a great way to access more customers. This happened with BusinessesForSale.com when we launched FranchiseSales.com. The audiences of the former could easily be redirected to the advertisers of the latter. This grew and monetized our advertiser base relatively quickly.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

We had a golden opportunity to get involved in a crowdfunding service at a very early stage, but due to resource constraints did not manage to move from an early prototype.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Get into the sharing economy. I think co-owning assets, any asset that appreciates in value, is a going to explode in the coming years. An online investment model with true democratic ownership could be very successful.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Barefoot shoes – they’re very comfortable.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

We’re starting to move some of our services into the cloud and especially like Microsoft’s Azure platform, which allows us to access an array of open source technologies.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Don’t Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability Revisited (3rd Edition) by Steve Krug. This is the best book you’ll find on how to understand intuitive web design and navigation.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

https://www.headspace.com/
@paulocoelho
@hubspot
http://www.fastforwardlabs.com/

Connect:

Andrew Markou on LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/andrewmarkou
Businesses For Sale on Twitter: @BizForSaleUS
Businesses For Sale on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/business4sale