We talked to Marco Da Rin Zanco of Larin on how its team specialize in the creation of websites, ecommerce and web solutions and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Marco Da Rin Zanco: COVID-19 has changed my family’s habits a lot. Before Covid, my wife and I went to the office every day. I was also often on the road for work while my kids went to school. At the beginning of COVID-19, Italy imposed a very serious lockdown, where all of us had to stay at home. But it was a good opportunity to spend time together and get to know each other better. I was also able to appreciate the potential of smart working, and I saw my productivity increase, zeroing the time spent in the car to reach customers.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Larin.
Marco Da Rin Zanco: I founded Larin in 2011. I believed companies needed a partner to teach them how to ride the digital revolution not by focusing on technology but on the benefits they could enjoy from it, particularly from a marketing perspective. So I started doing small consultancies and building websites, until today, where after founding/acquiring 3 other small companies, we now bill more than $ 1,200,000 with 30 employees and freelancers.
How does Larin innovate?
Marco Da Rin Zanco: Innovation is in our DNA and our vision. We want to help our customers innovate, and to do so; we must act first from the inside. We must always be open to change, always be the first to try a technology, test a marketing strategy, and delve into a topic. Larin Group’s managers are, first of all, curious people, who do not say “we have always done it this way” but who look forward to trying a different path.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Marco Da Rin Zanco: Surely, Coronavirus has given us a hard time this year: we have lost some customers, and we have had to put on standby some important projects. However, it has also been a great year to improve our processes and realize a dream: become a fully remote company. We have been able to close our 4 offices, spread across northern Italy, hire new talents who live far away from us, and start new processes. Overall, at the end of this year, we feel very tired as we have transformed our company, but this has allowed us to confirm and, in some ways, to improve 2019’s results.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Marco Da Rin Zanco: The most difficult choice has been to become a fully remote company. It had always been my dream since 2011. But basically, if everyone has an office, there must be a reason behind it, right? That is why I have always postponed shutting them down. When the lockdown was imposed, we had to make decisions quickly: virtual switchboard, data on the cloud, setting up procedures for meetings, and so on. The most difficult choice was taken a few months later: we could have reopened or returned to normality or made this choice final. We chose to permanently close our offices, we sold the furniture, allowed everyone to work from home. It was hard because the thought, “What if it doesn’t work?” was still on my mind. But it worked well. And I learned that if a choice is consistent with the company’s vision, you have to go all the way and take risks.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Marco Da Rin Zanco: Over time, I found my routine, based above all on devoting a few minutes each day to meditation and physical activity.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Marco Da Rin Zanco: Once, our competitors would have been marketing and communication agencies in our territory. Today, our vision is no longer local. We have customers all over Italy and often abroad. In this sense, the game has become more difficult. We have to try and anticipate our customers’ trends and needs, and we must link them to us by offering more and more value, more and more advice, not doing what they ask us but showing us the way to change, helping them to read the future.
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