We talked to Thomas Mäkitalo of Dagensbetting.se, the brand-new project that launched just weeks before the Covid-19 pandemic, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Thomas Mäkitalo: As we live in Sweden, life has not changed as much as for people in other countries. But a lot of working from home and not seeing friends and family is, of course, a struggle. But now we see the light in the tunnel with the vaccine.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Dagensbetting.se.
Thomas Mäkitalo: Our new brand Dagensbetting.se is a brand-new project that actually launched just weeks before the Covid-19 pandemic. Not the best timing as all sports got cancelled for a while, but now we are back on track again. But before that, our company started another website with a focus on sports betting in Sweden that we sold to the publicly-traded company Catena Media back in 2016.
Now we are building a new even better website and stronger brand with a huge focus on helping our visitors learn more about how sports betting really works. This drive to work with sports betting now for over 10 years is a personal passion for both sports and data-driven stats. Combine them, and you quickly end up with sports betting.
How does Dagensbetting.se innovate?
Thomas Mäkitalo: We always take a visitor’s perspective on everything. Our website’s visitors are always number 1 in our eyes. That is always our highest priority, and with those values, we then look at what the market is doing and how we can challenge that in a way that helps our visitors.
What can we take to the next level or change how you do to bring a new even better experience for our visitors?
Then when we talk about innovation, we really come in with a blank mind and try to push away all ideas about how things should be, look or work and start from a blank canvas.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Thomas Mäkitalo: As we started a new brand, we did not have any big incomes in our budget for the first year. So, in that way, it did not affect our finances directly, but it was harder to get started as we focus on sports betting, and all sports were canceled for a few months. So that delayed us in our start, but now that all sports are back, we hope that in 2021 we will reach our budget goals. That’s one of the perks of being an online business; we were not as affected by the pandemic as other industries.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Thomas Mäkitalo: No, we still work with the same team as before Covid19. As we are an online business, it’s easy to work remotely from home.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Thomas Mäkitalo: No, as we just started, we already set that in place, so we did not see any reason to change that just a few weeks later. We have almost all customer relationships and contact via social media and, most commonly, Twitter.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Thomas Mäkitalo: No, we choose not to use the government grants here in Sweden. As we work remotely and online, we did not really need it even if we would have been granted it if we applied.
We thought there are other companies suffering even more that need that money more than us in this tough time.
Your final thoughts?
Thomas Mäkitalo: I hope that after this tough time, we all come together and are open to more collaborations both between countries, companies and individuals. And let’s not forget how sad it was just sitting home alone for over a year.
We need more collaboration and trade between countries and less isolation. Everybody will thrive from that.
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