When commissions start flowing in, it can be a problem for the entrepreneur – luckily a positive one. Nevertheless, it is important to make sure that you stay somewhat in control of your workload. Mental well-being is our most important resource and asset. At one point, I thought of putting Pelismo Oy up for sale as a company. We even started preliminary preparations.
However, then my intuition jumped into play. If being an entrepreneur had carried us this far, why on earth should we bring a halt to something that we had built with such passion? Either we must start to work less, or find a new link for our chain.
In spring 2011, Klaus created our own recruiting form, P+Rekry®, which we then published on our website. In this way, we created our own tailored preliminary job description that the candidate for the position had to fill. For all its simplicity, it also told us whether the candidate could read the recruitment ad and its requirements: applications via phone and email were discarded straight away.
It is extremely important for a small company that its employees and shareholders live nearby, which is why we were compelled to publish our recruitment ad in the local paper Paikkakuntalainen. Paikkakuntalainen has been published for over 30 years and has become a strong local media player: it only contains ads. The number of applications we received came as a positive surprise. Finally, after several stages, we picked Hanna Söderström for the job. Our company’s work power thus immediately increased by at least a third!
Moving to Keuruu
A central location is of great importance. I went to see Esa Lintula, the managing director of Keulink Oy, a development company in the Keuruu region. He gave me his full support and several contacts for suitable premises. I was a little nervous before the meeting, because we had actually ‘snatched’ Hanna from Keulink … But Esa wished us all the best, and we have had a great collaborative relationship ever since.
In addition, an active local entrepreneur association and its chair, Tapani Paasu, welcomed us. A small locality allows its residents to act with all of their souls and hearts – at least in Keuruu. The annual steam ship cruise on the paddle steamer, Elias Lönnrot, is a relaxed venue for meeting other entrepreneurs. And we must not forget that the Keuruu Fair is one of the largest summer events, with its over 20,000 visitors. It is an exhibition of strength on the part of the entrepreneur association, and it is already being organised for the 30th time in 2013.
Megamarket and Megaburger
Ostrobothnia raises entrepreneur-spirited people, and local marketing is also very visible. The region surrounding the city of Seinäjoki launched a marketing campaign, KOMIA (Finnish dialect for handsome, grand), which surely lived up to its name. Megamarket, which has operated in Keuruu since 2005, is the ‘export product of Kauhajoki’, managed by Kari Ketola and his family. The MEGAostoskeskus shopping centre opened its doors on 10 August 2011. Under the same roof you will find, for example, Hesburger, which of course also offers its Mega burger elsewhere in Finland.
A Finnish and local family business, which brings over 30 workplaces to the region, is a visible actor in Keuruu. You are bound to find the shopkeeper somewhere in the market, because personal customer service is the breeding ground of the MEGA team.
It was probably a result of the famous Pelismo passion that we received, after deep discussions, the commission to design the company’s image and website. These two companies share the will to constantly develop and to give the best possible service.
Print is needed
The graphics field has a strong locus in Keuruu. For example, the Otava book press has been operating in the region since 1955. The company has invested heavily in its productive machinery over the years, and in 2012, for example, this versatile and modern factory produced a print run of 100,000 copies of Sofi Oksanen’s novel.
There are also several smaller businesses in the field, also using the latest digital technology. Take this book, for example. We wanted a high quality print product, a print run of 200 copies – and to top it all off, we wanted it done in such a way that we could give a personalised copy to each of our guests at our 20-year anniversary celebrations. The brand new Xerox iGen5 at Keuruskopio Oy did the job – the machine is like a tiny book factory!
We have created this company’s website, and we constantly collaborate in development work and commodification. Our views on quality match regarding print products as well as electronic marketing.