Co-founder and Managing Director
HOW WAS SHORE FOUNDED?
Henn: Shore grew from the idea that the digital economy isn’t slowing down. In fact, it’s speeding up. At first, only large corporations leveraged digital solutions to manage internal processes and customer communication. Now many other businesses need to follow in their footsteps. SMB’s are venturing into the digital age, and we want to help them. The Shore team identifies pain points of each industry and designs digital solutions to meet those obstacles. In 2012, I realized just how many small businesses were being left behind. Paper-based tools and old ways of doing business would soon leave many small brands obsolete. I knew then (and have always known) that I wanted to see small business owners thrive. Day in and day out, we guide small businesses into the digital age, so they too can grow.
SHORE’S HAS A STRONG COMPANY CULTURE—HOW DID THAT BEGIN?
Magoulas: Alex was introduced to me in 2012 by a mutual business contact in Berlin and we immediately connected. First impressions can be helpful indicators of impending business relationships. Whether it’s two founders considering starting a company or a small business first introducing itself to the market, clarity of purpose is always important. Alexander’s vision of a company that would become the "entrypoint for small businesses into the digital world" was extremely compelling. He wanted to help small business owners thrive. It made perfect sense to me because our national and global economies rely predominately on small businesses to stay afloat. I was also looking for a business concept where the majority of the capital could be invested in employees and their skills, rather than goods or marketing. This has always been a reality for Shore. We value our team just as much, if not more than the products and services we create. When you have people who feel valued and who are driven by a common purpose, it creates a wonderful environment for success.
HOW DID YOU KNOW YOU WERE ONTO SOMETHING?
Henn: After our initial launch in Germany, the overwhelming response from local service providers proved the market was ready for our solution. Thanks to our cloud approach, small businesses no longer need to worry about buying or installing software. The Shore platform can be up and running in minutes. We also designed our licensing model to be extremely flexible. Our clients pay a low monthly fee and in return, they are guaranteed maintenance of all business operations run through Shore. Updates or improvements to the platform are automatically integrated as well. But the benefit we’re most proud of is this: the growth each service provider sees in his or her business! Increased online visibility through a the Shore Network drives new customers back to their website. The Online Booking function turns those site visitors into clients and with a few clicks, an easytouse marketing system is at their fingertips. Our valued clients confirm with even the smallest functionalities—appointment reminders, email newsletters, etc.—they make back the price of the monthly fee immediately.
WHAT DISTINGUISHES SHORE FROM ITS COMPETITORS?
Magoulas: Simply put—We follow up. Our customers don't simply sign a contract and are then left to themselves. We support them during the entire process. A dedicated Shore Expert will get in touch and ask if each client is satisfied with their chosen plan, that everything is working seamlessly, and if they have any further questions. Even though it takes considerable time and effort, this element was important to us from the very beginning. If and when our customers ask for specific improvements to the platform, our product development and customer service departments work very closely. We listen to valuable feedback and set out to make our products even better.
SHORE IS GROWING FAST—WHAT DO YOU SEE IN YOUR COMPANY’S FUTURE?
Magoulas: Witnessing Shore’s rapid growth throughout Western Europe has been exciting. In 2015, we opened our first US office in Santa Monica, California and things have gotten off to a successful start. We certainly have plans to reach markets beyond the western world.
Henn: The beauty of Shore is that it works all over the world. Small businesses exist in every part of the world. We hope that our suite of solutions will become the goto platform wherever people offer a service, and there are customer relationships to foster. In any case, I am sure that we are only at the beginning of a long journey.