Baton Rouge Business Report Entrepreneur Feature: Orhan Mc Millan
September 2012
By Frederick Holl
Photo by Brian Baiamonte

Position: Founder and managing partner

Company: dezinsINTERACTIVE

What they do: Web development, identity cultivation and marketing

Revenue: $500,000 last year

Next Goal: Do a little better today than yesterday

The “aha” moment

After leaving the newspaper industry in 2001, Orhan McMillan started dezinsINTERACTIVE as a small graphic design and Web development company operating out of his house. He wasn’t traditionally trained in either business or graphic design, so shortly after launching, he brought in a graphic design specialist to work with him. He brought on a business partner in 2003 to help provide cash flow as well as bring financial organization to the business. The business naturally grew as the market did, from simple graphic and Web design to marketing and image consultation. Before long, he was developing long-term relationships with several clients and getting his business off the ground, but it didn’t yet feel quite right. So four years ago he decided to overhaul his business culture. He hired more staff and then moved to the current dezinsINTERACTIVE office, which offered more space. “It has made for a much more positive, beneficial work environment for us.”

R&D

McMillan had spent years studying and emulating the business models of others who had achieved success, but he wasn’t getting the creative or financial results he wanted. “I was trying to fit my vision into someone else’s model, and I kept wondering why it wasn’t quite working,” McMillan says. So he turned his studies toward the thoughts and tactics of philosophers and world leaders, and learned the importance of listening. He redoubled his company’s commitment to understanding clients above all else. “Before I put that first proposal on the table we go back and we have to understand who that business owner is, what their culture is, what they’re trying to do,” he says.

Hitting the market

DezinsINTERACTIVE began to see a difference in the kind of relationships it built with its clients soon after the change. His business now prioritizes relationships with clients, trying to find people the company can work with until their needs are met. He likes the focused, personal approach his five-person team can give a client. “I made a comment the other day after a proposal: ‘I am personally involved,'” he says. “I’d be OK with staying at five people as long as we’re doing it right.”

Orhan says:

“Know why you’re doing what you’re doing, and make sure the team you’ve put together is aligned with that vision and how you want to do it.”

Hyperlink: http://www.businessreport.com/article/20120723/BUSINESSREPORT0401/307239989