Entrepreneurs talking business during the COVID-19 virus
Anne de Jongh started online furniture platform Cafedeco back in 2018.
How is she handling business in these uncertain times?
What measures are you currently taking?
Cafedeco is an online platform. This makes working from home easier.
Our team works from home since this is what the team currently prefers. We follow the RIVM guidelines but I think it’s very important to listen to the team and their preferences as well. If the team doesn’t feel comfortable coming to the office then they don’t have to be there. Besides that, we informed all our partners, fans and followers that we are here for them.
Since we all need to stay as much as possible in our houses it’s even more important to make your house into a home. Therefore people can reach us with all their interior questions.
The good part of our platform it the fact that we already connect all stakeholders in the furniture industry. That means that they are visible online; something which is now more important than ever.
How do you handle your supply chain?
Cafedeco is an online platform. We work with many partners such as brands, retailers and stylists.
We make sure that we are reachable for all their questions. We are visible via our social channels and initiate interactive campaigns such as the free interior styling campaign with Berber Govaars.
How do you arrange everything with your staff?
Working from home every day is challenging.
Therefore we made sure everybody has a pleasant working environment. This can be managed with simple things like an extra monitor for your laptop, or even a plant.
Besides that I want to surprise them once and a while with something funny. Normally we have lunch together and celebrate special moments. Think of milestones when a new partner is connected like Amazon or when a personal milestone is reached like graduating. We have contact two times a day. In the morning to make sure everybody is still healthy and talk about the schedule of that day. And during the afternoon to make sure everybody is connected to each other.
We use Skype, Whatsapp en Facetime to keep in touch with each other.
What opportunities do you see at the moment?
For some industries it’s really challenging. I believe that it’s very important that all entrepreneurs stay entrepreneurial, that customers continue to have access to the products they want and need, investestors keep investing and banks keep financing.
If we stand still then we will be confronted with an even bigger problem.
Now it’s time to look at each other and see what cross-pollinations are possible.
Companies who normally see each other as competitors can now strengthen each other.
Positive thought to conclude with:
Stay positive. And make the best of it with a smile.
We all face the same challenges combining our private lives with our work. That means we are all in the same boat and that helps to understand each other. It’s impossible to give real attention to your children, helping them with their homework, play with them and finish the same amount of professional workload for as before. So don’t try to do this.
At some point the current situation will come to an end. I read that the first sporters from America are traveling to China to resume the Basketball and Football competition. That’s a really good signal. And if you can stay healthy, help your family or neighbours to stay healthy as well.
We can do this.
“We need to organise our work better ánd smarter” says Martine Meijburg. Meijburg founded Second Degree in 2013; the first LinkedIn marketing agency (worldwide). A success, as the agency became one of the fastest growing companies in the Netherlands (Silver FD Gazellen Award in 2016), servicing clients such as Philips, KLM and Microsoft.
Martine is an author, public speaker and was listed in The Next Women 100 in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and the Adformatie100 in 2017. She shares with us her experiences as an entrepreneur and member of The Next Women.
She got into the world of recruitment because she showed talent for it and acted on that: at TNW we love playing out your strengths. Now, with her own company and being a mother of two, Dayanara Vonk Ilaria reflects on her journey: “Leadership really is learning how you can influence yourself.”