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AN ENTREPRENEUR IN COVID TIMES | ELKE COOLEN – DEEDEE POUCH PROFESSIONALS

blog - 4 min.

Entrepreneurs talking business during the COVID-19 virus - We have overcome the COVID-crisis, and now?

Tips for a powerful fresh start. Our vision is to grow with positive energy now that we are ready for a new, more sustainable era.

In fact, now that Corona is starting to decline, all entrepreneurs should have their strategic plans ready. After all, we have been eating healthier at home, exercising more and we gathered experience in various refreshing tasks (such as teaching) to see leadership in a more broad perspective. Next to this, we have also been overthrown with free online training courses, webinars and advice from colleagues, with or without a commercial mindset.

Completely ready for a fresh start! But how?

With DeeDee as a crisis-frontrunner, a few weeks ago we started with reversing our crisis plans towards “the new era”. What are we going to learn from this period? How do we include that in our business? And finally, where are the points for improvement? With that in mind, I also spent several webinars, coaching sessions and worrying moments. It was amazing. It gave me a feeling that I was already on my way to something new, even though I was still teaching math to my daughter.

I would like to take you along the journey to innovation, as a contribution and follow-up to my previous blog.

1. Open your eyes and your heart

When you open up yourself for improvement, the radars of growth start to turn. Where does the energy come from? What stands out? We have had great conversations within DeeDee, but certainly also with our dear customers. Because it is only in a vulnerable conversation that you get to the bottom of things. And that feels good!

2. Basis of trust

Working from home is about giving trust, letting go of micro-management and giving people the freedom to learn. A difficult concept, but once you are doing it, it will become easy. We were amazed by the resilience and enthusiasm of our team. We will keep one home working day a week. This increases both efficiency and job satisfaction. And yes, I can now rightly say that I would rehire them all! What an entrepreneurial happiness!

3. Mission improvement

The perfect time to have a look at DeeDee’s mission once again. Because yes, we do develop and deliver stand-up pouches. That is our core business. Perfect stand-up pouches, matching both our product and process. With our well-known smile, with sincere attention to our customers and by providing them with unusually good service. But there is more. Sustainability has grown in our DNA and we get our real energy from making stand-up pouches more sustainable. Taking customers along in the range of possibilities and thus taking care of the earth that is so precious to us. In short: Making stand-up pouches more sustainable is our mission.

4. Become an activist

In order to proclaim sustainability, you must share the knowledge. Reverse ignorance and wrong perceptions by providing people with clear knowledge, with concrete possiblities of what you CAN do. Because that is what we are good at, and that is what we stand for. So there is more than just the packaging, the product and our brand name Pouch Professionals. We become the activist of our mission. Because that is not only how we want to be as entrepreneurs, but that is also how we want to be as people!

5. Go for it, but with policy

Wonderful to get started with strength, to use the positive energy and the renewed enthusiasm. But, do it with policy. The continuity of our SME family business is more important than ever. We think twice about expenditures and keep each other sharp with critical questions. We want to continue to avoid underestimation, because a second wave is not excluded yet. So with our crisis plan in hand, we are taking the first steps into the new future.

And that is what I would like to wish you, entrepreneurs, too. Drain that positive energy from this unique global situation and be open to growth. It has made Inge and me better leaders, more powerful in our mission and towards our people. And above all, gratefull. Gratefull to have our partners, our customers and our contribution to sustainable packaging. Now and certainly in the near future!

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