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AN ENTREPRENEUR IN COVID-TIMES | KSV FACILITAIR Pt.2

blog - 7 min.

Follow up to the series in March-April 2020. How are our entrepreneurs doing 4 months later?

Rolien van Groeningen is the owner and CEO of KSV Facilitair. See has a staff of over a 100 people to look after.

How has COVID-19 effected her business and what came of her predictions in March earlier this year?

 

What measures are you currently taking?

At this moment in time we are not eligible for the NOW as we do not (yet) have a loss of turnover of more than 20%.
That changes every day, so we look at the consequences per day and stay on top of the possible actions that we may have to take in the (near) future.
The contact with your customers is of great importance in these times, so I personally contacted all customers who have informed us that this crisis has consequences for them.


We did apply for the tax deferrals. We do not need this measure yet, but in this way we can use it in the future.
You’ll have to pay at some point!

NOW:

Because I did’nt know what this crisis would mean for my liquidity, I applied for and received deferral of tax. We then put the amounts (which we should have paid to the tax) in a separate account as a kind of reserve. In the end we had almost no debtors who could not pay their bills so that went smoothly. Still, I wanted (with the money from this postponement in the back pocket) to wait for the payment of the holiday allowance in May. We did that and when it turned out that our liquidity was going well, we paid all the arrears in full.

We have spoken to the bank about our current financing and deferred payment thereof. That possibility is not yet needed;

NOW:

If necessary, the bank would have been open to this. However, I should have substantiated that and since the bank has access to the accounts, it was difficult. The bank saw the stands and indicated that I could knock on the door if it was really necessary … fortunately that was not necessary!

We talked to our landlord about an allowance in our rent. We have not yet received a response from that;

NOW:

Our landlord reacted quite rigidly and indicated that we should substantiate it with figures why we would no longer be able to pay the rent. This certainly gave me an impression about the flexibility of our landlord, but fortunately this also proved unnecessary.

We have made operational agreements per customer and after April 6 we have contact again about the “new situation”;

NOW:

After April 6 I have been in contact with everyone again and in fact we (somewhat dependent on the customer) made agreements from press conference to press conference. For some we have (temporarily) adjusted the work program and the frequency. With others we have been able to shift our activities, for example vacuuming less and disinfecting contact surfaces during that time. In addition to these adjustments, we have sold disinfection columns, hand gel and other related items to customers.

We are in consultation with staff regarding taking up vacation time or replacement work;

NOW:

As described, we discussed these with colleagues who had influence on this. We were also able to move quite a bit, so luckily we had few to no people on the couch.

It is an intensive time but I think it is very positive that the ideas change with people. The togetherness is great and this is also the time to meet in the middle and show customers and staff what we stand for as an organization and let them realize that we are in this together and this is a “crisis” that affects us all!
Last week I spoke to a customer who said “I hope everything will return to the old” . I myself actually hope that this crisis makes us realize that we cannot continue in the “old” way and that working in the future will change. We don’t need to be stuck in a traffic jam every day, but we can also work remote. Flexibility is valuable!

Finally, I personally think that the biggest challenge is the concern about the case in combination with 2 to 4 young children at home. So I really hope the kids are just fine after April 6 can go back to school … 🙂

How do you handle your supply chain?
We naturally have a flexible shell of subcontractors. They currently have less work because we give our own people (where possible) the available work. Of course I have good contact with these parties as well and we will get through this together!

NOW:

In a number of sectors we depend on a flexible layer because it is important that you can scale up and down quickly. We are the same in cleaning, so we have been able to shift staff in this situation. As described, I have maintained good contact with all subcontractors and now they are also well provided with work through us.

What opportunities do you see at the moment?
Customer loyalty is crucial in these times. This is not self-evident in my industry, but by personally looking up the contact and examining with decision-makers how we will get through in the near future, we achieve a lot of goodwill. Of course we offer extra services and sales resources where possible and I personally always see a link to healthcare, but for now I have enough on my own plate.

NOW:

That customer loyalty, that personal conversation with the decision-maker has turned out to be important. We will also reap the benefits of this in the future. Due to the changing market, I notice that staff is available again. We receive a lot of responses to vacancies so we benefit from that. Furthermore, as a developing organization, we are continuously improving and innovating. Because our clients’ priorities changed and we were limited or even unable to enter buildings at all, we focused on internal improvement. For example, we have digitized our quality controls.

 Positive thought to conclude with:
Every now and then things have to be shaken up a bit and every crisis is a foundation to be able to rebuild firmly. Again the togetherness is very positive and we are all in the same boat. As long as we do things together, join forces then we’ll come out stronger in the end!

NOW:

I see that the whole situation has contributed best to raising people’s awareness. We could not continue to use the earth as we did and because we could not change habits otherwise. I notice (partly due to the adjustments in social life) that I have more time. The empty agenda gives peace and I feel that people have more understanding for each other.

Original article:

An entrepreneur in COVID times | Rolien van Groeningen – KSV Facilitair

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