Follow up to the series in March-April 2020. How are our entrepreneurs doing 4 months later?
Together with her partner, Suzanne Haeck is in charge of MaximaVida. MaximaVida is a company specialized in garden furniture. Their bestseller is picknicktafel.nl.
How did they handling business in these uncertain times?
We learned a lot from the various scenarios we made at the end of March / beginning of April. We now know even better what our fixed costs are and how our turnover is structured. We are building up more reserves, should there be another lockdown (or another crisis) we want to be able to pay the fixed costs for 2-4 months.
As mentioned, we have been lucky with our deliveries in the spring and we have had little or no problems with the lockdown in Asia and Eastern Europe. We will distribute the purchasing for 2021 more among different producers in Asia and Europe so that we spread the risks more widely. In addition, we try to stimulate turnover throughout the year by adding other products in addition to the high season garden furniture, so that we are also less dependent on this peak.
Due to the enormous peak in online orders in April, all transporters in the Netherlands had a challenge to get everything to their customers on time. There has been some delay in delivering the products to our customers due to the busyness, but due to good cooperation with our regular suppliers and transporters, this runs fairly smoothly!
We were very well prepared for the normal seasonal rush and the expected sales increase of 10-15%. Fortunately, our part-timers could not go to school, so they could work extra. We also tried to spread the peaks as much as possible by also working with part of the team on Easter Monday and King’s Day. This allowed us to handle the peak of April.
It was also during the lockdown period that we placed assignments with the companies and self-employed people we normally work with. For example, we have planned photo shoots with our photographers in our own garden, because they saw their schedules empty due to the lockdown. We have now hired a number of new people. B
ecause the turnover remains at a higher level, we can continue to invest in our team towards the future.
Thanks to the synergy of the overall online growth, the development of new products and the branding of our MaximaVida brand, we are making huge leaps in sales. We use the cash flow that is released as a result to develop new products and to be visible (online), so that we can accelerate more and more.
Because people travel less, the focus has shifted to home and recreation in their own country and it looks like this will remain the case for a while. Our range fits in perfectly with this!
Demand is particularly high in the field of online marketing and ICT. The shortage on the labor market is easing due to the economic malaise. This also brings good people onto the market.
All in all, 2020 has been a strange but very successful year for us so far. Hopefully we can maintain this positive vibe!
“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.”