“Without coaching, we would probably have made some missteps.” Startup R-SOLUTION Medical from Barneveld developed a packaging robot for the Central Sterilization Department (CSA) of hospitals. The ‘R-APPIT’ that packages instruments for the operating room not only reduces the amount of packaging material by about 25%, but the robot also improves the quality of the department. For founders Mariska van der Vliet and Niels Welling, a CSA has no secrets. Running a company, however, is a different story for them. “Without coaching, we would probably have made some missteps in the area of international distribution,” explains Niels.
"Entrepreneurship is more than just your product and an accountant"
“When it comes to entrepreneurship, there is so much more to consider than just your product and an accountant for the receipts,” says Mariska. She met business coach Lizanne Jakobs from Brilliant Work through a mutual acquaintance. “We see each other about once every six weeks and discuss what has happened and what challenges we are facing. We then analyze what comes up. We are emotionally invested in it,” she explains, “but Lizanne looks at things calmly.”
“We are very busy with our product, and Lizanne points out other things that matter too,” Niels adds. “For example: you want to grow, but how? When do you hire people? And how many?” Mariska appreciates Lizanne’s coaching approach, as she looks at it from a business perspective. “Our forecasts are always numerically focused, like ‘we want to sell six machines.’ Lizanne then asks questions like ‘how are you going to do that?’ and ‘which countries do you want to target first?’ This makes us think.”
How do you choose the right coach?
According to Niels, the decision to go with Lizanne as a business coach was easy. “We believe it is important to immediately have a connection with the people we work with. And we had that with Lizanne. Of course, her knowledge and expertise also play a role. Lizanne’s experience with international distribution channels was very useful for us,” he says. “We also do not want to be treated as a number, which was another reason why we chose Lizanne,” Mariska adds.
“Most starters are caught up in the daily grind: what needs to happen now,” Lizanne explains. “They do not look at other things such as: are there subsidies available for me? What needs to happen next month? I look further: first, I ask where the entrepreneur wants to be with their company in three years. Then we make an action plan, a kind of roadmap: where do you want to go and how do you get there? Once that is in place, I can help more specifically.”
Find the balance between thinking and doing
“For starters in general, the key is to find the balance between thinking and doing,” says Lizanne. “Find the balance between what you need to do weekly and where you want to be in a year or three. That is often overlooked.” Are you also looking for a good balance between the choices you need to make as a starting entrepreneur? Or is your company growing so fast that the balance is off for some things? Then feel free to contact us and discuss the possibilities of business coaching.”