Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mark Pluymakers, Owner of iZakelijk, located in Heerlen, Limburg, Netherlands.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is called iZakelijk. I'm an Apple Consultant for small businesses and schools located in the south of the Netherlands. I make sure their Apple devices are in optimal shape, so they can do the work they need to do. When a problem arises, I'm only a phone call away.
Tell us about yourself
I always knew I wanted to be 'my own boss.' The freedom to make my own decisions and to plot my own course had been there for about ten years before I made the leap. In hindsight, I might have had a romanticized view of this freedom, not realizing that great freedom also comes with great pressure. After moving through the ups and downs of running my own business, I have found some stability and have a satisfied customer base. I love solving a problem and seeing happy clients.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I'm proud to have set up my business as a serious Apple authority in the region in a short amount of time. Not only am I one of the few Apple-focused companies in the region, but because of my experience, I was able to set up some good partnerships with hardware and software vendors and become part of the Apple Consultants Network.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
A challenge in my business is to be in two time zones at once: On one hand, I have to be in the present to service my clients. On the other hand, I need to be mindful of the future by creating new client relationships to make sure the business can survive.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- I started my business way too suddenly, which caused me a lot of financial stress in the first few years. Make sure you can allow your business to grow slowly in the beginning.
- Stay on top of your numbers. Either make sure you know what's coming in and going out, what to reserve for taxes, and how long you can sustain your business at any given moment.
- Take some time to consider how scalable your approach is. If you suddenly double your client base, would that lead to problems? Not only in hourly capacity but also in administration. Make sure you develop processes you can easily repeat.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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