Our marketing manager Rani launched the question, Davy, can you please write a blog on the topic “The impact of one year of corona crisis“. My answer was of course “Yes”, and here I am, staring at my screen, while my fingers unstructured capture some brain flashes on the keyboard: ‘ow’ – ‘will be fine’ – ‘you’re not serious’ – ‘surely that’s not possible’ – ‘and now?’
Before there was any mention of Corona.
Until I was 17 years old, the world I lived in was my village and its immediate surroundings. When I was 18, I became a citizen of the world. I took part in an exchange program and lived with a host family in Bolivia for a year. Since then, there have been no national borders for me. The world was my field of activity, with an average of 140 days spent abroad. In the morning I flew to Mallorca, in the evening I had dinner in Hamburg. The next morning, I picked up my car at Zaventem airport to drive to an event in Amsterdam and during the weekend I was already on a long-distance flight to Cuba. A busy life style, my work was my life, but I loved it. I am as they say in German ‘ein Touristiker’.
On March 13, 2020, I was visiting Meyer Werft, the world’s largest shipyard, along with a bus full of cruise enthusiasts. That’s when the word ‘pandemic’ was first made public. We were still joking, ‘Oh dear, are we going to get home?’ ‘Maybe the borders will close.’ As well as, ‘Guys, who knows this might be the last time we see each other’.
Unfortunately, these jokes soon became reality.
At the end of June, I was in Mallorca with RTBF and VTM to report on what travel is like at the destination. In July, I rewarded my oldest son with a dad moment and we did some reporting together from Tenerife. But not much later, one link after another within tourism was put into a deep slumber, with a few objections here and there, but protesting was futile. The start of a long hibernation, which continues today.
The collaborations with most travel partners were put on hold immediately, revenues dropped by 90%. At the same time, we as Pitch Perfect did provide the family income for quite a few families. Personally, in March 2020, my working area was immediately reduced from a world without borders to 1400 m2, where I live and where our headquarters are located.
And what now?
To put it in a few sentences. I became the entrepreneurial stay-at-home dad, my kids really got to know their dad, my wife fell back in love with her husband, and our garden has never been more indulged. The hustle and bustle of life was exchanged for quality and reflection. My business partner in crime Matthias will forever remember my words, “Calm down, just wait, everything will be fine”.
How did we turn it into a positive story?
A few years ago we wanted to achieve two things: to be active in other sectors and to market our own product. The momentum and time were available, so we got to work. We built a new website, started extensive lead generation, started prospecting in sectors that were unknown to us at the time and … scored. Today we help companies in IT, Media, Residential areas, Lighting, Outsourcing, Artificial Intelligence and much more. We carry out audits of their sales-related processes, strategic analyses that result in a fully-fledged Sales & Marketing plan. We often execute that plan ourselves by placing our Sales Instigators in their corporate culture on an outsourcing basis. A formula that works. Because of the continuity and the follow-up that we offer, we can quickly and efficiently adjust where necessary.
Regarding our product, since July 2020 we have been building our own SaaS-Platform (Software as a Service) called Bideo. It is an extremely user-friendly video sales platform to personalize, optimize, professionalize and digitize your sales process. It establishes a WOW-factor with the recipient, your customer or prospect. The platform is designed to optimize sales processes and the customer journey, but can also be used in other departments. Bideo is the platform every company needs.
Today, more than ever, we are entrepreneurs, with other challenges crossing our path such as integrations of systems and processes to work as efficiently as possible. This always with the same two main goals as a priority: making sure our partners and the people who work with us and for us are satisfied.
Internally, we also had to make the necessary adjustments to the structure. Matthias is, together with Annick, responsible for our commercial activities, for building and maintaining our partner portfolio as well as the entire sales team that is linked to it. I am responsible for the general management with a focus on finance, HR, strategy & development and I am the face of Iberostar and Hapag-lloyd Cruises. In recent months we have attracted many top profiles from the tourism sector. So today we have a Dream Team and we are ready to start when tourism picks up again.
Matthias and I very often offer a listening ear to entrepreneurs, just to chat, but equally to establish partnerships. We advise every entrepreneur to analyze their business. Are all sales processes running as they should? Are you future proof? We would be happy to assist you in doing this exercise. Call or email us for an appointment.
- To conclude, I would like to share three of my lifelong mantras: