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If you’re not strong (yet), you’d better be smart. In ‘Connect to Grow’, Orange’s podcast, a few fast-growing Trends Gazelles explain how they do things differently, but above all successfully. Discover their tips!
Tip 1. You can advertise without a big budget: Bio Vrac
Bio Vrac, an organic store in Uccle, achieved good growth without advertising. Managing Director Davy Duvillier explains in the podcast: “The growth has come entirely through word of mouth, precisely because customers know they can find quality products with us that they often can’t find in other places. We recently started an Instagram and LinkedIn page, but that’s pretty much all we do in terms of external communications.”
Tip 2. Travel and gather ideas: Manhattn’s
Manhattn’s is a chain of premium hamburgers, as Jerome Vandermeulen, founder of the company, describes it. The chain has three restaurants in Belgium – in Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent – and hopes to open a branch in Paris, he explains in the podcast.
Many ideas for Manhattn’s emerged during a trip to New York. For Vandermeulen, it was the ‘énergie new-yorkaise’, the prevailing dynamics and attitude in New York, that led him to the concept of Manhattn’s. Successfully so, as it turns out.
Tip 3. Stand out from the crowd: Greenway
After becoming sick from eating rotten meat during a trip to India in 1996, Paul Florizoone of Greenway was forced to switch to a vegetarian diet. He was introduced to a totally new palette of flavours, which gave him the idea of starting a veggie chain in Belgium. “Our strength is that we want to market Greenway as the true Belgian vegan brand,” Florizoone tells us in the podcast. “We develop products based on the Belgian consumer’s tastes. As a result, we can certainly stand up to the multinationals.”
Tip 4. Go for your passion: Cojarec
A passion for nature, and more specifically for horses, has had a major influence on the business model of recycling company Cojarec. In addition to recycling hard plastics, this SME also focuses on the production of soil fibres that are used as substrate in horse-riding arenas. In the podcast, Conny Versmissen from Cojarec explains the choice of this niche product as follows: “Our experience in the recycling industry and our passion for horses led us to this product.”
Tip 5. Use your experience, including from other fields: Roberty
Joël Roberty heads Roberty, a family business specialising in road construction and earthworks. Having been a football coach for many years, Roberty discovered that finding the right balance between youthful enthusiasm and more experienced employees takes a company further, too. “It’s the business owner who has to keep the right balance,” he says in the podcast. “A locker room in sports has many similarities to running a business. It’s the human aspect that always matters most in any organisation.”
In our podcast series, we gather experiences, strategies and tips from entrepreneurs who have been awarded Trends Gazelles. Find the full list of these podcasts at www.connecttogrow.be.