Arno Eussen, Freshprojects: "Knowledge is conjecture neutral." He recently launched the platform ProfitableServices, with which he wants to help entrepreneurs to look differently at knowledge sharing and service. How? Well, as a new business model. "In a recession, the orders for products are declining, but knowledge is always required. If you can offer that knowledge as service in such a way to generate recurring turnover, it strengthens your business model, and you are not giving away knowledge 'for free', as now often happens."
Arno notices that the horticulture is very much focused on production, on making, and on costs at the moment. "The Netherlands is probably world champion in this area", according to the smiling son of a chrysanthemum grower who graduated in marketing and business administration. "The pitfalls of that focus on production is that little attention is left for the knowledge, and that the knowledge presently is 'hidden' in the product and given away for free. Or at least, free in the eyes of the customer, who does not know that he or she is paying for the knowledge and therefore automatically assumes the knowledge is 'free'.
Anticipating increasing client expectations
Society has gotten used to quick service and knowledge, stimulated by apps and online services such as Spotify and Netflix, which give recommendations based on behavior. Arno: "Sooner or later, your customers will come knocking on your door with the same expectations they have as consumers. Horticultural entrepreneurs must anticipate that expectation."
That can be done with the platform Arno developed: ProfitableServices. "A system in which profitable service in a start-up environment is facilitated from idea to realization. Now, you often see it is a part of a company or a department, but then it never has complete focus, and you still have to deal with other, conflicting interest in the company."
Profit not only money
What Arno wants to achieve with the platform is that entrepreneurs helped with setting up a service concept, without having to spend energy and time themselves. "To realize that, we also work with a pool of experienced experts, not just from the horticulture, helping setting up a dedicated service team, a clear structure, using new technology, and social media."
A first step on the way to a real service business model is changing your mindset. Arno: "Knowledge is only really valued if you give it value. Think of the tomato grower, breeder, or installer who gets regular visits. Great, but the knowledge you share, you can also share digitally and then you can scale and measure it.
The great thing about a profitable service is that it not only generated additional recurring turnover which makes you happy as an entrepreneur. It also speeds up development of knowledge in your company by keeping close contact with your clients. In turn, they will use your product better and achieve better results. A very interesting business case. The great thing is also that your clients are screaming for knowledge, so opportunities aplenty."
Arno concludes: "it is my passion to connect knowledge and technology to sustainable, profitable knowledge products you can scale, for every entrepreneur. Via our website, we share the mindset secrets for free, so entrepreneurs can take the first step themselves."
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