Prezly is a startup based in Leuven, with a clear goal: they want to create software that companies can use to communicate with their different audiences in an easier, better and more efficient way.
Using your network’s potential
Co-founders Gijs Nelissen and Jesse Wynants believe that the network surrounding a company, is of great value. “You have to ask yourself how your employees, your partners, journalists and so on, tell your story. That’s what’s we at Prezly are focussing on. We make sure that brands communicate better, faster and with the best medium, in order to reach all those groups around them”, tells Gijs, who’s the tech-guy of the two.
“We had been doing a lot of different things, before we started Prezly”, Gijs explains. “Building websites, starting up small businesses… The birth of Prezly was just one of those many things.”
Jesse, who mostly deals with clients and sales, continues: “We started off with three founders, and immediately we knew this was what we wanted to keep doing on a daily basis.”
During those first months as entrepreneurs, Gijs and Jesse had to make a mental switch.
“I think the financial aspect was the biggest change for us”, Gijs says. “Coming from our regular jobs, we were taking a step into the unknown and the unpredictable. I remember in the early days, we wrote down our turnover on a little card. It was about 1/5 of the amount each of us was used to earning in a month. And we had to pay 3 people with that!”
“The money is not the most important thing, but you do notice it puts pressure on things”, he continues. “I already had a little boy back then and at some point, you ask yourself: what are we actually doing?”
“That pressure also made us focus on what was really important: clients and growth”, says Jesse. “It’s not the product, but the clients and the growth that make your company successful.”
With the help of Start it @KBC
A big factor in the early success of Prezly, was their participation in the Start it @KBC program. “The network that Start it could offer, was very helpful to us”, Gijs explains. “The program taught us to navigate in the startup world, to make contacts and to make ourselves look bigger than we actually were. Start it gave us meeting spaces, a nice office where we could welcome clients, and so on.”
“Today, Prezly is a healthy and growing company of almost 20 people that are based all around the world, just like our customers”, Jesse tells.
Keeping the balance
The two young entrepreneurs admit that it’s not always easy to find the right balance between their work and their personal lives. “We’ve been running Prezly for some time now, and I can honestly say I work too much and too hard”, says Gijs. “But on the other hand, we both have kids and we try to make time for our personal lives as well. Making sure we spend enough time with our families and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, allows us to keep on doing this for years to come.”
When Jesse takes a look into the future, we hear nothing but ambition: “With Prezly, we want to become a world player in the small pond we’re in. We want become a big fish with a strong growth, an international team and international clients” he concludes.
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