“It’s great if the next generation can take over”

If you put all your heart and soul into a business, for more than 25 years, then of course you want the business to be transferred in the right way when you yourself want to retire. At Groenoord Cleaning Service in Oegstgeest, it is not necessary to think about who the company’s successor is. Four years ago, his son Plasmeijer entered the business and little by little he is manipulating the operation. How do Jeroen and Daan Plasmeijer do it? And what’s so great about keeping the business in the family?

Early years

Groenoord Cleaning Service is a cleaning company like so many others in the Netherlands. With about 35 employees, about 110 customers get a clean and hygienic work and living environment. Jeroen Plasmeijer is proud when he looks back from the beginning in 1996. “I worked as a swimming teacher for seventeen years, and at one point I thought it was time for something else. Back then, you not only taught as a swimming instructor, but you also took care of a lot of cleaning maintenance. When a good friend of mine, who works at an elementary school, asked me if I would take over the cleaning job from the cleaning assistant there, I actually got into the subject. ”

That’s how it started at a small school in Leidschendam. Plasmeijer was quickly asked by other schools – within the same consortium – to take care of the cleaning there as well. “And then within a year I suddenly had three schools attached to my bike. Because it turned out to be a lot of work, I hired the first employees. So one thing led to another. “In all these years, Groenoord has been a steadily growing organization, with no profits and unnecessary expenses.” Stable growth, without being stupid about entering into a long-term relationship with our customers and staff, for that is what it’s all about in the end, ”says Jeroen Plasmeijer.

Different view

According to Jeroen, stable growth was the credo for years, son Daan sees faster opportunities. Sometimes faster than Jeroen likes. The following words are regularly heard about the office: “Go and change it when I’m gone.” Although the upcoming business move may well see that opportunities are now being seized. Daan became involved in the cleaning company in 2018. In all secrecy, he always had the idea of ​​joining the cleaning company. The right moment came when a foreman left the company. Daan Plasmeijer: “Even then it was difficult to find people, so my father had his hands in his hair. Getting in was only logical for me. In addition, I saw that it was necessary, and new opportunities and possibilities arose. ”

As a young man, Daan saw the company grow and mature. He thinks the organization should keep up with the times a little more. “Therefore, we immediately made a number of adjustments when I entered the business. My dad was pretty good at accounting, except that the accounting program was a Stone Age system. So we immediately did something about it. ” Jeroen answers: “I could read and write with RealEasy, I can not with Exact Online. In the long run, it is at least the right choice. ”

Groenoord Cleaning Service is making progress in terms of customer base and new businesses. According to Jeroen, this is a direct result of Daan’s arrival. “He is a real entrepreneur and sees opportunities in everything. It is therefore not surprising that we pretty quickly stopped subcontracting glass cleaning and started doing it ourselves. However, it requires the necessary investments. Do you know what it is? Daan prefers to pick up everything. I, on the other hand, am very critical and regularly wonder if it should all be done. ” The gentlemen at the table recognize that the opposites strengthen each other’s strengths and that this struggle does not harm them.

Transfer in progress

Father and son are now in full swing with the transfer with the intention that it should be fully completed in one and a half to two years. They are also in discussion with the auditor about how it will be initiated and how the shares can be acquired. But that Jeroen escapes seems completely unlikely, he says himself. “Yeah, I’m afraid I’ll stay in the background anyway because I like it and I do not want to miss my trip this way.” He has full confidence that the company is in good hands with Daan. “He is very eager to learn and accommodating, and he can see that I have done well over the years. See, of course we have discussions, and I sometimes walk away with the plague in my body. But of course it is not a bad thing, to get ahead you have to talk about difficult things. And sometimes you disagree, and it’s possible. Although I may completely disagree with something, because then I see money running away, until now it seems that Daan has entrepreneurship in him, and I consider myself lucky for the future. ”

Daan Plasmeijer sees some change in the short term for the future. “In fact, we’ve already tackled most of the things I wish would be different. Even if it sometimes takes time. I have to remember that Dad has been doing things and working in a certain way for over 25 years. Change must therefore massaged in and changed step by step.But the first thing I want to address is our planning.We still do that in Excel and it works very well but too few people can work with it quickly.There is a danger in if someone falls out. ”

The staff remains a challenge

In the short term, both men see the lack of staff as the biggest challenge. Jeroen: “It has never been easy to recruit people for cleaning. Simply because people do not intend to get started with cleaning. It is not the best job for many people. On the other hand, I dare say out loud that 95 percent of our employees enjoy going to work every day. ” Daan does not yet have a solution for this, but that does not mean that a customer shutdown is imminent. “No, we have recently set up an action in Haarlemmermeer. Old-fashioned with flyers through the door. I dare well call the result very successful. So if we run out of hands in a particular region, we will try the same in the residential areas closest to the objects. ” Past performance is never a guarantee of the future, but if you do not shoot, you do not hit anything anyway, or it looks like in the office.

On the farm together

The fact that Daan has been taught cleaning at an early age may make the step to take over easier. It also ensures that he does not have any problems with being in the workplace at all. Like Jeroen, who still regularly helps on the work floor when needed. For example, with an exclusive builder of superyachts, where Groenoord is responsible for the delivery cleaning inside and out. “That work is of course fantastic. You get to places you never thought were possible and what’s more, the work is really appreciated. Meaningful work for the customer, that’s what makes me most happy, «says Daan, who may already be lifting a corner of the veil for future growth. But only on the way tomorrow morning, together with dad dear to wax floors in a school community. Ultimately, Daan will run the company himself, but we have a suspicion that such projects will be continuously solved together in the coming years. Saturday morning while enjoying a cup of coffee.

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