Frederic Cernoia has big plans for Portesa. The ambitious entrepreneur wants to grow by at least thirty percent this year. This continues the trend in recent years. From the moment Frederick and her husband Raphael brought the assembly to Holland, the company has managed to increase its sales tenfold. Frederic: “My husband has already worked in a family business for his Italian family that is more than a hundred years old. I started in 2010 from an agency selling prefabricated bathrooms in Holland. But always all these bathrooms are at a distance of 1300 km. Of course, it turns out to be very inefficient and friendly environment, so we decided to bring the pool to the Netherlands in 2013.”
The first important teacher
That turned out to be an important milestone for the company. Frederick: “We hired staff and got down to business. More or less without really realizing what we were getting into. Our first assignment was to make 446 bathrooms available for a big hotel in Amsterdam. We stood there with our little blue hut next to a huge BAM a chain of parks and a sixteen hotel tower It was a massive undertaking and involved a lot of trial and error.” The Portisa team now operates as a well-equipped machine. “We have a tight-knit team committed to each other and to the company. Most people are in all respects. Everyone knows what they are good at and everyone is given a space to use that talent.”
Lightweight steel structure
What sets Portisa apart from the competition is that the foundation of the prefab bathrooms consists of a lightweight steel structure built into the clients’ premises. Frederic: “We were originally a company manufacturing doors for non-residential construction. Therefore the name Portisa is a shrinkage of ‘industrial door’ or industrial door. The steel comes from northeastern Italy and is already tubed and correct to paint based on the customer’s wishes. The rest of the assembly is done here. In our own workshop.The bathrooms are then completely finished according to the pre-made construction drawings and then delivered to the customer.This is possible for use in hotel,care complex,amusement park,but also for student housing,for example.The condition is that we can produce series Bigger. In fact, we make a huge product. But then it’s meticulously designed for customers.”
The latter gives Frederick a great deal of satisfaction. “I would like to involve the client in the design process from the start. It has to be an experience.” And if she can truly dream about the future, she hopes that Portisa will become a generic name in the future and therefore a really strong brand. “If you sometimes hear a customer say, ‘Next week Portisaatjes will arrive, I am very happy. Portisa should be synonymous with ready-made bathrooms. this is my goal. “
Who is Frederic Cernoia?
“I’ve come a long way in the past 10 years, both professionally and personally. I’ve become a mother of three kids aged six, eight and ten. I’ve evolved from an architectural visitor at a bishop’s firm to a management position in which I run for 20 people, and I feel so relieved when I can truly empower employees and enable them to make the most of their talents.I think it is great to see and at the same time it is of great value to our company.All in all it has been an exciting journey and I have faced myself regularly tending to please everyone and avoiding conflict, I am a true blue helmet in this respect, And that’s not always good. Sometimes I find it hard to act seriously and make firm decisions As an entrepreneur I can develop further into that. When I ride my Bentley horse – riding is my passion – I instantly get it reversed again. Am I hesitant? Then my horse reacts the same The way.Very confrontational and at the same time super educational.So while doing my hobby I also get driving training every time.In addition,I invest time in personal training sessions to keep myself fit.I believe that if you are physically strong you can Also to be more powerful. I don’t really read management books. I can’t do that with three kids. I’m turning into tropical years.”
Focus on your strength
“Quick growers often make sharp choices and focus very clearly on what they want to thrive in their activities,” says entrepreneur Ralph Van Dam. Ralph is also an Entrepreneurship Business Partner at Centraal Beheer Zakelijk, and in this role, he regularly mentors aspiring farmers in their own entrepreneurship, for example through the ‘Growth Accelerator’ program for SMEs. “It’s sometimes tempting to say ‘yes’ to all the opportunities that come up, but that also leads to company risks. Portisa is a good example of a company that has consciously chosen to apply focus and thus achieve structural growth.”
“It’s true,” Frederick says. “Although this has been a really educational process. We have been offered many great tasks. But before you know it, you are presenting bathrooms with complex design choices that in turn require a lot of aftercare. These types of costs reduce profits dramatically. On top of that , is frustrating because you love to deliver perfect work and want satisfied clients. That’s why we made a strategic choice in 2021 to do only what we’re good at and organize the work as “light” as possible. Belt training for our employees We go back to our roots and want what we do, above all else We’re doing it in a way that’s smarter, more environmentally conscious, and more efficient.”
3 tips from Ralph Van Dam
- Get focused
Make clear choices and focus on them. Entrepreneurs often tend to want a lot at once. Frederick’s example shows how real choices can make you more successful.
- Allow employees to accelerate organizational growth
“Give employees space to think ‘outside the box’. Let them fall and get up again. This speeds up growth. So, give employees all the space they need. Also to make mistakes. See it primarily as an opportunity to develop.”
- Consciously choose the role you want to play as an entrepreneur
“This role can change as the organization evolves. For example, an entrepreneur can, as in Frederick’s case, choose to increasingly transfer operational tasks to others and focus more on the corporate ambassador position.
However, the future looks bright for Portesa. Focusing on growth and core attributes, the company seems to have chosen a clear and fruitful strategy. For now, that focus is on the Netherlands. Fredrik: “The market in the Netherlands is big enough for us to do business nationally. There are growth opportunities in social housing, starter market, student housing and stack construction. A lot needs to be done in the Netherlands in the coming years. The housing shortage is high and the Netherlands has An ambition to build a million homes. This provides us with opportunities.”
“If we consistently apply our strategy of doing only what we are good at, then I expect that in three to five years we will move our company to a larger position. Moreover, I think we will have a lot of smart people by then. Our production.And if I’m still dreaming, in five years I will have added professional marketing to our company in such a way that Portisa is the equivalent of great prefab bathrooms.My own role as an entrepreneur must also change for that.Move operational matters more and more.And through the realization of my ambition To act more as an ambassador for developers and other potential clients, inspire and motivate them for the Portisa Ready Bath. That would be great.”
Master Class Strategy Pictures
Frederike and Portisa focus on what they excel at. I made this strategic choice gradually. But how do you apply strategic focus and make more accurate choices? You will learn this in the Master Classes on “Strategic Image” with guidance from Ralph Van Dam. In the interactive session, you will begin to visualize your entrepreneurial dream. This gives you a clear picture of where you want your company to be in three to five years. Together with a small group of other growth entrepreneurs, you can start your own growth plan.
Go to the Centraal Beheer website and register instantly for free.