Yacine Touati is an entrepreneurial chameleon. At 23 years old and still a student, the young man is self-taught, a former master of the art of coping and at the head of Business Planners.
What is surprising about Yacine Touati, beyond his maturity and his clapping, is his ability to take a step back. To start directly, “Oh done! What do you think of the page?”, happy for lively analysis and remarks that should prove constructive. He is like that, Yacine Touati, honest and curious, constantly on the alert to learn, the one who created his start-up in the consulting field in May 2013. A peculiarity that he might take from his double hat. When he is not an entrepreneur, Yacine Touati is a third-year student in management and accounting at the National School of Commerce. He aims to join the INSEEC business school next year.
Advising entrepreneurs from the start
Since she was 17 years old, Yacine Touati has tasted entrepreneurship. He begins by creating a brand of customized t-shirts, which he communicates via the social network Facebook. He ends up selling the activity after six months to a supplier to concentrate on his studies. At the age of 21, after a period of internship, he held a management position within ISOVY sustainable development. The team he supervised for a short time had seven salespeople. These experiences allow him to already mature professional desires and ideas.
They really come to life when Yacine Touati begins a work-study license in an accounting firm. “The analysis of an accountant is too often reduced to an Excel table when he can be a source of suggestions” says the young man. “Especially when I realized that entrepreneurs lack support to create business plans”.
Based on this observation, the young man came up with the idea of offering entrepreneurs the responsibility of writing their business plan, the document that explains the company’s strategy over several years. He created Business Planners, which supports entrepreneurs from market research to proposing the business plan to investors. Yacine Touati is surrounded by four consultants specializing in different skills (accounting and auditing, industry, communication, law), but with a common guiding principle: “promoting entrepreneurship”.
“We work on every project as if it were our own” he says on Business Planner’s website. The entrepreneur aims for a quality service based on a personal offer. When her second life begins, after classes or her work-study program, Yacine Touati makes appointments with her clients. He says that he is used to working on Saturdays and stopping some of his trips on Sundays.
Small economies strategy
The biggest difficulty faced by Yacine Touati, apart from making the importance of the business plan understood by new entrepreneurs, was the lack of funds. At first, the young man financed his business only with his own funds. “By being smart and clever, we manage to save a lot of money”.
And on the smart side, Yacine Touati is not left out. Business Planer’s consultants are not a payroll for his company, but independent contributors paid on a mission basis. For the premises, the entrepreneur is dependent on partnership. As for the website, he obtains it at half price by making a tender to the student community of a computer school after obtaining quotes from a web agency. Regarding the communication aspect, Yacine Touati paid nothing and “It has worked fine for a year” he assures. Word of mouth and social networks are used.
Since the creation of the company, 22 companies have been supported. Currently, the number of customers is 3 per month. “We are more dependent on a support policy and service quality than on the development of numbers” confirms the company manager. “There may be a limit to our business model. We cannot reproduce ourselves”.
The ambition of human networking
Yacine Touati is more than a network, a young man with pedagogy and communication linked to contact with people. He regularly participates as a speaker in events organized by business schools or associations with the theme of entrepreneurship or start-up companies. He also promotes his business at networking events.
In his rare spare time, Yacine Touati is developing another start-up with three employees. The “ViiZU” mobile application for which they are creating the graphic charter aims to explode professional networks beyond digital links as conceived by the LinkedIn and Viadeo websites. The geolocation-based application makes it possible to create physical meetings between users according to their needs and skills. The launch of the private beta version is planned for the end of June.
At 23, the young man is not bored. One of his main projects is to pursue his master’s degree at INSEEC and beyond “secure my future as much as possible and achieve my goals” he slips into a smile. He will continue the development of his two companies according to Business Planer’s activity and customers and over the communication campaign of the “ViiZU” application. “And then maybe I’ll do something completely different afterwards” suggests the young entrepreneur. As a promise.
3 questions for Yacine Touati, founder of Business Planners
• How do you manage your studies and your business at the same time?
It’s a simple equation. I sleep less. This is what allows me to combine the two. I also do not hide from my clients that I am still a student. They quickly understand that there is not necessarily a connection between entrepreneurial success and my educational background.
• What three qualities must one have to be a good entrepreneur?
Optimism, confidence and audacity. In counseling, self-confidence is an essential attitude. If I allow gray areas or uncertainties to appear, I lose all credibility.
• Is it an advantage to be young in the world of entrepreneurship?
I think so, because as young people we bring energy and freshness. Nevertheless, I take a step back from my activity by watching videos of more prominent and experienced entrepreneurs on the Internet. Sometimes I try to connect with some people.