Nathalie D’Aoust launched Groupe V Courrier in 2008 starting off with nothing other than her passion for customer service and desire to express it in her own way. Her business now provides companies in Quebec, Canada with same-day and next-day hand-to-hand delivery of envelopes, parcels, and skids.
In March 2014, Nathalie secured WEConnect International certification for Groupe V Courrier as a women’s business enterprise after attending a meeting with local women’s organization and partner RFAQ. “To grow as a business and a person, I knew I had to get out of my comfort zone,” says Nathalie. “While I had been successful working with small and medium-size companies, I wanted to sell my firm’s services to big companies. I knew that they required an approach different from what I was used to. I would need to gain some insight and knowledge about the sales process for such firms. So I reached out to WEConnect International.”
Being the only woman who owns a same-day delivery service in the WEConnect International network in Canada has given Nathalie a differentiating advantage in the group. Her firm’s service is an excellent plan B for a customer who encounters delivery problems. As customers work with V Courrier and find out how reliable and professional her team is, the business evolves from being a supplier to a trusted partner of the customer.
After just one year of participating in trade missions and attending trade fairs organized by WEConnect International, she was already landing new contracts with corporate members Sodexo and UPS, and in 2016 Groupe V Courrier was selected as one of WEConnect International in Canada’s Women’s Business Enterprise of the Year.
“Our firm was recognized for significant growth in sales through the development of supplier diversity relationships as well as outstanding support and mentorship of fellow women business owners, says Nathalie. “As you can imagine, I’m very happy with my membership in WEConnect International.”
Nathalie has also had the opportunity to meet many inspiring women business owners through WEConnect International. She believes this to be a “key value.” By connecting with women like Christy Cook, CEO of Teach My, and Kristin MacMillan, President of Imprint Plus, Nathalie has learned best practices and received other practical business advice contributing significantly to her sales. Specifically, V Courrier has grown by 5 percent and has hired four extra delivery drivers in the last 12 months.
“My discussions with WEConnect International members have inspired the idea for the next avenue of expansion for our firm. We would like to open a third-party distribution center, so we can provide warehousing and distribution services for importers,” says Nathlie. “To find potential customers, I will continue going on WEConnect trade missions and attending trade fairs.”