15 years Link2Europe – The middle: 2012-2017

This period was characterised by further growth, diversification of our services and an increase in our staffing levels with a view to the future.

2011 and 2012 did not start off so well, however. The Belgian economy took another short turn for the worse, and some of our major customers in the automotive sector were significantly affected by this. This gave us the impetus to explore other sectors and niches. Link2Care focused on the healthcare sector, and an Engineers & Projects department was set up to attract higher profile staff to Belgium.

The results of our companies improved year on year, and we experienced organic growth. During this period, Link2Europe consisted of the Hulp aan Huis and Link2Europe people for the future companies. The turnover of the joint companies evolved from approximately 5 million to just under 10 million euro.

In 2014, it was decided that the next strategic step in the expansion of Link2Europe should be taken. After an extensive exercise together with the board, and through a subsidised growth trajectory with external consultants, it was decided, among other things, to recruit an additional manager to be responsible for the sales and marketing strategy.

The existing experience of the team was expanded with Koen, an experienced sales manager who could develop a vision for further growth.

Thanks to Koen and the entire team, the company evolved from a kind of “adolescent” to a young adult organisation. More attention was paid to external marketing, the website and branding, but internal and external sales were also tackled in a more focused way, according to target groups, volumes, opportunities and future perspectives.

Our teams were reinforced with a few additional people in the sales organisation, and a cautious start was made with a recruitment department for higher profile staff.

Our old office in Puurs was given a thorough refurbishment, and it was decided to make use of all the space and spend a few more years at this location.

The company was easy to manage at that time, being not too big and with a nice group of colleagues, whereby everyone knew what had to be done without too much explanation. But the challenges were not insignificant. Slowly but surely, responsibilities had to be more clearly defined, clearer agreements had to be made and, as the group grew larger, there would automatically be more friction.

Our customers were getting bigger and needed more services. IT applications evolved, and had to grow along with our ambitions.

Link2Europe prepared for the future and made long-term plans from 2015 to 2020, with the perspective that demand would only increase, the economy would continue to do well and that it would also be necessary to add more potential countries for recruitment.

I became seriously ill in 2016, and I’m still very grateful to my team for continuing to support me fully during that period, and for guiding the company very well through the months when my presence was much less. It even became one of the best years ever!

It became clear in the course of 2017 that our current location could no longer appropriately accommodate and welcome everyone that we had employed.

The decision was taken to look for a new location ….

The evolution we experienced there, and the further strategic steps and choices we made as a company can be read in the continuation of this story 2017-2022

Igor Van Assche Director Link2Europe
Stay tuned for the next part – Next time: 2017 – 2022