The engine behind a growing company

24 May

Emma Handson has won an FD Gazellen Award for the fourth time in a row. For the past four years, we have been one of the fastest growing companies in the Netherlands. What is the strength of the company and how does it maintain this strength in a growing organisation? Franka van Dommelen, director of Emma Handson, explains how her role has changed over the years in this growing company.

Franka has been working with Emma Handson since 2008. She has experienced all of the growth and has also played a major role in it. How did that work? “Yes, a lot has changed,” says Franka. “I used to do a lot myself: making phone calls, acquisitions, marketing and editing. Cold acquisition was new to me, but we needed to build a reputation as a company and grow our visibility. You just have to go for it.” She recalls a moment of growth: “At one point, we started working with a large company, but I doubted whether we could handle it. But, I said: let’s go for it! I hired freelancers and spent my holidays doing editing work. Colleagues also worked extra during that period so that we could succeed together. This was our chance to put ourselves on the map and it created a lot of work. And, the best part is that this client is still working with us!”

More than 70 employees

This has paid off, along with many other clients, the commitment of colleagues and decisions taken. Emma Handson now has over 70 employees and 3 managers who are responsible for direct management. Franka explains: “When we passed the 70 employee mark, I had to think: do I really want to grow so big that I can no longer do everything myself and have an overview of everything? I said yes. I did want to grow. If we stood still, I feared that we might lose the momentum. I need that energy, challenge and liveliness. But, I also really want to be able to continue helping other people, by welcoming new clients or by giving new colleagues a job. Change is always a part of that.”

Letting go

Growing also means letting go a little. “That may be the hardest part,” Franka admits. “I am now a manager as well as an entrepreneur. I was the one who organised everything. Now, there are also other colleagues and different departments who tell you what is happening during the week start. I am more involved in the background. But, I also have to make sure that the philosophy of the organisation is kept alive. That everyone feels the need to remain creative and active, and that that doesn’t just happen by itself.”


So, what is this philosophy? The driving force behind the growth? Franka: “Creativity and thinking in possibilities. Our Emmas are always committed to supporting our clients. Saying no is not an option. We were able to grow because we thought creatively about how we could help clients: what can we really do for you? How can we really help you? Luckily, I also see that colleagues incorporate this into their own work. I am very proud of the fact that my colleagues continuously develop their working methods, come up with new ideas, are very involved and take on their own responsibility. By working on the business of our clients, we work on our own business. Doing this together gives me a lot of energy!”

The future

Where is Emma Handson headed? “I am very curious about this too!” Franka responds enthusiastically. “I find all these changes a very interesting process. I do not necessarily have a final goal. We have proven our right to exist and that comes with a risk that we start to sit back and relax. I want to avoid that. We have to keep each other focused and always make sure that we think in terms of possibilities, not limitations. Our mission is to ‘make your day a success,’ and we strive to do this every day!

Even better is that now we can help others in a more targeted way with the money that is earned. “For example, we actively support a number of students with their homework through a campaign we initiated ourselves and we started a pilot programme with Kletsmaatjes . In this way, we help others with their language development through volunteer work.”

Franka adds with a laugh: “Nowadays, I can see the turnover at any time on my phone, but I do not want to be a manager that is only concerned with numbers. I get my energy from the people and the new developments. That is our strength. If necessary, I’ll jump into the operational process and just pick up the phone again!”

Emma Handson would love to use its creative thinking skills for you as well. How can we help you? Let us know. Contact us at (073) 747 00 54, or click here . We look forward to working with you!

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