celebrate anniversaries

AQ turns 15 this year.

That made us think. A lot. About where we started, where we’re headed, and how best to celebrate company milestones.

When you’re little, birthday parties are the best thing in the world. I was always convinced that I’d get a pony for my tenth birthday, my thinking was that I’d obviously be ‘growed up’ enough by then to harness that sort of responsibility .

Then, of course, you realize that 10 isn’t really that big a deal and it’s really your thirteenth birthday you should be looking out for. That’s when life really starts.

Companies go through this too. A business needs to learn how to crawl, then walk, and finally to run with its competitors. There are moments of great joy, absolute panic, disillusionment, and massive pride – sometimes all at once.

A young company dreams too – not of ponies perhaps, but of industry domination, great piles of money, many awards, that sort of thing. The difference being here, that a company can actually do something with all those things, whereas a 10-year-old would likely get bored with a pony and all the work involved with keeping one. Give a 10-year-old a goldfish or a guinea pig; much safer.

If they’re lucky and smart, companies eventually reach a point where they’re wearing their big-boy (or girl) pants, and the playground rules have changed. They’re no longer just growing for their own sake but in order to stay ahead of the rest of the field.

We might think that once we reach that point in time we’re set for life, but that’s not really true is it? The Roman Empire’s collapse really only started when it stopped expanding…

“In this world, if you’re not growing, you’re dying so get in motion and grow.” – Lou Holtz

Sustainable growth is a great thing, though difficult to achieve. Several statistics – such as those in this article – suggest that the average lifespan of companies has dropped below 20 years, this means that any milestone is now a cause for celebration!

Anniversaries, like birthdays (and dreams of ponies), remind everyone what they’ve worked for and what they’ve achieved. It’s important to take a moment and look back on where the company’s come from, and where it’s going next.

It’s also a good reason to have a party, pat ourselves on the back and acknowledge that we’ve done good. Nods all around. And drinks, confetti, cake.

We’ll be having some of that here actually.

This month marks the point in time where, 15 years ago, Jan-Willem Smulders and his business partner founded AQ Services International. Graduates of The Hague’s Hotelschool, these two men set this company on a path that has lead right here. We’ve learned to crawl, walk and run; we’ve taken some tumbles and got right back into the saddle.

And guess what? We’re still here.

This in no small way due to our hardworking team across all our offices. AQ has grown from an idea to a full-fledged company that can hold its head up high and say:

“We’re here and we still believe in what we’re doing. We’re going to keep making it happen. Here’s to another 15 years.”

Here’s to our clients, our secret shopper, our people: thank you for the last 15 years. Let’s create more magic in the many years to come, and let’s let people experience great service.

Here's to you, AQ

Have a pony party, you all deserve one.

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