It’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming that being Dutch means living by a certain set of rules or values. But if you’re not careful, you may find yourself in an awkward situation with limited understanding and respect for your Dutch counterparts. Here are four things to keep in mind before embarking on your journey of setting up a Dutch business.
Understand the Dutch business culture
The Dutch business culture can be difficult to understand if you’re not familiar with it. There are a few key things to remember:
- The Dutch are very direct and will tell you what they think, so don’t be offended if they seem blunt.
- They place a lot of importance on personal relationships and networking, so be sure to build strong relationships with your Dutch colleagues.
- The Dutch are very punctual and expect others to be as well, so try to arrive on time for meetings.
- They are also very organised and expect clarity in communication, so make sure to be concise and articulate in your emails and presentations.
Know their quirks and traditions
The Dutch are known for their quirks and traditions, so it’s important to be aware of them before doing business with them. Some of the most famous Dutch quirks include their love of bikes, their focus on punctuality, and their strong work ethic. While not all Dutch people will adhere to these traditions, it’s best to be aware of them in case you encounter any who do.
Respect their values and customs
Some of the most important Dutch values include personal relationships, teamwork, honesty, and community. It’s important to remember these values when negotiating with the Dutch, and to respect the traditions that they uphold.
Remember that different doesn’t always mean bad or wrong
The Dutch business culture can be quite different from what you’re used to, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad or wrong. In fact, there are a lot of great things about the Dutch culture that you can learn from.
Some of the most important things to remember are that the Dutch are very direct and expect others to be as well. They also place a lot of importance on personal relationships and networking, so be sure to build strong relationships with your Dutch colleagues. The Dutch are also very punctual and expect clarity in communication, so make sure to be concise and articulate in your emails and presentations.
With a little bit of understanding and respect you will find your way within the Dutch business culture.
Understanding the Dutch business culture, respecting their values and customs, and concluding that different doesn’t always mean bad or wrong will help you avoid making mistakes in your dealings with a Dutch counterpart. If these don’t sound like cultural norms you’re used to working around, consider hiring an expert who can make sure they are taken into consideration during any sales process or negotiations. Another tip is to consult an external party who know all the ins and outs of establishing a business in the Netherlands.