Expat Entrepreneur: Héctor Cortés on creating a business in the Netherlands
Expat entrepreneur Héctor Cortés shares his positive and negative experiences of setting up an online business in the Netherlands.
Name: Héctor Cortés Fernández
Country of residence: The Netherlands
Name of company: NedSpaans Websolutions
Date of company launch: 1 June 2013
Can you give us a brief description of your business and how it is going?
NedSpaans Websolutions helps other small companies to get new clients and to keep their existing clients happy by building and maintaining excellent websites and webshops. My approach consists of understanding and analysing the needs of my clients and creating the most suitable technological solution for them: a website, a webshop or a tailor-made web development.
My business is developing successfully. It is one year old and I already have four clients! I am currently busy building a new website and I also have some interesting leads.
What do you like about doing business in your country of residence?
Setting up a business in the Netherlands is relatively simple. Entrepreneurs are easily in contact with each other thanks to all network events that are organised, and owners of Dutch companies are always ready to listen to what you can offer to them.
What do you find most frustrating about doing business in your country of residence?
Taxes are quite complex. So, I decided to hire an accountant to help me. As an entrepreneur it is important to understand that you can and must not do everything yourself.
What hurdles did you encounter when setting up?
Setting up my business was easy. I needed to arrange many things (administration, marketing, planning, etc.) around my core business but it was very interesting and fulfilling.
How has the economic crisis affected your business?
The economic crisis acted as a trigger. I realised that there are many opportunities in the market but that you need to go for them. Before the crisis the situation was different and you could get new clients easily. Now it takes more time. Keeping a positive mindset is key!
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs setting up business in your country of residence?
Believe in yourself, try new things, make mistakes and learn from them, do not give up and learn Dutch. Do not forget that you belong to the ones that dare to make 'the big step' to follow their passion.
How does running a business in your current country of residence compare to running a business in other countries that you have lived in?
I will be able to tell you more about it once NedSpaans Websolutions is fully operating in Spain.
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