Trade between the two countries has grown significantly since the first US-Dutch trade and friendship agreement was signed in 1782. By 2022, the United States will be our most important trading partner outside the EU. In 2019, we exported 26.6 billion euros to the United States – and that value continues to grow.
The entrepreneurial attitude of many Americans captures the imagination of many. Many ambitious Dutch entrepreneurs want to go to the other side of the Atlantic in the hope of realizing their ‘American dream’. What should you focus on if you want to become an entrepreneur in a land of unlimited possibilities?
Choose the right place in the United States
Laws and regulations surrounding matters such as labor, the environment and taxes: Many things in the United States are regulated at the individual state level. So do your research before you decide to settle somewhere. In which state / region are the rules most favorable to your particular business?
Your product or service is also an important factor when choosing a specific location. So look carefully at where your market is.
East Coast or West Coast?
Many Dutch companies start on the east coast or west coast. There are specific benefits to both regions.
For example, the East Coast is the fastest to reach and the time difference is only six hours – whatever There are several working hours in the Netherlands in one working day. Also, there are some of the best universities in the world in this region. This can be useful when recruiting skills.
On the West Coast, on the other hand, there are important technology centers (Silicon Valley and San Francisco, but for example, the area around Seattle), all of which include investment opportunities. A city like Los Angeles has a large Latin population, which would be an advantage if you want to expand further into Central and South America.
Work with a recruiter
It is often wise to hire American employees who are well versed in the American way of doing business. But beware: the American labor market is very flexible and structured differently from the Dutch. Many Americans are good at projecting themselves, but that does not mean they really have what it takes to grow your business. An American HR partner with a local network can assist you in recruiting people.
Provide the right incentive
Note also that salaries are generally higher in the United States than in the Netherlands. In salary negotiations, keep in mind that if you want to attract the right amount of candidates, you sometimes lose twice or even three times what you have to pay in the Netherlands.
On the other hand, you can benefit from the importance that Dutch companies often place on a good work-life balance in the labor market.
Get legal help
From a legal standpoint, it’s wise to look for an American partner. Americans like to record everything in detail. So it would not hurt to involve a specialist lawyer in drawing up contracts and checking the ‘fine print’.
It may also be helpful to involve a specialist in applying for visas. Visa applications can often take a long time (up to two years), so start early.
Be aware of cultural differences in the United States
Whether you are in contact with a (potential) client, an employee or a business partner: Be aware of the cultural differences that exist between Dutch and Americans. What goes into the ‘honest’ opinion in the Netherlands is often viewed as rude and rude in the United States. Americans also like not to talk about politics or personal matters.
At the same time, the Dutch sometimes want to be misled by the innate enthusiasm of many Americans. An enthusiastic response to a proposal or a new product does not mean that the contract is closed.
King of Customer
Especially if you have physical stores, it is good to realize that the customer is the king in the United States. Speaking directly to a store Where European customers are often embarrassed, it is rude not to go directly to the customer in the United States and ask if you can help him or her.
Invest in personal relationships
Personal relationships are important in the United States, and face-to-face encounters are more desirable than digital encounters as much as possible. Be on time, because of course the following applies in the United States: Time is money⁇
Also, before setting up a full sales force, it is often wise to work on yourself Brand awarenessVisit small exhibitions (you should not miss large exhibitions Booth Provides space for a competitor) to network and build valuable contacts.
Approach the right person
American companies are often organized step by step, and managers generally make decisions without consulting their teams. Make sure you are sitting at a table with someone who has the power to make decisions.
Do not be too humble
Arrogance and exaggeration are not respected in America, but Americans want ambition and self-confidence. Many Dutch people tend to Low sales When it comes to their business and its future potential. Show that you are well prepared (based on research and ambition Game plan) And support your requests with as many statistics as possible.
Want to know more about doing business in the US? Then look goglobal.techleap.nlFor more information on doing business internationally.
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