We interviewed Aidan Harrison about his physiotherapy practice in the Netherlands. Here’s his story.
What is the official name of your business (as registered at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce)?
What services/products does your business provide?
When did you start your business?
Why did you start your business in the Netherlands? How did your business come into existence?
I studied physiotherapy in the Netherlands. After working for a few years I kept being confronted with the idea that I wasn’t being given the freedom to work the way I wanted to. I decided with my girlfriend who is also a physiotherapist to move to Amsterdam and start our own practice so that we could provide the total health care approach that we both believe in. We provide a relaxed but professional environment to give the best possible care to our patients.
What have been some of the challenges of doing business in the Netherlands?
The language has often been a problem. Although I am fluent in Dutch by now I still struggle with legal and technical jargon. Another challenge has been the paperwork. It can sometimes be a bit daunting as the Dutch love paperwork and rules. Working in healthcare this is a challenge as there are also a lot of privacy laws to take into consideration.
What advice can you give to fellow South African business owners wishing to start their businesses in the Netherlands?
Stay positive. Remember why you wanted to start your own business, it could have been because you couldn’t find a job, wanted more freedom or just had a great idea that you needed to get out there. This will help you to get through the tough times. . Do your homework. Make sure you know what type of business you want to start before going for it. We started a partnership without realizing that most book keepers wont accept partnerships. . Get a good book keeper. We didn’t and it caused unnecessary stress in our first year . Customer service. Good customer service here isn’t a big focus so when you provide it people are super happy.
Can you provide some words of inspiration to help your fellow South African business owners living in the Netherlands?
I believe that coming from South Africa gives you an advantage out here. We know what it means to work hard, sacrifice and still manage to stay positive. If you keep focusing on working a bit harder than the rest while providing great service then you are bound to succeed. Don’t focus on negativity like how much competition is out there. I personally don’t believe in competition. If you provide a great product and/or service then people will be drawn to you. Nobody can steal a satisfied customer so just make sure that your service is great.
In order to support fellow South Africans, is there a discount or special discount code for those wishing to purchase your products/services?
Not yet but I’m sure we can work something out.
The city/town/province in the Netherlands where you’re located:
Our address is:
Cruquiusweg 32 1019 AT & Nieuwe Keizersgracht 74C 1018 DT
How can we get in touch with you?