Eight years ago Veronica’s boyfriend received a job offer to work as a techie in the Netherlands and Veronica Guguian was faced with an important decision. “I had a lot of thinking to do, because the concept store was real fun. I was organising fashion shows to promote the collections and invited people to come to the store and have it to themselves. They could try everything on and get advice on how to dress. Eventually, we decided to move to the Netherlands and I closed my business."
“When we came to the Netherlands, I was thinking: what can I do? You see, I could not just replicate the business I had back home, because the way women in the Netherlands dress is different from Romania. The dress code here is much more mellow. And if you do not know the market and do not understand your customers, you cannot succeed. I also did not know anyone in the Netherlands, so I decided to apply for a job and started working at a media company. I was doing marketing campaigns aimed at expats. Well, after a few years, I felt like I needed a new challenge.”
Starting a business in the Netherlands
“I knew I wanted my own business again, so I started playing around with concepts. I went to different networking events where I met a few entrepreneurs and founders of startups. Basically, while testing the market what I realized was that especially startups have not really got the proper strategy when it comes to marketing. They are just acting without a clear direction. Well, I thought, that is my niche. I actually had clients before I officially started the company, because I thought let’s see whether the MVP actually works and if it is something people need. And this is how ’SPIN Ideas’ was created with me as a sole proprietor as registered with the Chamber of Commerce in January 2017”.
Growing a business
“Initially I only came up with a marketing strategy for startups and SMEs and soon I realized that they also needed help with the implementation, so I decided to offer a service in which I actively work with these startups and SMEs. Together we make sure everything is implemented according to the strategy and things are done in the right way. I do really believe in working with freelancers, because every business has got different needs. Eventually, I do expect a core team being in place and an international growth in the future.”
Living in the Netherlands
“When I first set foot in the Netherlands, it was a big shock. I had left a network and personal relationships back home. I had never really applied for a job until I moved to the Netherlands. When I came here and I had to apply for a job, it took me 3 months to get it and to me that seemed like the end of the world, but everybody told me that it was quite common. The positive thing in the Netherlands, however, is that people are open and a lot of them are willing to discuss business and come up with solutions or suggestions for trying different things.”
Tips for entrepreneurs
“Do not give up, everything takes time and sometimes more than you initially planned, so be patient and persevere, because it may be hard. Find a balanced team to support you with people who will tell you that you are great and others who are willing to criticize you. Try to go out of your comfort zone and interact with as many nationalities as you possible can, because then you will be able to fully integrate and redefine yourself.”