Your partner in British Dutch Business


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NBCC was pleased to recently interview Greg Tyrrell, the co-founder of GrowEurBusiness, a business consultancy based in Amsterdam, run by Irish partners helping businesses move and expand to the Netherlands and EU.   

What is GrowEurBusiness?

We are a small business consultancy based in Amsterdam with two partners. JP McAllister and I are both originally from Ireland and have been in the Netherlands for a very long time. We both worked for many years in the Netherlands and internationally. We started our own consultancy company three years ago to help SME companies expand to the EU or within the EU. 

Why did you start GrowEurBusiness?

With our long experience of the Netherlands, we think the Netherlands is a great place to do business and a great place to expand from within the EU. We wanted to help those companies make their first inroads or establish their first presence in the Netherlands, so that’s what we’re doing. I spent around 20 years with a US company where we had the Netherlands as the base, and we expanded from the Netherlands to over 50 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. I saw first-hand how easy that can be to use the Netherlands as a base from a logistical point of view and the skill recruitment point of view, and, of course, the proximity to the larger markets, the ease of transport, and the pro-business governments. You can find all the skill sets here and the international language skills. These things help the Netherlands become such a great place to do business internationally. So when we were thinking about this, I remembered how I was asked maybe five years ago to help a former colleague in Paris. He was dealing with a Chinese technology company, and they wanted to set up in Europe. We discussed with them, and it struck me how difficult it was for a Chinese company to find its way around Europe.

Is Europe, EU? Well, not all countries are in the EU, even before Brexit. Do they use Euro? USD? No. Basic stuff that because we are here doing business all the time, we just understand those things but if a company is launching a product in Europe, questions like which market are you going to target? How do you get market insights? Who will be your competition? How are you going to get started? What is the logistics? The pricing, the marketing, even the currency: all those things. For example, I even explained VAT to somebody who’s never come across the concept before. It just struck me back then. There are many opportunities to help companies, particularly small to medium-sized companies with typically a 2 to 20 million turnover range where they probably have some excellent products that may be very good in a particular market. Still, they’re looking to expand, and our goal is to make life so much easier for them. 

What would you say then to international companies that are thinking of expanding to the Netherlands? 

For those concerned about going abroad, why is the Netherlands a good place to go? Is it a good market? I think the numbers are excellent. It is a great test market for companies because there is a lot of competition, so I believe if you can do well in the Netherlands, you can excel in many other countries. So how do we get going? Our job is to make life easier by taking away that uncertainty. We will hold the hand of the company and be the eyes and ears on the ground. We help them with clear guidance on business development, marketing, and financial aspects. We also like to be the helping hand to show them how to make connections. “We need a company set up, we need a lawyer, etc” - we have a network of people that we can bring into play and make those connections. We like to have a good fit with our clients.

We started thinking about helping because my background was more in the US and Canada, and my partner had experienced throughout much of the rest of the world, including Asia. So we thought they would be our key markets in terms of our client base, and we do have some US companies and various from Asia. However, we found recently that since we are both from Ireland, we found Irish companies, because of Brexit, are looking to develop their business more in the continent of Europe. So this has been an excellent opportunity to help Irish and British companies expand.  

What is your USP? 

We generally work with small and middle-sized businesses moving and expanding to the Netherlands and the EU, and they’re looking to do that efficiently with the least risk and cost. Unlike bigger firms, we’re able to offer our clients the personal attention of senior international managers with the experience, expertise and network to achieve that. That means we can really quickly get to know their business and understand their needs – we make their life easier! We ensure they focus their strategy and market research to make realistic choices about ambition and resources – where to sell, how to sell, practically how best to organise, resource and execute their expansion. And unlike other firms we can bring all these elements back to a simple business plan with financials – a Total Business View personally tailored and delivered to their needs!

How has the COVID-19 Pandemic impacted your business?

We are somewhat dependent on people confident that they can travel, so many companies put a lot of their plans on hold or slowed down. However, we have seen things picking up again in the past few months, and I think 2022 will be a much more positive year. 

And Brexit? 

Brexit has impacted us both positively and negatively. On a positive note, we have a client who is dealing with Brexit right now, and they are a global organisation based in London but now moving to the Netherlands, and because they need to operate in the EU, they relocated as they feared the consequences of Brexit. So we are doing corporate governance work for them. The negative aspect of Brexit is uncertainty. Last year, we had some panic requests from companies saying, “how do we do this?”.  I just think that Brexit, in general, is a mistake, but that’s just my opinion. 

How big is the UK market to you?  

We found that Ireland and the UK are a big market for us, it’s probably 80% of our clients, but this fluctuates.

Why did you join NBCC? 

We joined the NBCC because I found some of the seminars and information sessions organised to be very impressive. NBCC does an excellent job of organising sessions with good people who are experts in their field. I think because of this, NBCC offers great service in that regard. I think it’s been fascinating to see, especially on Brexit, and how great NBCC manages that whole topic. 

What are your plans for future growth that you can share with the NBCC members?

We are growing organically and steadily. Therefore, it is important for us to make connections with our clients and create trusted partnerships.

Do you have anything you want to add?

I think the “in the spotlight” series is a great initiative NBCC is doing. As a network of companies, NBCC plays a big role in creating awareness of who the members are, which is great. 

So it sounds like GrowEurBusiness is the partner we need in expanding our business! If you want to know more about GrowEurBusiness and what they do, click here! You can also find examples of what GrowEurBusiness can propose to your company here! Don’t hesitate to send them an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call them on +31653999656 or +31653726775 if you want to schedule a meeting. 

We are starting a weekly “Members in the spotlight” to introduce and spotlight our members for our members. Do you have a good story to tell? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!