Doing business in Croatia

Croats work in a flexible and highly professional way. People continuously adapt to the ever changing conditions. It all depends on the situation. And even if the situation is difficult, Croats will show a great deal of perseverance in order to achieve results by the deadline.

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The Croatian motto is “Relax, we still have time.” People remain calm and pragmatic, but do not compromise on quality, precision or goal achievement.

Thus it comes as no surprise that Croats are not too keen on organization, planning and structure, as these factors hinder the Croatian’s flexibility and talent for improvisation. How can you plan far into the future and organize everything when things change every day? So try not to push your Croatian project partners too hard with precise schedules, irrevocable deadlines and detailed process flows, but rather trust that they will have everything under control in the end.

Collectivist relationship orientation

Croats have a high degree of relationship and group orientation, which is expressed primarily in absolute loyalty to family, friends and other close contacts. People place their trust in their own group, be it blood relatives or long-standing contacts within their own business network.

The best example of this is the filling of vacancies: it is not uncommon for job advertisements to be passed on first to friends and acquaintances of the employer before they are published in newspapers and online portals.

Similarly, candidates are more likely to look around their “internal” job market before applying for an officially advertised position, which has often already been advertised in other ways. The same can be applied to many situations such as when contracts are awarded.

Prove to be trustworthy

Therefore, if you want to initiate business in Croatia as an “outsider”, you will first have to prove yourself to be trustworthy. Croats want to know who they are dealing with before they get down to business. Getting to know who they are dealing with involves a lot of meetings, which are by no means just about business but frequently involve talking about personal matters. Croats are particularly focused on achieving a good, relaxed atmosphere with their business partners. Only when they feel comfortable with their new associates will they be ready to consider joint projects.

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First business meeting in Croatia

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