Germany is undoubtedly one of the most attractive countries for companies aiming to internationalize. Physically and legislatively at the centre of the European Union, Germany has become increasingly self-sufficient over the last few decades, generating a large trade surplus.
At a time of global instability, Germany is among the safest bets one can make for expanding one's business abroad or founding a new company.
Many people have the perception that Germany is a conservative country and that it is not easy to approach in terms of sales and has long decision-making processes. Also, language is often a problem, which can be a barrier to communication. But for this, we at Hero Translate have all the right solutions for your business, so don't worry and contact us.
The German consumer or business partner generally has an analytical approach. Often critical and with a strong focus on quality. But it is also true that once sales targets have been achieved, customers tend to remain loyal to the new business partner and product.
But what steps are necessary before embarking on an expansion into the German market? Below we have identified at least five key steps.
Who are your competitors in the market? What positioning do they have? What distribution and communication channels do they use?
These are questions that should be asked first when entering any new market, and so, of course, it applies to Germany - as it is a mature market in most industries. A careful market analysis is essential for several reasons. Firstly, it provides new ideas and allows you to brainstorm on strategy and products to offer. By comparing yourself with your competitors, you can also more easily assess what position your brand or services have (or can have) and, in the best case, identify your USP. Finally, knowing what the market is like from the consumer's point of view allows you to better adapt your offer and fit in any gaps in the market.
There are also several questions you have to ask yourself regarding distribution channels. First and foremost, the question is: B2B or B2C - i.e. are you aiming at a corporate target group or directly at the end consumer?
It is crucial to study the sector's characteristics and know-how logistics and shipping work in both cases. Then it is essential to establish whether you can interact directly with an end customer - i.e. whether you have in-house staff able to interact with German partners - or whether it is better to involve a professional on-site, such as a commercial agent.
How to choose new partners in a foreign country without having enough information about the market or their specific work? Considering cultural and language barriers, choosing new foreign partners can sometimes be a long and arduous task.
It is imperative to gather sufficient business information before starting any cooperation. Having an overview of balance sheet data (current and historical), turnover, liquidity, number of employees certainly helps to make a more targeted and informed choice.
Berlin or Munich? Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Cologne or Leipzig? Germany is a robust federal country and also, from an economic point of view, very diverse depending on the Länder. While Frankfurt is the financial centre, Berlin and Leipzig are the centres of innovative start-ups. Hamburg is a centre of the shipbuilding sector, while Baden-Württemberg, as well as Bavaria and Saxony, are centres of metalworking. These are only some examples that confirm the strong economic fragmentation on German territory and support the thesis that choosing the right place for your headquarters in Germany requires a deep knowledge of the territory and its financial and industrial dynamics.
It is also advisable to have a thorough knowledge of German labour law and its peculiarities in terms of contracts.
Whether you are a small company, a start-up, a freelancer or a self-employed person, joining a large network of contacts can help you find funding, meet other managers, find new employees and even gather helpful information on how to start a business. A professional network is useful to know who to turn to in case of practical needs. Moreover, the right professional network can be a sounding board for your business because every contact can be your potential multiplier.
Whatever the country you are reading, there are high chances that the German culture and language are very different from yours. That shouldn't be something that scares you at all. In fact, we suggest you focus on the first five steps and let some experts take care of this last step. We at Hero Translate can be the partner you are searching for.
We have already helped thousands of companies internationalize and localize both their products and branch of their society, both in Germany and the rest of the world, thanks to our native-speaker translators and professionals.
Entering a new market like Germany is a process that will take you some time. It will not be easy, but it will be a lot easier with the right partners at your side. We at Hero Translate can be your winning partner for what it concerns being recognized as germans, with a perfect localization of everything related to this beautiful country.
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