Nowadays, there is a lot you can do internationally, through the use of internet. However, if your goal is to gain particular markets, in a solid way for the future, it is often best to create a legal structure inside that market.
The EU is one of the largest pools of customers in the world, which is why opening an office in one of its countries can be an interesting move, in terms of growth. Here is what you need to know if you are thinking of expanding in the EU, in 2022.
Why Choose Germany?
The EU market can be entered through any of its member states. Although France could be a good move as well, as the second most important country inside the zone, there is no doubt that choosing Germany will provide you with many advantages, still.
It is the economic heart of Europe, featuring some of the most advanced companies, in many industrial sectors. It is a country that has been opened to immigration for a long time, always in search of the great minds and skilled workers as well.
That is why there are more than 10 million people from other citizenships, that currently live in Germany. It makes it easier for any company, from around the world, to open a division there.
Even UK companies are currently taking this route, due to Brexit, as they are shipping from London to Germany some of their furniture, as well as some of their managers and employees.
Speak Your Customers Languages
When you develop your business inside the EU, you will have to adapt to the language barrier.
Although all companies tend to choose English as the main language for their website, it is only sufficient to reach a small part of customers in each country, that actually speak this language.
All others will look for similar products and services from companies that actually “speak” their language.
That in itself is justification enough to physically move into a country, where you can hire employees that will be able to respond to your clients in their mother tongue.
As an entrepreneur, a minimum of three languages should be spoken and written: English, the one you learned at birth and a second language learned at school. The more you will be able to communicate with anyone, the better results you will get.
If you want to play it safe, Spanish should definitely be included in one of the languages to learn, as more than half of Americans speak it.
Look At Your Competition In Each Of The EU Countries
If you want to get the best results possible, you need to prepare your move intelligently.
Germany may be the strongest economic power in the EU, but if the competition in your industry sector is already too strong, or if there is no demand for your products or services there, then it makes no sense to open a company in this territory.
Studying each of the EU markets should be a priority for you, if you want to convert your investment into revenues, rapidly. It is always dangerous to act according to beliefs. You need to make decisions on hard, proven numbers.
As you dig deeper into the data, you may be surprised to discover that the country most interesting for what you have to offer, is Poland, Italy or even Portugal. Don’t fight the reality. It is the only way you can ensure that your expansion will be a success, in the end.
Build Relationships Before Arriving In The EU
The secret to success is to prepare bridges even before you get into new territories. Otherwise, you could find yourself isolated, once you hit the ground.
Nowadays, it is easier than ever to build relationships from afar, through the use of emails, video calls and Cloud sharing. This is also the only way to grow a company, in this day and age.
To believe that your business can increase its presence by itself, and face all others as if they were competition, is not only naïve, but a sure way to fail in your quest to acquire new markets.
By reaching out to other members of your industry, that sell products or services that complete yours, you can find yourself lucky, and enter into an agreement with someone that can help you get customers right away.
That would be a base that would help your cashflow to stay afloat, at least for the first few months, while you initiate the development of your business.
It is often harder to develop an external market than our own. It means that one has to be patient, after making such a decision. Things won’t happen overnight.
It is important to keep the focus on gaining new clients, no matter how hard it gets. It is easy to be taken away from this task. We suddenly believe that the sales documents are not good enough, or that we need to tweak the offer.
Although in both cases, it might be true, remind yourself that you grew your business on these two before, so there is no reason that they would not be functional anymore.
Stay aware of what prospects tell you, so that you can adapt, but do not reimagine your company, simply because it is taking a long time to get going.
Take Your Best Elements With You
To launch your company in the EU, you should take some of the best elements of the company with you. They may not speak the language of the customers, but they can be ideal to provide the training to the new employees inside the division.
What they were able to do right, at the head office, they can have someone else reproduce, in this new territory. Don’t be afraid to get them involved financially, as well.
If they can get things going, it is totally normal that they would benefit from the results, too. In fact, if they are good at it, you just might have found your solution to continuous growth, in the future.