Expanding into Germany
With a population of over just over 80 million people, Germany is Europe’s most populous country and has the largest and most powerful national economy in the Eurozone.
This, combined with the fact that Germany is the world’s third largest market for imported goods, makes it a particularly attractive market for UK companies with global aspirations.
But where to begin? Well, if your company has a website, then translating it into German is a good start. For this, it is best to engage in the services of a native speaker instead of relying on google translate and other translation automation tools which sometimes do more harm than good.
Next, check if your company’s domain is available with Germany’s .de TLD, and if so, buy it. A German SEO specialist can then help you increase the visibility of your website, so that it is more likely to be found by prospective German customers who are actively seeking out your particular goods or services. You can then link your new German site to and from your UK version.
You will then need to focus on creating the impression that you are already operating from inside Germany itself. This is now easier than ever before, with a range of ‘virtual’ office solutions that can provide you with an address, together with call centre staff who can then deal with inbound sales enquiries in German on your behalf. Prospective customers will then dial a local number as opposed to an international one, which still remains a psychological barrier for many consumers in both Germany and the UK alike.
If you need a ‘real’ office within Germany itself to meet prospective clients, then work with a company that can offer you representational offices that can be hired on an ad-hoc basis. Given its geographical proximity to the UK, such meetings can easily be conducted within a working day.
For large companies seeking a permanent presence in Germany or more advanced services such as company formation, business, personnel and organizational planning together with the sourcing of possible strategic partners to help grow your business in Germany, then it is best to work with a company that have the necessary resources and contacts without you having to deal with several parties. Doing so will allow you to focus on developing your core business, without getting swamped with the administrative and legal complexities associated with overseas expansion.
An additional beneficial side-effect of expanding to the German market will be that it will be far easier for you reach out to the markets of Austria and Switzerland, instantly giving you access to some 16m additional potential customers who share the same language as their larger neighbour next door.
Finally, by aligning yourself with a company that can provide all the services previously mentioned, you will be in a position to capitalize on Germany’s economic strength relatively quickly, allowing you to start generating revenues that are ‘made in Germany’ both now and for years to come.