The whole point of the international market entry process is to be systematic. It is a process, which reduces the probability of error, and, therefore, increases the probability of success. The central point is the »Strategy Concept«, which will be worked out jointly and will serve as binding base document for all further steps. We will work closely with you and all relevant tasks and expense items will be agreed by you.
The following description is a possible procedure any step can be seen as an option, i.e. it is up to you if you want to call on these services.
We recommend an one-day workshop, in which you can become acquainted with the German market and we with your business. On this basis, we can discuss the chances, possible risks, potential procedures and options as well as opportunities for co-operation. We will try to answer your questions concretely against the background of your specific situation. In any case, you profit from our experience, which you can re-use in your selecting process of prospective partners.
Based on your requirements, we execute market studies and supply you with detailed knowledge about your target group, competitors, market needs, market potential, market segmentation, barriers and restrictions of market entry, legal conditions, etc. Through our excellent connections in the IT and Internet industries, we can contact potential customers, in order to scan the market chances and potential hurdles for a successful engagement in Germany.
Now, we need to learn more about your vision, your company, your products and services, in order to position your product in the German market and to examine what it will take to get onto the buyer's radar screen. Some of the most important questions are:
|•||What is your corporate vision?|
|•||What makes you a potentially global market player?|
|•||What are your globalization objectives and strategies for Germany?|
|•||How do you plan to support the expansion in the sense of people and "dollars"?|
|•||How are your products/services differentiated in your home market?|
|•||What is the positioning of your company and products?|
|•||How are your own home competitors doing in Germany? How is the German competition doing? Are they successful and why?|
|•||Who are or will be your major competitors, and how do they differentiate themselves?|
|•||Which are your target groups and their needs?|
|•||Which needs/problems are faced by your products and services?|
|•||What drives the buying decision (price, name recognition, etc.)?|
We compile all strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats we have learned in our local markets (which means in the German-speaking countries), including "gut feelings". The point is to get all key points down. We work out strategic options and prepare a strategy concept as a workable plan, which covers the following cornerstones:
|•||Objectives and strategies of the German subsidiary|
|•||Market entry strategy|
|•||Sales strategy (e.g. in/direct sales) and programs|
|•||Marketing objectives and strategies|
|•||Development and budgeting marketing plan for the next year|
|•||Conception of the marketing mix|
With the help of service providers such as office services/virtual offices, recruiting agencies, lawyers, etc. we co-ordinate and prepare a ready-to-start infrastructure and all necessary prerequisites for your future team.
|•||Incorporation (legal framework)|
|•||Office and office equipment|
The establishment of a business in Germany should represent a long-term decision. For this reason, much value should be placed on the selection of a location. Significant factors are sales markets and labor force potential. While working closely with our clients, we identify the location in Germany that fulfills best the established limitations.
The foundation of a business should go with fundamental legal or taxation consultation, in order to find the most optimal construction especially concerning taxation aspects (e.g. »GmbH« equivalent to »Ltd.«). We arrange contacts to tax consultants, specialized lawyers (e.g. Internet law), notaries, etc., which support you in all steps and in executing the required formalities.
With the support of Internet job boards or executive search agencies specialized in the IT and Internet industries, we look for high-qualified employees or else freelancers as another reasonable option. Of course, we will utilize our own contacts as well. We work out job profiles and place ads agreed by you, interview potential candidates and will present you only the eligible candidates. It is essential to find the right people, because of the legally determined dismissal protection regulations in Germany that apply to almost all employees. In order to avoid such issues from the beginning on, advice regarding local skill profiles and personality structure is included.
With the help of service providers such as office services/virtual offices, CPA's, etc. we co-ordinate and prepare a ready-to-start infrastructure and all necessary prerequisites for your future team. We set up the subsidiary in parallel to the recruiting process.
|•||Procurement of the required equipment (furnishings, PCs, communication facilities, etc.)|
|•||Set up required administration facilities (e.g. accounting, controlling and customer management systems, etc.)|
|•||Establishment of the required processes (e.g. billing, license purchase, first/second line support, etc.)|
For contracts with customers and partners, questions concerning competitive law and copyright, brand registration, etc. we arrange the right legal consulting contacts. It is understood, that you can take our advice in addition.
Localization is crucial to make business in Germany. It is true, that almost all people in Germany have learned English, but especially for your elderly business partners it is inconvenient to read English or to follow discussions in English. Especially brochures should be rephrased, in order not to sound translated and cultural differences should be taken into account. For example American brochures are too marketing-oriented for the German audience Germans like facts. Moreover, software applications with an English user interface are practically not accepted in Germany.
So it is advisable to start early with localization. We make proposals for the localization and find the right agencies, which will help us translate and adopt marketing materials such as brochures, white papers as well as ads, manuals, software, etc.
In order to be successful in the German market, it can be relevant to have business partners whose market position has already been established and whose long-term experience can be used to build upon.
We create networking opportunities and help you in locating partnerships as sales partners, distributors, consulting/implementation partners, etc. We look for the most adequate business partners, analyze the enterprise, make the first confidential contact and arrange required meetings. We accompany you, upon your request, during the whole negotiation process, and any time after that, in case of differences within the co-operation. Additionally we also give you advice together with our partners (lawyers, CPA's) on economic, tax and legal issues such as contract design during the entire project.
First, we develop business cases and try to find out who can be your early adopter in Germany. Together with you we set up the first steps such as:
|•||Sales lead generation through various activities like direct mails, telemarketing, etc.|
|•||Set up meetings with your targeted prospect base.|
|•||Direct customer contacts through participation at executive events, where you meet the local executives of your target group.|
|•||Upon your request, we may act as your local representatives for a limited time.|
|•||Support of your sales partners and ensure that they are adequately trained.|
Beyond this, we start with the first marketing activities based on the »Strategy Concept«. Examples:
|•||Internet presence (German domain name registration, ISP selection, Web site development/translation)|
|•||Ad development or adaptation (comparative advertising in Germany is constricted)|
|•||Exhibition participation, roadshows|
|•||Public relations (selection of PR agency, preparing the basic press releases jointly)|
At this time, the managing director and/or the first sales people should be on board. We acquaint and support them as long as you feel it is appropriate. Usually, the workload in marketing is not high enough to employ marketers. Therefore, it may be efficient to call on our professional strategic and tactical marketing services (see »Our Services«).
Market research (optional)
Getting into your business
Set up subsidiary
Sales and marketing