There are many things to think about before you sell and market your products or services in Germany. A product that sells well in your home country may not necessarily have the same appeal elsewhere.

What we will cover:

Market Entry Challenges of an international business

The German market is unique in culture, attitudes, and people. It takes time and experience to know what will work. The learning curve is steep and could prove to be costly.

A foreign manager, no matter how successful in his or her own country, will encounter substantial barriers to success because of his inexperience in Germany.

  • Language and cultural barriers
  • You will have to understand the different ways people communicate
  • Different tax codes, business regulations, and packaging standards
  • In Germany, doing business is as much a personal event as it is professional. Be prepared for multiple interactions to build trust
  • There´s a significant level of local competition.

Common Pitfalls

Top ↑

International businesses are bound by the regulations of the target markets in which they are operating

Subsidiary. International businesses often think, that by not establishing an entity overseas, they will consequently not be bound by the laws and regulations of the target markets in which they are operating.

This is almost always wrong, especially if you are selling to consumers.

Individuals are generally protected by the laws of their own country whether it is under consumer laws, employee regulations, or data protection rules.

International businesses need to localize legal terms

International businesses need to localize legal terms as well as translate them into the local language. The failure to do so will allow complaints to be filed and considered under terms which you have not dictated, and even worse, under terms which have not limited your liability.

B2B contracts do not necessarily need to be legally localized.

B2B contracts do not necessarily need to be legally localized, although they may need to be if negotiating with larger overseas customers that insist their local laws govern the contract.

Top ↑

Europe has strict data protection laws

Europe has strict data protection laws that require businesses which receive or process personal data to follow strict rules regarding its use, receipt, and retention.

Data protection is one of the top issues US-based businesses must tackle when looking for market entry in Germany.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation is a major step in digital privacy and is the result of a long process settled in European values.

Top ↑

Do you have the right skills on-board?

  • Carrying out market and competitor analysis | Segmentation
  • Developing local product positioning and adapting the marketing mix
  • Analyzing sales channels and finding partners
  • Establishing appropriate communication for the local market
  • Establishing digital media presence and social media strategy
  • Establishing local operations and expanding the team
  • Establishing local sales processes and documents

Top ↑

How well is your market sizing?

Target Market Sizing makes sure that you go-to-market in the right niche and don´t fail for the same reasons; most other international businesses fail.

The people you hire to deal with your overseas business partners and customers must be fully immersed in the local environment but should also be looking out for your interests.

Top ↑

Hire a local go-to-market consultant

A go-to-market specialist understands business models and knows how to implement operational processes. He must be committed to providing transparency at any time and at a given time actively support your ambition to establish your own local corporate infrastructure.

Often, there are attractive market niches, which you can own with a clear focus, excellent margins, and without being exposed to significant external risks. A go-to-market specialist finds these niches and implements your business model in a new market with the right customers and partners.


Checklist to validate a go-to-market expert

  1. Does he bring a conceptual framework?
  2. Does he understand the potential pitfalls?
  3. Does he easily compromise on quality?
  4. Does he bring target market insights?
  5. Does he bring a corporate infrastructure?
  6. Does he declare potential hidden interest?
  7. Does he align his business model?

Top ↑

Need Help? Schedule a Meeting

Just pick the time that works for you.
Axel Hoehnke will be your point of contact. 

Client Testimonials