Germany has long represented a key business center as the largest economy inEurope and the fourth largest in the world. Home to 82 million inhabitantswith approximately 4.5% unemployment, the country offers stability, a qualityinfrastructure and talent pool, and open business policies. This makes Germanya welcoming prospect for business owners looking to expand, but this same highstandard adds to the competition. Those looking to do business in Germanyshould be prepared to offer new and innovative products and solutions to standout in this power-house economy.
In 2017, Germany accounted for over a quarter of the euro area economyaccording to the IMF. The robust growth of the country has allowed foropportunity around some of the most cutting-edge industries such asbiotechnology, electric vehicles and transportation, green and environmentallyfriendly tech, and digital transformation services, as well as lifestyleproducts like food and cosmetics. At a nearly full employment rate, consumersand business owners alike can be picky about where they spend their money.Reflective of consumer trends worldwide, shoppers are considering if abusiness’s values align with their own when making purchasing decisions.Customer service and relationships have long been values of the Germanculture, and this is only heightened by the competitive market.
“The Germans are very disciplined and almost rigid in their business methods,contacts are direct, if you have an appointment, you have to react veryquickly,” said Murielle Taisne, Altios Germany Director. Altios helps clientsnavigate these local customs in addition to creating an entry strategy.Germany offers fairly business-friendly policies and laws, but there is stillthe inclination to local businesses as with most countries. In a tight marketit is important to have these connections or be accompanied by a German whoknows the business culture.
Establishing this local network and having local talent for your business isan important first step. Due to the low unemployment rate, competition for toptalent is high. Businesses are offering in-office perks, family-friendlybenefits, flexible and work-from-home policies, and other attractive benefitsto try to set themselves apart. This employer branding is important forbusinesses to understand what is most important to the German people. Inaddition to advising companies on their employee offering, Altios servicesextend beyond recruiting to benefit both the employee and employer during thetransition time. This can set a business apart for a candidate that values asmooth onboarding process, and a partner that has their long-term goals inmind at all times.
Though competing for top talent can be challenging, Germany is looking tocontinue to improve the talent pool nationwide in the STEM or MINT sector(Mathematics, Informatics, Technology, Sciences) as it is locally known. Theprograms, particularly aimed at students and women, will help prevent anyslow-down in business momentum due to a lack of skilled employees. Thesegovernment policies with an eye towards the skill and services of the future,present many exciting opportunities for growing businesses.
“In Germany you have to be persistent, patient, well prepared, perfect thequality of products and services, and react quickly,” Taisne said.
In addition to these key success factors, Germany values creativity andagility, making it a perfect fit for SME’s and start-ups. Altios helps clientsto reveal their innovation, with the backing of a long-term partner. Thecompetition of the German economy does come with some risk, but those willingto go above and beyond, and enter the market with a full understanding ofwhat’s required, will reap the rewards throughout the region.
Population : 82 million inhabitants
GDP (2018): $3.997 tn
Currency: Euro (EU)
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