In recent years, more and more bosses of French SMEs wish to set up in Germany to found a company or a subsidiary. We have been one of those. And we have probably made most of the mistakes that can be made in the development of a business in Germany.
Ten years later, at the head of a successful recruitment firm, leader within the Franco-German market, we find that our experience is far from the exception. Many French SMEs in Germany waste valuable time because they lack concrete information on how best to develop a business.
That's what motivated this guide. Because "we have been there", we wanted to compile a short book which included all that we would have liked to have known before we started ... without ever daring to ask! We included excerpts from the German market experts who are well versed in the recurring problems of French SMEs in Germany. They tell you the pitfalls to avoid with German prospects, sales techniques that work every time and how much you have to pay your commercial if you want to attract a good candidate.
A successful implementation is a matter of method and state of mind, as well as legal or accounting technique. Your motivation is your best asset. The purpose of this book is to feed it.
All the success stories of small and medium-sized French companies in Germany that we had the honour to accompany present this same characteristic. They were led by motivated business leaders, interested in Germany, involved in monitoring their teams and relationships with their customers. All had understood that the careful preparation of an export project is an investment, as well as the purchase of a new production machine.
Of course, the preparation does not prevent mistakes, and often, too, failures. We are witnessing them every day. An SME does not offer the comfort of the large group, it is rare that the means are up to the ambitions. And motivation runs up against a legitimate fear: is Germany, the country whose business performance is constantly being touted, not too difficult or too risky for my company?
Daring Germany, yes, but how? We entrepreneurs ourselves, we suffered disappointments sometimes painful. We came out better, more understanding, more attentive. And also convinced that success goes by sharing experience.
That's why we wanted to join this guide. Easy to access, this guide illustrates its point with many testimonials from salespeople, entrepreneurs or young volunteers abroad who have understood how one succeeds in Germany. The book will allow business leaders to get a better idea of the country in order to assess the strength of their export project. It also provides the basics needed to know where to invest and how to manage teams on the spot.
Cécile Boutelet is a freelance journalist. As a specialist in the German economy and companies, she has been a correspondent for the newspaper Le Monde since 2010. She has been very interested in this book and she has found great interest in it: she has devoted her first years abroad to creating and developing a little company.
Illustrations : Katharina Bußhoff. www.katharinabusshoff.de