The EU has 500 million consumers looking for quality goods, and an established distribution network that appreciates and values US produced products. A USD$ 19 trillion economy that is the world’s largest single market, with transparent rules, regulations and an appreciation of US products, services and culture. It is also the top trading partner for 80 countries. By comparison the USA is the top trading partner for a little over 20 countries, but that could be about to change.
A leading international business development consultancy is now making their international business development services widely available to US companies for the first time. Copernicus International Consulting, with representation across the whole of the European Union and even into Russia, is now present on the ground in the USA.
Since they started business in 1999 they have helped hundreds of businesses to find customers or trading partners in new overseas markets. So how do they do it? Marketing executive Helen Flowers told us how. “We take the profile of the potential exporter, their products, services and a description of what their ideal customer would look like. We then benchmark their offer to the new market against the local competition, after all if someone is going to change suppliers or add a new product line to their inventory, there has to be a pretty good commercial reason for them to do so. Once we have established that the products can compete in the market, and ensured their compliance with local regulations, we set about find prospective customers that meet the requirements of the exporter. We call them up, working in the local language and local culture, tell them about our client, send them information, check out that they would be a good match, and then set up meetings, face to face or via Skype, for the two parties to get to know each other and see if there is enough common ground to start a relationship.
Working with firms, corporations and trade organizations of all types
Copernicus clients vary from $Billion corporations to SMEs, but they all have one thing in common, the drive and ambition to grow their business without being constrained by borders or language”. The average applied tariff for goods imported into the EU is very low. More than 70% of imports enter the EU at zero or reduced tariffs. The EU’s services markets are wide open and have arguably the most open investment regime in the world. Working with a US based Copernicus Consultant, who in turn liaises with their counterparts overseas, firms can literally knock on the door of potential European customers, say “Hi” and explore the potential for serious business. In 2014 Copernicus enabled companies from Australia, South East Asia, India and elsewhere to win contracts in the EU, and not just with other private companies, but also the public sector.
US$2 Trillion worth of opportunities for US corporations of all sizes
Helen told us “The total value of public procurement in the EU is estimated at over €2 trillion per year – or about 19% of European GDP. Copernicus can offer US firms support to access to the business opportunities that are relevant to their individual corporations. Each week some 1,500 public procurement notices from the European Union, the European Economic Area and beyond are published. Copernicus researches and sorts procurement notices by country, region, business sector and more, sending matched tenders right to the inbox of clients every day. “The Public Procurement Sector”, Helen told us “is wide open to US business, either to tender directly or in association with an EU based partner that we will find and introduce. For example, if you were to export an engineering or electrical product to one or more EU countries that requires service or after sales support, we can help to put that in place. Every purchase by a European public authority, from uniforms for the fire service, to mattresses for the prisons, equipment for kitchens to IT support, bridge or road construction to supplies to the armed forces has to be put out to tender. We have the resources to examine each and every one and put them in front of our clients. No wasted time reading a tender only to find on page 28 or 49 it isn’t suitable for you, we take the strain and the pain, if we send it to you it’s because it matches at least 8 out of the 10 criteria you stipulated at the inception of the our relationship, and it is a serious opportunity. Do not have time to write the tender bid? Our bid writers will work with you to make sure it’s in the right format to give you the best chance for success.”
In practical terms Copernicus can be the advance landing party for a US business. We scout the best opportunities, report back to HQ and then attack the market together to win new contracts. While our clients focus on their core business activities, we are out there working on their behalf as a virtual sales force, backed by professional market research capability. Not many small or medium sized businesses can deploy a multi-lingual and multi-cultural marketing team. By using Copernicus Connecting Markets services that’s exactly what is gained, but without the long term fixed costs, just the long term gain. Our clients use us to build business relationships to the point where they can take them over and manage them for themselves.
Market Research Professionals
To ensure all recommendations and decisions are knowledge based, we are accredited members of the Market Research Society; Copernicus is thus able to offer comprehensive qualitative and quantitative research in addition to mystery shopper and focus group studies to their clients. Our business began life as a strategic planning consultancy, in many instances helping to return loss making or underperforming businesses back to profit. It is a service we still provide today, and one which has been expanded to help address underperforming EU subsidiaries or sales offices belonging to corporations outside the EU. The guiding light that showed the way ahead in each case was knowledge. Knowledge gained from both desk and field research that was able to shape a client to meet the needs of their current and future customers. Our multi-lingual researchers drill down to uncover what really matters to business and consumer decision makers, we then distil this information and use it to underpin and support our recommendations which guide our clients towards their ultimate goals or objective.
Trade Mission and Trade Event Services
It isn’t only individual firms or corporations that Copernicus is able to help in to new markets. For 15 years they have been organizing trade missions and “meet the buyer” events across Europe. A region or industry body with a common goal travel to one or more countries for a series of seminars, networking events and 1-2-1 business meetings that create very real sales openings for the participants. So far in 2015 from 10 trade events organized, 71 companies have had 1433 meetings with potential new customers resulting in $$$ sales through the efforts of Copernicus Consultants in the various EU countries targeted. The UK, Germany, Scandinavia and several Eastern Europe countries have all hosted events that have drawn a variety of trade and industry organizations from around the world.
Attracting Investment from the EU
The EU is the largest economy in the world with a GDP per capita of €25,000 (roughly USD 28,500)) for its 500 million consumers, it has a secure legal investment framework that is amongst the most open in the world and is also a major investor in North America. The Copernicus Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Consultancy Service, can help to bring EU Capital, job and wealth creation to your project or location. Working directly with foreign direct investment agencies or private enterprise, Copernicus has the expertise to position projects to attract the curious, the ambitious and the innovative. Talent-hungry companies that will want to invest in your project(s) because of the advantages of the location and the people that live work and prosper in your location. As the EU market becomes increasingly uniform, ambitious organizations look increasingly to North America as a now accessible land of opportunity. Where though should a company set up their first US base? Where should they create employment and why? Copernicus can take your message to Europe via single symposiums or multi-country roadshows profiling and targeting investors to attend informative seminars and presentations that showcase opportunities that they otherwise would have no knowledge of or even consider. By bringing the information to their doorstep awareness is much more readily created, and a dialogue started.
Irrespective of which market in the EU is the focus, Romania, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland the UK or The Baltic, all communication back to the US is in English and managed through the UK head office, while the local work is carried out in the local language. After sales and additional sales generation services are also available via the Interim Key Account Manager Service which places a local salesperson at the disposal of a US firm for between 2-10 days each month, following up leads, creating new contacts and building a business until there is a critical mass of revenue that justifies a full time person, a sales office or maybe even the creation of a subsidiary company. As with all Copernicus services, it is cost effective, professional and a low risk, minimal investment route to winning business in the EU.
For more information about how Copernicus can introduce you to the potential that 500 million consumers can bring, email them today.
Copernicus is an international management and trade consultancy for the SME sector with a growing, successful international network that has expanded to several markets within North America, the EU, the Middle East and parts of Asia. Copernicus international’s match making services cover market research, market entry strategy, distributor identification, the establishment of joint ventures and acquisition identification, due diligence and implementation.
Copernicus has extensive experience in working with companies from across the world, We have long term relationships with various chambers of commerce and government trade development bodies that assist their members to fast-track their entry into new markets profitably.
For further information contact:
Name: Helen Flowers