Finding a business partner
Once you have identified through which distribution channels you can reach your market segment, the next step is to find potential business partners – or to make sure they can find you!
Where can you find business partners?
Business connections are made both online and offline in today’s global market place.
Online platforms that can be used both to identify business partners and to sell or advertise products. These include large trade platforms such as Alibaba, Europages, Global Sources, Trade B2B and Enterprise Europe Network's partner database. There are also sector-specific portals such as FreshPlaza for fresh fruit and vegetables. Check out our market studies for more sector sources
Trade fairs are also good sources both online and offline. The exhibitor lists and other information shared online provide good insights in the players active in a target market. The most important trade fairs in Europe and Sweden
Social media also offer good opportunities both to find and connect with potential business partners and other players in the sector. In Europe and Sweden, Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the most commonly-used social media.
Your country embassy in the market you are targeting could also be a useful source of information and business contacts. Find your country’s embassy in Stockholm here: List of foreign embassies in Sweden
How can you identify the best prospects?
Finding potential business partners active in the segment you are targeting is the first step in identifying those with real potential, the prospects. Start by compiling a longlist of all companies offering potential by using the sources above. Then research each of them, looking them up online, to see if you can fit your products in their assortment and general mission and vision.
Questions you can ask yourself in your research are:
- Do your products fit in terms of style, quality, price, flavour, etc?
- Do you offer something that adds value to their current assortment?
- Can you add a service not yet present in the assortment?
- In brief: can you identify a reason why the potential business partner should be interested in your products?
Can potential business partners find you?
Equally important to being able to find potential business partners, is making sure they can find you.
Invest in a website that gives a clear picture of who you are and what you stand for. To increase the chances of your website being found, it needs to rank high in search engines results. To this end use search engine optimisation (SEO). Search engines offer guidance on how to go about it. Google offers a starter's guide.
Use social media. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter not only offers the opportunity to find potential business partners, they also allow you to present your company, your services and your expertise. LinkedIn is aimed at businesses and professionals, and also offers groups where people in the same business/sector or with the same interests join. Activating an account on social media is a way of getting noticed and do digital networking. If you want to be guaranteed exposure you go one step further and advertise by paid ads.
Get listed on online business directories or go to online trading platforms. See examples above of online trading platforms applicable to several sectors and products. You can also advertise on these platforms in order to draw maximum attention to your offer.
Attend trade fairs and network events. These are places where businesses actively look to extend their networks. Being active means being visible.
Get further support
Feel free to contact us at Open Trade Gate Sweden. We can not link you up with potential business partners in Sweden, but we are happy to assist you in identifying market structures and share information on different sectors. Please be as specific as possible in order for us to be able to provide relevant information in our replies to your questions.