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How to get your foot in the door of the Swedish market?

11-12-2022
National flag of Sweden

Entering a foreign market requires a great deal of preparation, the need to think through a strategy, marketing activities and logistics solutions. As logistics platform MyDello recently entered the Swedish market, we would like to share with you tips and advice on what to consider when entering the Swedish market and what you should know about Swedish business culture.

Get to know the behaviour and consumption patterns of your new customers

While it may seem that globalisation has homogenised the general consumer culture in Europe, in reality, each country has different habits.

You must familiarise yourself with those local regulations that affect your business

Many areas are regulated within the European Union; however, in some cases additional local requirements and standards may apply.

Don’t underestimate the importance of the local language

The Swedes are very good at English, but you’ll always have an advantage if you speak to them in Swedish.

Creating trust and building long-term relationships are the key to success in Sweden. Estonians and Swedes have a lot in common, but there are a number of things you should keep in mind when doing business with the Swedes:

  1. Enjoy the meetings. Swedes like meetings. Therefore, be prepared for briefings, planning meetings, organisation meetings, and follow-up meetings. Stick to the agenda, and always prepare carefully.
  2. Planning is the basis for everything. As Swedes like to plan things in advance, planning skills are crucial. There is no room for spontaneity in Swedish business culture.
  3. It takes time to decide. Don’t expect decisions or results to come quickly. Because the Swedes take decisions by consensus, decision-making processes are long. Especially in large organisations. Relying on the facts, they analyse and reflect for a long time. This is why it is important to be patient and persistent and to recognise that results and agreements take time to achieve.
  4. Fika breaks. Never say no to a cup of coffee. Coffee breaks, or ‘fika’, are an integral part of Swedish business culture. Remember: don’t talk shop during coffee breaks. Fika is a good way to socialise and get to know each other better. There are usually two fika a day – in the morning and in the afternoon.
  5. Honour the small-talk. Start every meeting with small talk. It plays an important role in building and maintaining relationships. Small talk also eases the pressure and leads to a deeper conversation. In general, the subject of small talk revolves around the weather, weekend plans, and other neutral topics.
  6. Take it easy. There is no hierarchy in Swedish organisations. Employees are treated equally, managers are treated informally, and communication is direct and sympathetic. It creates a pleasant and peaceful working environment.

All in all, before entering the Swedish market, we advise you to do your homework, get to know the Swedish market, and be patient. It is also important to visit trade fairs, where you can make contact with potential partners.