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Expanding your business overseas? Interpreting and translation services can help!

  • 04/03/2019
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  • Admin

Whether you have a small or large business, expanding internationally can be an exciting but challenging goal. You may be looking to achieve higher revenue, a larger market share, and increased brand growth. To succeed, you’ll need a well-thought-through plan that takes all the complexities of international business into account. 

In this blog post, we’ll be taking a look at key factors you need to think about before you try to enter your business into a foreign market and how having a professional translation and interpreting service on your side can help. 

First, assess the overseas market

Timing can play a huge part in how successful your business may be when launching in a foreign market. Researching your target market thoroughly is key. You need to first see whether there’s a gap for your product or service and whether it needs to be adapted to meet local needs. It’s also essential to look at how much competition you have in the market and what your competitors are doing well or not so well.

Some businesses may decide to enter a foreign market independently while others may choose to partner up with an established foreign business. There are pros and cons to both options when it comes to profits. You may have more control and ownership if you keep your business independent while partnering with a local business can help you have lower overheads and they can give you guidance on local consumer trends. 

Depending on your product or service, it’s worth working with a professional translator with experience in providing research documents and reports. They can help you with competitor research as many online and print materials may be in a foreign language that doesn’t translate accurately with online services such as Google Translate.

Make sure you understand the local culture

It’s essential to make sure your business is offering products or services that are suited to the local culture of the market you’re entering. For example, certain marketing and social media channels may be more popular in some countries than others. You also need to consider the cultural values of the market you’re moving to.

By working with a professional interpreting and translation agency, you’ll have access to linguists with knowledge of the local area you’re trying to target so they may be aware of cultural nuances or language barriers that could cause offence. Causing offence to your audience is obviously not what you want for your business. Plus there's the risk of having your content banned if references are seen as inappropriate.

It’s also wise to learn about business etiquette and local culture if you’re looking to grow your business internationally. Even something as simple as an incorrect greeting can get things off to a bad start! There may also be cultural differences when it comes to deadlines for example. Some cultures may see deadlines as set in stone while others may prefer more flexibility. Some cultures combine business meetings with social settings in bars and restaurants while this may be a no-no for others who stick to formal meetings in the office. Working with local contacts can help you get first-hand tips so you avoid any costly business missteps.

Recruit top local professionals

Before expanding your business internationally, it’s wise to get an understanding of local laws and how they may affect your objectives. You’ll have to consider things such as marketing regulations, taxes, compliance requirements, liability, customs and restrictions on import/export.

If you’re looking to recruit staff for your business locally, you may find a local lawyer and accountant that can help you get set up. However, it’s worth being a step ahead by getting in touch with an interpreting and translation agency to connect you with recommended local linguists. Along with being able to discuss your interpreting and translation requirements, local linguists may be able to connect you with business contacts that could help you. Particularly if you work with a linguist with subject matter expertise in business, HR, law or marketing for example.

When hiring local staff you’ll need to think not only about your immediate staff but you’re your suppliers and whether you’ll need to extend your customer support team to be multi-lingual. Working with native speakers are in tune with cultural differences and can help you to better connect with your customers. 

Tailor your website and marketing content for different languages

You may not necessarily plan to have an office or product line overseas, so your first point of contact with customers will be your website. You’ll need a strong digital presence so optimizing your website and social media content is key. This isn’t as simple as putting your existing content into Google Translate. You’ll need to do a thorough review of your content and check what’s most suited for your audience and what may need to be adapted. A professional translator with marketing expertise can help you with accurately translating but also making sure your content is engaging for the local market.

Consumers online will likely be searching for terms in their own language so you need to think about which keywords to use for SEO. To make for a smoother user experience, you’ll also need to update the language of your webpage titles and descriptions. It stands to reason that consumers generally prefer to make purchases from websites with content in their native language but it’s not only the text you need to think about. You should also consider the imagery you use and even the colours you choose that can take on different meanings depending on the culture. For example, you may choose an image you feels represents your target market, however, it’s important to avoid stereotypes and cultural appropriation. 

This shouldn’t deter you from localising your content, as this helps build a better connection with your audience as they’re more likely to buy from a business they trust that understands their culture so you have a better opportunity of converting leads.

Contact us

Vandu Languages offers top interpreting services in Sussex and we have UK-wide and international reach. Our interpreters specialize in a range of popular international business languages including Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin, to name just a few. If you’re looking for translation services across sectors such as digital marketing content, legal documents, or business materials we can also help with these plus many more.

Feel free to contact us about our translationinterpreting, and bilingual advocacy services.

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