How Translation Can Help Small Businesses

How Translation Can Help Small Businesses

Businesses today, no matter their size, cater to a multi-ethnic market. It does not matter where they are located. Consumers who speak various languages will use their products or services.

Selling in other languages, although intimidating in the beginning, is a distinct advantage. It is one of the key things for business growth. Business translation services provide very positive results in helping encourage customers speaking languages other than English appreciate and patronize products from other countries.

Translation services for small business

Today’s business scenario requires that the language barrier be bridged. Take for example the business in the UK. Research has shown that about three-quarters of British people are not able to speak a foreign language well enough to conduct basic conversation. This fact hinders their ability to negotiate deals or sell their product. According to a survey, the UK loses around £48 billion annually in exports due to their inability (or hesitance) to speak languages other than English.

Reverse your thinking

Many small and medium size business owners believe that language translation is an added cost. If that is your way of thinking, it will be harder for you to compete with other businesses that appreciate the major role languages play in the current business arena. Forward-thinking business owners think that language is an important investment. Moreover, you have to reverse your thinking that everybody speaks English and that it is difficult to be in competition with native speakers.

Results from a study done by Common Sense Advisory show that 56.2% of consumers place more importance in learning about a product described in their own language than the product’s price.

Localization

The process of having your website and other product-related information translated into another language is called localization, which is a more involved method of language translation.

It is not possible to avoid foreign customers from encountering your product once you have a website. Even if the majority of your customers live in your country, there will be chances for people of different nationalities to see your products. Given this possibility, it is easier for them to learn about your product when the information is in a language they understand.

Language localization

Localization provides numerous benefits to businesses that are on the verge of going international.

1. New revenue options

Right now, entrepreneurs are taking their business globally, because it provides access to a wider customer base. If the service or product receives wider acceptance, you enjoy an increase in revenue from your new customers and domestic customers as well. When you localize your revenue potential receives a much-needed boost.

2. Gain competitive edge

You gain competitive edge if your competition is not localizing yet. But if they are ahead of you on that score, you will be left farther behind if you do not localize. Servicing and selling to a wider customer base in their own language is a powerful business strategy. The language of the customer is what matters, not your own language.

3. Better and stronger local and international presence

When your website is available in other languages, your domestic consumer base will have the potential to increase. The U.S. has a multi-cultural society and not everyone speaks English. Providing a website with information in other languages will endear you to consumers who can better understand your products and services. Your international consumers will thank you for letting them learn about what you offer in the language they speak. This is an effective way to increase customer base and build customer loyalty.

4. Better communication with global consumers

Customer support for global customers could prove costlier than expected. If you invest in making your website ready for international customers, customer support costs will be lower as your product information and marketing efforts are localized. You will be talking to your foreign consumers effectively in their own language. You provide them with a great customer experience because they understand your product better.

Professional translators will not make mistakes when translating your website and all pertinent information, thus you prevent cultural gaffes. Localizing your website gives the overall impression that you care for your local consumers and that you welcome them. Localization does not only mean translating the written content. It is about adapting the website to local preferences. Localization requires that units of measurement conform to what locals are using. It also changes the currency, date and time formats. It may require changing images, fonts and colors to conform to local beliefs, customs and traditions.

Translation impacts market penetration

5. Effective market penetration

You’ll have a definite advantage over companies that are yet to localize. You do not have to spend much to penetrate your intended market because you can talk to them in their own language, making it easier for your products to be known to target consumers. Penetrating new markets requires time, effort and money. With localization, you can open new markets, explore and develop them faster with higher efficiency and lower costs.

6. Minimize miscommunications

You minimize or avoid miscommunications because you are using the local language of your target market. You are also following regulations of the target country by speaking their official language. With localization, all written documents, such as agreements for product use, contracts, end-user agreements, product information and marketing materials will be translated into the local language, thus reducing liability.

Copyright infringement is likewise reduced. When written in the local language, citizens are legally bound to obey them.

Even if a small business does not do e-commerce, there is still a need to localize. Most online shoppers do research before making a purchase. If your website it localized you increase the chances of consumers visiting your store because they have found the products or services they are looking for. It is still about providing your customers with good shopping experience as your online presentation contribute to their decision to visit your store to make a purchase.

Takeaway

Treat the translation and localization of your website as an investment. It is a business strategy that provides many benefits to small businesses. It allows you to compete in the global arena. You explore and develop new markets, which will increase your revenue and help your business grow larger. It is a direct approach to reach international consumers. The main point is to work with experienced translators who are experts in your particular business niche. Speak your global customers’ language so you and your products would gain their trust.

Sean Hopwood

Sean Hopwood is the President and CEO of Day Translations, Inc., a human-powered translation company. Sean has a deep love for languages, soccer and new technologies. He spends whatever time is left from his busy schedule to write about business management.