Learn How Startups Make their Mark As a Global Business
The world is getting smaller thanks to social media and the internet, which helps startups not only gain popularity in their local area but gain global notoriety as well. It’s as if startups going global in the past happened by accident, but there are certain behaviors your startup can follow so that it can become a global business, too.
Using professional translation as a business driver for global growth and profit can reap major benefits. Let’s take a look at why.
What Do Onions and Going Global Have in Common?
Both start small, then layer upon themselves until they’re bigger than they originally started.
This is what happened with McDonald’s in 1948. The McDonald’s brothers established themselves in San Bernardino, California, according to the McDonald’s Website. They eventually moved to Illinois, before slowly spreading throughout the rest of the United States.
After establishing over 1,000 restaurants by 1967, McDonald’s opened up their first international locations in Canada and Puerto Rico. Now the company has over 36,000 locations in over 100 countries.
McDonald’s established their brand layer by layer before growing into the huge onion it is today, and that’s a lesson your startup can learn from on their way to become a global business.
However, McDonald’s as a brick and mortar establishment doesn’t have the privileges entrepreneurs with the internet today have.
Entrepreneurs can contact people from all around the world to make their business known, connecting with customers from different countries.
Because of such cosmopolitan ease, it’s tempting to go straight to marketing to other countries, figuring out the translations as you go.
But as we see with McDonald’s, you have to have a core foundation to build off of and ground yourself. Without that, you’ll be a company full of hot air.
So, with the global end in mind, you have to set up a strong system of multilingual communication to handle the ever more increasing demands of global business.
With that strong core in place, the whole world becomes one big territory. In other words, the global world can be seen as a local area, like McDonald’s expanding across multiple states in the U.S. (except now, those states speak different languages).
What Are the Tools for Global Business?
First off, you’re going to need the right tools to market across multiple languages. Content management systems, digital asset management systems, and translation management systems all help in this endeavor, according to Slator.
These systems are the core to your onion, helping streamline workflow and maximize performance across different marketing campaigns.
A content marketing system is inbound marketing that encourages leads to come to you, rather than the other way around. This is what SEO blogs do—they produce content people want to read or are curious about then try to direct the readers to whatever product they want to sell them.
Digital asset management systems are the hub in which you store, organize, retrieve, and share your digital content. This goes beyond just a CMS website—it’s a “digital media library with turbojets,” as DigitalAssetManagement.com describes it, allowing you to publish your media on a variety of platforms.
While these two programs are fine enough to run a domestic entrepreneurial campaign, they can get messy managing all the content, videos, photos, and other media in different languages required for a global business.
This is where the translation management system comes in. This system supports complicated translation tasks involving teams in different locations, bringing all the functions of the workflow into one manageable “office space.”
How Multilingual Language Optimization Turns Global into Local
Now that your startup is a polyglot functioning as a global business, you can access different marketing channels and build your brand in different countries or continents.
Get your CMS up and running. This should be your startup’s website, so customers can see what you’re about, who you are, and what you sell. Be sure your content is accessible in different languages.
Next, you’ll want to ground your global company with local stakeholders. Local stakeholders help inform your business about the bottom happenings occurring in the specific country since it’s easy to get caught up in the top’s strategy of branding and marketing.
Of course, the quality of the translation services used can make or break a work team, as miscommunications and poorly translated material will only delay internal business. Be sure to get the best translators and not be lured by translators with cheap rates.
Try to stay with just one localization vendor by choosing the best external language service partner. This will allow you to handle any curve balls thrown in the global market.
Is Language All I Need?
While mastering different languages is crucial for expanding globally, understanding different cultures is just as important. Take this precautionary take from HR Magazine.
After gaining succeeding domestically, a U.S.-based company decided to expand to Asia. The company thought it would be easy. However, they faced immense resistance and difficulty in the Asian market.
Eventually, an Asian domestic company sprung up and devoured what little market share the U.S. company scraped together. Why? Because the U.S. company tried to just copy-paste its marketing strategy to the new market.
Be sure to re-learn how to market effectively in new cultural territories, in addition to just learning how to communicate correctly in different languages. That will be the key to global business as a startup.