Are Professional Translation Services the Key to Global Expansion?
Do you know that adding one language to your product presentation can double your market penetration, while adding four can increase it manifold? Proper internal translation management combined with professional translation services is the key to global expansion of startups, as it provides for faster time-to-market and lower costs.
Make a Translation Plan
When targeting a foreign market, it is necessary to make a sound plan that includes both an economic research of the market potential and a smart choice of your primary language for translation and localization. When going global, it is necessary to consider factors such as the challenges of international business, the language barriers, the cultural nuances, differences in tax codes, and compliance as suggested by Business News Daily in Going Global: How to Expand Your Business Internationally.
Once you identify your target customers, you need to make sure that you speak their language. Can’t read, won’t buy is a paradigm that rules the market and can lead to lost profit in case your product is not localized.
A paper published by Common Sense Advisory, who conduct research on global business and commerce, reveals how translation affects web customer experience and company growth. According to their data, 55 percent of consumers prefer to buy only in their native language, with France, Turkey, and Germany occupying the first positions, while 53 percent of the respondents answered that they are more at ease buying in their native language.
According to CSA, a company needs 58 languages to reach 97 percent of the online audience and only four languages to reach 50 percent. Choosing strategically these four languages and preparing a sound translation and localization plan with your translation partner is the key to the successful global expansion of your business. Using only English in your marketing and sales strategy will result in reaching only about 20 percent of the new foreign market.
Ensure Consistency of Translation
As a startup that wants to impose its brand identity and values in a new market and promote growth, it is essential to pay tribute to the cultural peculiarities of your new customers and/or partners and ensure consistency throughout all your content. To do that, you need to:
- Identify translation needs
- Systemize translation projects
Check which areas need translation and make sure that it is synchronized with the other ongoing translation projects. You will need to translate marketing materials, product manuals, and offer customer support in the respective language of your new market. The good news is that localization is a scalable process, so you can save costs by translating only the critical points concerning your product and then gradually add the other elements.
When you systemize your translation projects, you will be able to manage them more efficiently. Working with the same translation agency will allow you to curb costs and make the overall process faster and smoother. By tracking all texts sent for translation, you can avoid redundancy and use materials already translated for different purposes, when appropriate.
Identify the Critical Localization Areas
There are certain critical translation and localization areas that you need to identify and implement to facilitate your global expansion:
- Layout and site navigation when preparing your website translation
- Images, pictures, and colors should be adapted to send the proper cultural message
- Symbols such as currency, time and date display, and measurement units may cause confusion if improperly displayed in the translated language
- Brand names of products, apps, or software may need to be adapted in order to be better recognizable in the new market
Observing those critical areas in each and every translation project will provide consistency in your startup branding and increase customer satisfaction.
Use Professional Translation Services
The rising translation costs may be one of the barriers to efficient and fast global expansion for startups. This can be solved by choosing the right translation partner. While automating the translation process is a good idea as Entrepreneur Europe claims, the key factor that will prevent your business from getting lost in translation when going global is the quality of the provided service.
The temptation to use bilingual employees or partners for translating your documentation may actually disturb your global expansion. An improper translation of the product features or misuse of art elements in its presentation will stop it from going viral.
Using a professional translation agency will enforce easier market penetration by:
- Offering a full range of translation and localization services
- Using advanced language technology to ensure a smooth and fast translation process
- Ensuring an immaculate translation quality by professional editing and proofreading
- Providing a single contact point for all your ongoing translation and localization projects
Establishing a system that regulates the translation process will allow your business to reduce translation costs and increase translation efficiency resulting in faster time-to-market. You will have a centralized database of translated content that can be further utilized for future translation and localization, allowing your business to scale the process as needed.
You can find more information on the topic on our free whitepaper Professional Translation as a Business Driver for Global Growth and Profit.