If you’re looking for new opportunities to grow your business globally, but have concerns about how to go about it, you’ve come to the right place. Tapping into new international markets can increase your bottom line, and it’s easier than you may think.
Recently, I received a call from a prospect explaining that his U.S.-based business was generating sales leads from Germany. First, he was curious as to how these leads even found his business considering his site is written solely in English. More importantly, he recognized this presented a real opportunity to grow his business internationally.
New Opportunities for Growth in Multilingual Markets
The world is changing, creating new opportunities for businesses to expand into global markets. Here are just a few examples:
- Websites make it easy for people to find you. If you have a website, anyone from anywhere in the world can find your business. As a result, many of the people who are experiencing growth in global markets are “accidental exporters.” This means that they have received requests or sales in a new market and have become exporters without specifically deciding to do so, or by “accident.”
- Millennials have an international mindset. This generation grew up traveling internationally, so they are not afraid of people from other countries who speak other languages and have other cultures. As Millennials start their own businesses, they're already embracing global markets; they’re tech savvy, so they know how to incorporate translations on their websites; and they're leveraging technologies in ways that can help with cultural adaptation.
- The U.S. population is evolving. This country, which was once a “melting pot” (where people would come and to try to assimilate into the community, learn English and abandon their native culture) is now more like a “mixed salad,” where all different people are coming in and keeping their language, keeping their culture, and wanting to buy something in their own language. Check out Telemundo to see all the major U.S. companies that have adapted their advertising for the Spanish speaking Market.
The World Market Offers Huge Opportunity for Multilingual Marketing
With a growing world population, there is potential for enormous revenue growth. If you step outside the U.S. market, you’ll see just how huge the world has become. While there are approximately 330 million people in the U.S., the world’s population has grown to 7.5 billion.
In China alone there's about 1.5 billion people, that’s about five times the U.S. population. If you think about just the pure numbers of people there are, consider this as a first step: Take your U.S. English marketing content, translate and culturally adapt your message into multiple languages, and put-up simple landing pages for each language. This simple act will help you attract new customers from all over the world. Then you analyze where most of the new business is coming in from, and expand your marketing in those languages for huge opportunities.
Exporting Can Help Limit Your Domestic Risk
Another benefit of exporting to a larger market is minimizing domestic risk due to economic fluctuations. If the economy starts to slow down or decline here in the United States, in other markets it’s increasing, so you're balancing your revenue. You also balance currency risk by being invested in different places. As the value of the dollar drops, if you have investments in other countries, they could be increasing. Plus, companies that export tend to pay higher wages, grow at faster rates, and have happier employees.
Exporting also allows you to extend the life cycle of your more mature products, giving them new life in other markets when their life cycle comes to an end in the U.S. There's also free state and federal resources to help you. In Massachusetts, for example, we have Mass Export. They provide training sessions, free consulting and run trade shows all the time. There are similar organizations in all states to help educate businesses on exporting because doing so helps level out the balance of Trades. Read more about the resources available to exporters.
Note: Also consider looking into a STEP Grant from your state. This grant awards money to small businesses to help them with their exporting efforts. One of the approved uses of the grant money is for translation services. Follow the link on our blog to learn more about STEP Grant opportunities in your state.
Small Businesses Can Become Exporters
Exporting is not just for large companies. In fact, about 97% of the exporters are small and mid-sized businesses. And, about two-thirds of these companies only sell to one other country. So, if you can imagine a business taking the formula and process that they’ve done in one country and adapting it to another, you can see how that business can grow exponentially.
It’s also important to note that two-thirds of those small and mid-sized companies who export have 20 employees or less. So, if you're thinking you're too small to export you absolutely are not. It's time to start thinking about it because there is a huge demand for U.S. products around the world...agricultural products, food products, a lot of manufactured, high-tech products, consumer products, gadgets and more.
Don’t Let Fear Keep You from Multilingual Opportunities
If you are concerned that you don't know how to handle other languages and cultures, you're not alone. It's the number one fear for companies not exporting. But, like everything else, if you put a process in place, you minimize your risk, develop best practices, and find ways to be successful.
Here’s how we guide people who ask how to start:
- First, think about your corporate strategy
- Next, look at your communication strategy and make sure your multilingual communication strategy aligns with it
- Then think about the processes you're going to use
There’s a process for everything. For instance, there’s a process for making sure you get quality translations and making sure you're leveraging technology and measuring your results. If you’d like to see more about a quality process – read the blog called “10 Traits of a High-Quality Translation” or “Assessing The Quality Of Translations - A Checklist.”
Once you have a general idea of your desired process (by talking to us or your internal team), decide what type of translation service to use. If people are posting reviews on Google, you may not have to translate those with a high-quality translation service because Google Translate is probably fine for that. But, if you're posting any marketing or legal materials, or anything else that has the ability to affect your bottom line, you will definitely need to use a quality translation service. Learn more about Google Translate and when it is appropriate in “Why NOT to Use the Google Translate Plug-In on Your Website” and “Google Translate is the 'Gateway Drug' for Translation.”
So, as you can see, there are many opportunities to expand your business into new markets. The question now is, “Are you ready?” When the answer to that question is “yes” get in touch with us. We can answer all your questions, help you create and implement a plan to increase your revenues across the globe. Sign-up today for a free Multilingual Marketing Assessment.
Rapport International is a top translation and interpretation agency offering a 100% quality satisfaction guarantee. When you work with us you can feel confident that your project will be done right and on-time.
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