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6 signs your business is in need of a language service
19.04.17

Using a language service isn’t just about one-off translations and occasional interpreting – professional linguists can play a key part in helping you target new business, and grow your business internationally.

Though it’s possible to get by doing business abroad without communicating in another language, it’s also hugely restricting and you’ll soon find your opportunities overseas are limited.

If you want to build better engagement and more meaningful business relationships, the use of a professional language service can put you ahead of the competition; so, do any of these signs ring true for your business?

You have few connections abroad.
If you want to reach out to more customers abroad, or deal directly with foreign companies, presenting your business as multilingual will always be beneficial. It’s important you make the right impression with new clients and customers from the start, and that means taking the time to communicate effectively – inaccurate or offensive translation can be just as damaging as none at all. Professionals in the language industry are also likely to have a wealth of experience in doing business in other countries, and can advise accordingly.

You’re not seeing enough engagement from your website.
Aside from a lack of good marketing, impressive web design and persuasive copy, there could be another reason why you’re not seeing more visitors to your website; if you haven’t got translation options in place for your foreign customers you’re limiting the amount of business your website is able to generate. A professional language service won’t just convert your website content, they’ll also be able to provide effective localization and the careful translation of any nuances and colloquial slang.

You’ve ‘had a go’ at translating your material yourself.
Unless you’re a linguistic expert, translating important business documents yourself rarely works. The risk of inaccuracies is huge, as is the possibility that your content may end up making no sense at all once translated. While it’s easy to assume that doing it yourself is the cheaper option, if you fail to generate any new business due to poor, ineffective translation, the time and efforts you’ve invested will never be worth it.

You only communicate in English, even overseas.
With over 500 million people in the world speaking English as a foreign language, it’s possible that you can scrape through using English for your overseas business. But ‘getting by’ isn’t the same as being globally successful; if you’ve got higher aspirations, a professional language service can assist you beyond translation, providing effective localization and creating stronger engagement with valuable clients and customers.

You don’t know enough about your foreign markets.
Choosing to do business abroad is one thing, but making it work is quite another. If you want to appeal to new markets, you’ll need to know everything you can about who it is you’re trying to engage with, and what it is they want and need. Localisation is crucial, as is an understanding of culture and customs. To make the most of every opportunity you should be brushing up on local history, politics, trends, traditions and influences. If you don’t have the time or resources for that, then a language service will take care of it for you.

You want to increase your customer base here in the UK.
It’s not all about overseas business. If you’re looking to increase your customer base here in the UK, using a language service to improve your communications could be the answer. Over 13% of the UK population is foreign-born* – that’s a significant amount of potential customers that could be engaging with your business. The effective translation of materials such as advertising copy or website content could be enough to significantly increase your customer reach right here in the UK.

To find out more about how a professional language service could be benefitting your business, feel free to get in touch with Sally Walker Language Services, we’d be happy to offer our impartial help and advice.

* http://www.migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk – 13.5% of the UK population was foreign-born in 2015.