Are you thinking about how to expand your business to reach new customers? In today’s global world, you should consider translating some of your business assets. Doing so can help you reach a whole new audience and tap into previously unreachable markets. Globalizing your business really comes down to planning and partnering with the right language service provider (LSP) for your translation services. In this blog post, I’ll cover four important pieces of the puzzle that you should consider as part of your globalization strategy.
#1 Choose Your Languages
To get started, you’ll need to decide which regions you want to target and what languages those regions speak. In doing so, you should consider several factors, including the type of product or service you sell, what your competition is doing, your industry, your business goals, and much more. Keep in mind that that 40% of people won’t buy in a language other than their mother tongue.
Also, talk to your salespeople or resellers in your target countries if you have them. Getting input from local resources about your target audience is ideal.
Once you’ve settled on a set of languages, make sure you have the correct language variant. For example, certain languages like Spanish have specific nuances depending on the country or region. Your LSP partner should be able to help you with this.
#2 Determine Which Assets to Translate
You’ll also need to strategically consider what assets to translate. Think about all the different customer touchpoints your business has, and decide what’s most important to translate. For example, you may have the following assets to consider and more.
Your website is one of your company’s most important assets and customer touchpoints, and it should definitely be considered for your globalization plan. Work with your LSP to determine the best process for localizing the content and keeping it updated.
If your business develops its own software, you may want to consider localizing it to make it more user-friendly on a global scale for your customers. Software localization is a specialty since many elements need to be addressed for each language. These items include graphics having enough room for text expansion; changes to data units, telephone numbers, date formats, and capitalization; and adapting the software for right-to-left languages such as Arabic and Hebrew. Software localization requires a multiple-step process with software engineers and testers to verify the content, and test and debug for linguistic, cosmetic, and functional issues.
It might be helpful for your customers to have technical documentation, such as “Getting Started” guides, operation manuals or online help translated into their local languages. This is especially true if your product is complicated or has health or safety implications.
Marketing content ranges from campaigns to brochures to social media messages. Depending on your market and how you interact with potential customers, you may want to consider translating or transcreating some of these materials.
#3 Look at Your Budget
After deciding on your language set and assets, you can work with your translation company to get cost estimates. Each language, asset type, and the associated process usually has its own cost. The cost of localization can sometimes look high initially, but if you compare it to the investment in developing the English content and product, it’s negligible and part of the cost of entering a new market.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to budget for updates to the assets once they’re translated. However, the costs for updating content should be reduced given that you’ll already have a good foundation of content. Choosing the right LSP should be about picking the best quality and methodology for your business to make sure your brand and image are represented correctly; it shouldn’t be about picking the cheapest LSP.
#4 Partner with a Translation Company
Your localization service provider of choice should be able to help you get started translating your content, and also educate you along the way and provide tools and resources to make the process efficient. For example, one of the tools that your LSP should have is a glossary, which is a database of terms that are used consistently throughout your content. Creating a glossary along with the translation process will help you save money and time, and improve consistency, on future projects. So be sure to involve your LSP as early on in the process as possible so you can plan and budget for the work.
Conclusion and Next Steps
Getting started with a globalization plan for your business is not an easy task, and you’ll want to carefully consider your options and the strategy you’ll be pursuing. If you’re not sure where or how to start, we’re here to help. Our team of globalization experts will gladly answer any questions you may have. Visit our website for more information or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.