Undoubtedly, globalisation and technological developments over the last 15 years completely changed how companies do business and approach their customer base.
Today, even locally based SMEs can enter foreign markets and grow their potential revenue reasonably quickly and easily without putting too much stress on their budgets.
Nonetheless, although global expansion is much more accessible than ever before, there are still some obstacles business owners must be mindful of before going ahead with their internationalisation process.
If you’re thinking of approaching a foreign audience and growing your revenue internationally, this article is for you as we take a closer look at the 5 specific aspects you need to consider.
- Approach foreign markets in their language
- Choose your market carefully
- Learn from previous expansions
- Learn about your competitors
- Analyse your entry options
Translate to approach markets in their native language
Let’s start with perhaps the most commonly overlooked aspect of internationalisation from our list. Of course, learning about your market or competitors (which we cover below) is a relatively obvious step when taking your brand abroad. Making sure that you approach your target audience in their native language, unfortunately, isn’t so obvious for many businesses.
As you can imagine, UK & US business owners naturally assume that their chosen markets will be able to understand their message perfectly in English.
Nonetheless, recent studies show that most consumers strongly lean towards brands that approach them directly in their native language.
More than 80% of respondents claimed that they are more likely to trust a foreign company which translated their materials into the market’s language, and 20% of people asked claimed to rarely or never purchase goods/services if they cannot find information in their mother tongue.
As you can see, the potential loss of revenue and market share caused by simply not translating your documents and content from English into the consumer’s language can be devastating, both short and long-term.
To get an expert translator’s opinion on how professional language translations work and affect global companies, we’ve reached out to TS24 London Translation Agency specialising in business translation services and language interpreting for clients in all industries.
An expert translator from Translation Services 24 (TS24) quickly responded to our query and told us, “Professional translation services have become an inseparable part of any successful internationalisation process. The ‘one-fits-all approach popular just 10 or 15 years ago is today an already outdated strategy. In today’s environment, customers understand their value within the globalised market space, so approaching them directly in their native language is essential. The growth in importance of language translations and interpreting services is directly reflected in the number of new customers reaching out to us daily, ranging from locally based UK SMEs to some of the world’s biggest companies.”
Choose your market carefully
One of the most critical aspects of your globalisation project is definitely making sure that you choose your potential target market wisely after considering the pros and cons.
Entering a highly competitive, saturated market where prices are already low, and the key players have an established position can make your internationalisation process doomed from the very beginning of your company’s international journey.
As a result, when deciding on which specific market you want to explore, look for a rapidly growing market with low competition. By entering it with your products and services early, you’ll be able to have an established position in the long run.
Learn from previous expansions
Although taking your business abroad can be a time-consuming, stressful and expensive process, the chances are, you are not the first person from your industry to do it.
Learning from your competitor’s mistakes can be a genuinely beneficial activity.
Take a closer look at their methods and approach. Did they professionally translate their content into the market’s native language, or have they simply applied the ‘one-fits-all’ strategy and kept their materials in English? What, if any, marketing campaigns did they run to raise consumer awareness abroad?
By answering such questions and examining your competitors’ entry strategy, you’ll better prepare your brand for the internationalisation process by minimising risks and eliminating some of the unexpected factors associated with ‘going global’.
Learn about your competitors
Learning about your chosen market, in general, is one thing, but digging in deeper and understanding who you’re up against is another.
When entering a new country with your brand, you may come across competitors who have already established their presence within your chosen market, so making sure that you carefully examine their strengths and weaknesses can be essential to succeed.
Take a look at their marketing campaigns, client base, business partners, pricing strategies, terms & conditions etc. By doing this, you’ll have a better picture of what your competitors are all about, which will allow you to take the best approach.
Analyse your entry options
Before entering a new market, you need to find the best way for your brand to do it. Some companies enter new markets with a physical location (e.g. a high-street shop), while others remain fully digital and trade only via the Internet.
Understandably, approaching a new market and opening a physical location is the more costly of the two options. It does, however, enable you to establish a trustworthy brand image much quicker than simply trading online.
Focusing solely on trading online, on the other hand, can not only keep your costs to a minimum but will allow you to reach a much wider audience within your chosen market.
Today, taking your products or services abroad is a lot easier than it was just a decade ago. From the growth of technology and the internet to the general ease and speed of travel, companies can nowadays trade across the world, often without straining their budgets.
The steps we discussed above are, however, something that you need to keep in mind in order to increase your chances of success within the international marketspace. From carefully learning about the chosen market and your competitors to translating your documents and content into the market’s native language – following these steps will enable your business to thrive and grow internationally.