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Working with a translation agency to grow your business

In today’s globalising world, a rapidly growing number of UK businesses take the opportunity to expand from their local markets into larger, and more challenging, international markets. With the developments in technology and help of professional translation agencies, what only 10 or 15 years ago seemed quite impossible, is a reality today. In fact, approaching foreign consumers has never been easier – London based SMEs use internet in order to reach new audiences via their business websites, social media platforms and other digital marketing channels and work with companies offering translations in order to convey their content into the market’s native language. In fact, according to a senior project manager of a translation agency in London, Language Reach, the number of business customers, especially from the London based SMEs sector, which require professional translations has been growing constantly over the recent years, with the highest growth throughout 2017.

Nonetheless, expanding into international markets is easier said than done. There is a number of different factors, which can directly influence your growth. There may be factors, which even an experienced business owner may not recognize as important in the translation of their documents and which can however have an impact on the brand and company image, consequently, consumer behaviour.

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Website & Marketing translations

In majority of cases, company’s website will be the very first point of contact between the business and the customers, especially within an international environment or foreign market, where business doesn’t have a physical presence, e.g. high street store. Ensuring that your company’s website is translated and localised accurately, can indeed ‘make-or-break’ your expansion plans. Working with a website translation is a difficult task, which involves a number of aspects and factors which must be taken into account. Making sure that your text is accurately translated isn’t the only thing to pay close attention to. Colours, currency and even images used on your website must be localised in order to ensure that the entire content is socially and culturally acceptable in your target market – a number of different aspects can have a direct impact on how your website, and consequently your company, is perceived abroad. When approaching new, international markets, ensuring that your brand image isn’t damaged by a language or localisation error can be especially valuable as your position isn’t yet established and therefore any such error can damage your brand in the eyes of potential customers.

Similarly to translating your website, you must ensure that your other marketing content is carefully translated and localised. Usually, this would include materials such as brochures, leaflets or even business cards. Working with a translation company can guarantee accuracy and careful localisation. Usually, a translation agency which was able to translate your website will also be able to work with other marketing material.

Legal translations

Legal documents, including contracts, terms & conditions, warranties or other legally bounding documents are also an extremely important part for any business to translate, especially if a physical store will be established in the target market. Ensuring that your customers are able to read legal documents and terms & conditions in their native language can save your company problems in the future. In case of legal translations, it’s always a good idea to contact an agency which specialises in legal translation services, such as a London based TS24. Such translation companies have not only the required language knowledge, but also understand the legal differences between countries and are able to fully localise your content, so that it is suitable within a foreign environment.

Turnaround times

Another important factor to keep in mind when working with a translation agency is timeline. Professional translation is not an easy process and requires not only experience and an in-depth language knowledge, but also time and time management. Often, businesses without any previous experience in handling translation projects approach translation companies with very short deadlines and extensive documentation to translate. In order for the translation to be accurate and reliable, you should aim to contact a translation provider as early as possible.

As a rule of thumb, ensure to allocate at least 1 working day per 2,500 – 3,000 words you need translated. Often, translation agencies work around that mark. Nevertheless, translation companies usually do offer faster turnaround times, however the price may increase, and especially for the SMEs, this is something to avoid.

Additionally, a professional translation agency will be able to help you in fully understanding your target market and its audience. From consumer behaviours to explaining how language and socio-cultural factors might influence their purchasing decisions, a TSP (Translation Service Provider) will advise you and your business extensively. In some cases, such company will also be able to not only advise you on your chosen target market, but in fact, advise you what the market of your choice should be.

International expansion is definitely not an easy task. if planned and executed correctly however, it can have a great, positive impact on your business. Factors from professional translations and working with a translation provider to analysing and understanding your market and customers are extremely important in order to succeed. If you have successfully conducted an international business expansion, share with us and let us know what else helped you in succeeding.

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