Translation Strategies to Grow your Business
Asking a translator for advice on how to grow your business seems absurd, right?
I mean, mechanics rarely advise surgeons on how to perform heart transplants and it’s unlikely that an economist is going to instruct a pilot on how land an airplane. Likewise, it’s improbable that as a business owner you’re going to come to us, translators, for strategies on how to grow your business.
However, as professionals in the world of translation we CAN tell you about the importance of quality translations and why it’s one of the best moves you can make for expanding your company.
If you aspire to grow your business and break into new markets, you need to translate your website.
As I’m sure you already know, in this day and age having a website is essential for a successful business. It’s the center of your online presence and a multi-faceted tool for things such as sales, marketing, and providing contact and customer service information. In fact, we’re seeing more and more companies that operate solely online, which means that their website IS their business.
Most importantly, a website provides credibility.
In regards to market expansion, new markets imply new languages. And if you want to effectively communicate with the people in the target market, you have to speak their language. Therefore, it’s logical that something as important as your website deserves the best translation possible.
“A quality translation is an investment.”
Like anything that’s quality, it comes with a price. Which is why business owners often opt for cheap alternatives such as:
The company secretary who studied abroad for a semester in France…5 years ago
Your cousin Fred who spent last summer on the beach in Mexico
Your friend who has a pen pal in Germany
Google Translate or other machine translation services*
Having knowledge of two languages doesn’t necessarily make you a translator. So, entrusting your translation to someone that’s not a professional will give you results that won’t meet your expectations.
While at first glance the above options seem like good low-cost alternatives, the reality is that a quality translation will actually cost you less in both time and money than a cheap one. In fact, you’ll end up with more of both, which you can invest in other strategies to help grow your business.
Let’s break down why:
Your reputation is at stake:
Whatever content you put on your website, or anywhere else for that matter, reflects on your business. Consequently, a poor translation will undermine your credibility and tarnish your image as a professional company.
Potential clients won’t take you seriously because it appears that you don’t value them enough to speak to them (well) in their own language.
However, with a professionally translated website, you get the opposite effect. It demonstrates that you value the customers in the target market and that your company knows the importance of doing things properly the first time.
It’s like learning a language before you travel to another country rather than expecting the locals to know yours. Everyone will appreciate the effort!
Business opportunities out the window:
If potential customers perceive your business as unreliable or unprofessional, they’ll be hesitant to buy your products or hire your services and more likely to research other options.
If someone has to think twice about your product or service, you’re losing business.
On the other hand, a professionally translated website will make customers feel like they’re buying from a local source. Trust is more easily built upon familiarity. In the long run, it helps you create a lasting bond of trust between your brand and the customer. Gaining loyal customers is a surefire way to grow your business.
Paying twice is not so nice:
By opting for the cheap route, you now have a subpar product that leaves much to be desired. But you’ve spent money, regardless of how little it was, on a translation that’s doing more harm than good. Now you’ve got to spend more to fix it.
That’s similar to paying your neighbor for a haircut because he owns a pair of scissors and only charges $5 and then having to go to a barber to get it recut when he botches the job.
You may spend more money initially, but you’ll reap the benefits immediately; a well translated website will begin to earn that money back as soon as it goes live.
Time is money:
Perhaps you also opted for a faster route to meet deadlines for a campaign launch, a meeting with a potential business partner, or an important conference in your sector. Whatever the reason, a hasty translation will produce mediocre results. You’ll need to fix it if you don’t want your efforts to be in vain.
Not only have you lost the initial time invested, but also however long it takes to redo it. Moreover, during that time you continue risking the aforementioned problems.
Although it may take longer on the front end, the time you’ll save on the back end can be used to focus on other important aspects of the expansion process.
What can we conclude from all of this?
I don’t think we need to hire the economist I mentioned in the beginning to perform a cost-benefit analysis to see that if you want to grow your business, a professionally translated website is the most effective way to get your message across in new markets.
A professional translation goes a long way, like a quality pair of leather shoes. A cheap one, however, will leave you barefoot with blisters halfway down the road.
So, if you’re thinking about taking my advice and translating your website, but you’re not sure where to begin, send us an email, we’d be glad to help!
Whatever sector you’re in, we can connect you with someone specialized in the subject-matter that can capture and reproduce your company’s tone and message.
As translators, we work with more than just languages and words, we work with people and cultures. So stay tuned for our next article on the importance of transcreation.
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