Global Lingo Blog

Helping UK SMEs to make it into foreign markets

In a context of increasing global competition, language skills are becoming crucial. Small businesses need to be agile in order to explore international opportunities. According to a survey conducted by Barclays last year, businesses that export grow by almost a third in just two years. Here are more of their findings:

  • Almost a third (29%) of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) see a positive impact on their bottom line within just six months of expanding into international markets.
  • The impact of the move into international markets has surprised many small businesses, with 54% saying this level of growth exceeded their expectations.
  • 48% of small businesses who export saw an increase in their sales over the last two years, compared to just 30% of businesses who have remained solely within the UK market.
  • An average of 336,000 more people are being employed across the UK as a result of businesses exporting or selling to overseas customers.
  • Businesses who have been exporting for more than three years plan on expanding to countries including Hong Kong, India, China and Australia.

Localisation is important when entering another market

Differences in language and culture are undoubtedly important factors of failure in foreign markets. Take Wal-Mart for example. When they opened a chain in Germany, they didn’t consider that the Germans could be different to Americans. They made the huge mistake of forcing a business model onto a country’s market just because it worked well in another country. The result: there is now no Wal-Mart in Germany. Overlooking localisation in a marketing plan will have negative consequences on the business, big or small.

Professional localisation services

As a UK based translation and localisation company, Global Lingo is helping small firms take their first steps into foreign markets. In the UK, we offer translation services in London and Leeds, but we can cover all the country and numerous others thanks to our network of over 6,000 translators based all over the world.

Professional translation pays for itself by ensuring that businesses portray their brands, services and products accurately in foreign languages. We often receive requests for the translation of website and marketing materials which, if the company is successful, are usually followed by requests for the translation of legal documents.

We are receiving lots of requests for languages used in emerging markets, including Latin American Spanish, Russian and, of course, Chinese. That said, European languages, such as French, Italian, German and Spanish, are still in high demand.

Richard Michie, Marketing and Operations Director

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