Running a business is never an easy venture – it requires patience and careful planning as well as a flawless execution of the said plan. Especially in today’s globalized and competitive world, regardless of the sector you specialize in, companies and business owners must go the extra mile in order to stand out from the crowd and attract new potential customers.
One of the key aspects which gained in popularity tremendously over the last decade are tailored and personalized marketing campaigns and ultra-targeted messages. As a result, a growing number of organizations see the true importance of the correct use of language. Indeed, approaching new markets in the country’s native language is today nothing short of essential.
Consequently, agencies offering professional translation services have become important business partners for a wide range of corporations – from marketing agencies to law & financial firms as well as commerce brands.
The importance of languages in business can be easily explained by some of the recent studies which show, that over 90% of consumers prefer to read information about a product/service in their mother tongue while more than 50% of them feel more inclined to making a purchase. It’s also important to notice, that 1 in 5 customers asked said they are not willing to buy a product if they cannot find the appropriate information about it in their native language. For a company which approaches a new, foreign market, the loss of 20% of the potential revenue at the very start of their journey can be catastrophic.
What documents and materials should my business translate?
Although the question might seem somewhat straightforward at first, it is in fact quite complex and requires a very structured approach. Bearing in mind that translation services would have to be incorporated into the company’s annual budget, particularly true for SMEs, the type of documents and materials they should translate really depends on several different factors, such as the market and audience they wish to target, their specific business sector or the way the company sell their products – e.g. online or in-store.
One of the first and perhaps most important materials you should consider translating, regardless of whether you’re an SME or a larger business, is the company’s website. As your little corner on the internet will in most cases be the initial point of contact between your organization and a potential customer, it’s essential to create a long-lasting, positive impression. By translating your online content, you’ll be able to approach the visitor in their native language and as a result generate a good and professional brand image, which can be crucial within a new, foreign market.
If your company intends or plans to have a physical location in the chosen market, in addition to translating your company’s website, it can also be very advantageous to translate other marketing materials such as brochures, leaflets or even business cards. By doing this you’ll ensure that not only your customers, but also potential business partners will be able to fully understand what your business represents.
Although translating marketing materials will directly help you in acquiring new customers and consequently increasing the revenue, it can in some cases be equally important to ensure that your legal documents are also available in the country’s native language.
By allow customers and business partners to read contracts, terms & conditions or warranties in their native language, you can easily eliminate some potential legal problems which might arise down the line. In fact, it is compulsory in some countries to provide such documents in the market’s official language.
How to find a translation provider?
Finding a specialist translations provider which will not only be able to cover your required language pairs, but also specializes in your particular business sector, can be a very challenging and time-consuming task.
The two of the most popular options for companies wanting to translate their content and documents are either working with a freelance linguist or working directly with a professional translation agency. Each of these options has its own drawbacks and benefits, and each works best in different circumstances.
For smaller projects and businesses with a limited budget, working with a professional freelance linguist might be the best choice, as this solution is usually slightly cheaper than working with an agency. It is however important to bear in mind, that freelance translators might be somewhat more difficulty to monitor when it comes to turnaround times and accuracy. It would also be extremely time-consuming if you wish to translate different types of content into more than one language, as this would mean that you will have to find a different linguist separately for each of your target languages and types of material.
Working with a professional translation agency, on the other hand, although can be more expensive, at the same time gives more reassurance in terms of delivery and reliability – especially if you choose to work with one of the more established providers. It is also much easier to complete larger projects which require several languages or have a mixture of materials, e.g. marketing and legal, as the agency will take care of covering all these aspects on their side.
In order to find a reliable translation provider, you should take your time and look around to get a good understanding of the sector, pricing structures etc. Whether it’s a freelance linguist or a translation agency, it’s important to ensure that their pricing suits your budget and that they have the experience necessary to cover your materials. Reading reviews, looking at the list of previous customers or asking for a sample translation is a great place to start.
There are quite a few translation providers which stand out when it comes to their expertise, pricing and accuracy. Translation agencies such as Translation Services 24, Language Experts UK or Lingo London or are only some of the top companies we highly recommend approaching with your translation needs. Additionally, websites such as ‘Clutch’ allow you to search for professional translation agencies and read their reviews instantly.
If you decide to work with a freelance linguist, we recommend websites such as Proz or the Institute of Translation and Interpreting where you can easily find individual providers to suit your needs.
Are translations actually worth it?
In today’s globalized world, translation services are no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Although global trends are often similar across different countries, consumers understand their uniqueness and so approaching them in their native language is key if you wish to build a long-lasting, positive impression and a good brand image.
Although translating your content or document will have to be incorporated into the annual budget, especially for larger projects, working with a professional agency will allow you to ensure that your company is ready to approach foreign markets and that your brand will be completely understood by the target audience.