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Chris Bell

Pointers to Consider when Expanding Your Business Globally



I’ll tell you just how much of an eye-opening experience it is to run a web search of your business’s online presence from somewhere else across the globe, whether you’re going directly to your website or if you’re trying to see how it fares by searching for it through some key terms and phrases referenced. For instance, how does the content of your site translate if you search for a cached version of it via the Chrome browser with the language settings set to the locale you’re in?

Seeing how your site is auto-translated into a language like Thai and then back again appears to be the stuff of some nightmares you might have as a business owner, especially if yours is an outright online business. A task such as translating your website professionally will probably reveal itself to you as a matter of urgency, but this just makes for one of the many pointers to consider if you harbour any ambitions of expanding your business well beyond the local market and taking it global.

  • Make sure your first point of contact (your website) conveys your message clearly, making use of professional translation services if required
  • Get the full measure of what you need to do in order to scale your business up or down so that you still make a profit in the local market you’re entering into
  • Treat each local market you’re entering into globally as its own, separate entity, otherwise if you spread your supply-chain processes out to thinly, one component going wrong in the chain could bring the entire operation to a halt

Re-visiting the associated translation requirements

We’ve already discussed how your initial point of contact with prospects from abroad will be your website and the associated need to have it translated in a way that makes sense and is not offensive to the local market, but in order to really sink your teeth into certain local markets you’ll need to have the services of a quality translation agency deployed on a deeper level. Sure, there are certain instances of businesses operating in some industries in which you can get away with what are some loosely translated messages, directions and even instructions, but you can only go so far with that.

For instance, if you’re operating a restaurant in Southeast Asia and it’s made to appear as a local establishment, misspelt items on the menu won’t make any difference at all to the bottom line, but if you’re running a fine-dining establishment back home then these little things matter. When “these things” really matter most to the point of being critical is if your business deals with something like civil engineering and the likes, where things have to be up to a certain standard so as to avoid very serious consequences such as fatalities and mass injuries.

On the most fundamental of levels, you just have to make sure what you’re offering as a proposed solution you want to deliver makes sense and actually works. One misrepresented word or sentence could change the meaning of a key component or procedure drastically.