The benefits of expanding a business internationally can be tremendous. If you can penetrate a new market, you can boost your revenue. You can also expand your talent pool, attracting new workers that bring fresh ideas to your company.
Expansion gives you the chance to offer solutions to millions of new customers. The prospect of changing many lives is exciting. Going global can also open doors to new investment opportunities.
However, you also need to understand the risks of entering a foreign market. They include political uncertainty, currency fluctuations, and local corruption. You will need to ensure you are not overestimating the potential of a new market, or overlooking the nuances of local infrastructure.
The advantages of localization of products
Also on the list of things to consider when expanding a business internationally is your plan for localization. To localize a product is to go beyond simply offering it to those in different regions. True localization entails adapting your products and services to your audience’s needs in a culturally sensitive way that fits with local market conditions.
Key considerations to keep in mind prior to and during the localization process:
When localizing your business, making localization of website, translation should be your first priority. You will need to recruit a professional translator to produce website and marketing copy that fits the linguistic and cultural preferences of your target audience. To avoid causing offence or confusion, hire a translator with in-depth knowledge of the region. For example, if it's Portugal, make sure you order services from the best Portuguese translation company. Make sure you produce translation of technical documents, user manuals and technical information. Customers will quickly become frustrated if they cannot work out how to operate a product.
2. Market research
Never release a product without conducting thorough market research. Do not assume that a product will be well-received just because it is popular in your home country. Consult with local market researchers and industry experts when putting together your expansion plan. This could save you a considerable amount of time and money in the long run.
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Even seemingly trivial matters can make a big difference to your sales figures. For example, the number 4 has negative associations in Japan, so locals may be reluctant to buy items that come in packets of four. Depending on cultural associations, you may need to adapt your product names, colors, or even logo. Conduct focus groups with your intended audience; they may alert you to problems you would not have identified on your own.
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You must ensure your products and services comply with local legislation. For instance, if you are selling electrical items, you will incur fines or even a prison sentence if you fail to meet local health and safety standards. If in doubt, consult with a legal expert. If you are selling packaged goods, you will also need to abide by local labeling laws.
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4. Customer service
You need to consider how you will support customers in your new market. For example, if they buy a product and it stops working, will they be able to contact you online, by telephone, or both? If they need to send an item back for a refund, who will oversee the process? You may need to hire local customer service representatives who can respond to any concerns. Depending on the nature of your business, these employees may require in-depth training.
Expanding your business to other countries requires a lot of hard work. Fortunately, you can outsource tasks, including project management and translation, to specialist services who can make sure the localization process runs smoothly. Managing and promoting growth is a major challenge for businesses of all sizes, but with the right approach and support, you can look forward to a period of exciting change and development.
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