SME internationalisation and translation: Do you cover all markets?

SME internationalisation and translation should go hand in hand. Is your company unable to reach some markets, perhaps you are neglecting such essential factors as a good translation carried out by professionals? What about brand language or web positioning?

Many SMEs are not aware how important linguistic and cultural aspects are in their internationalisation process. Taking care of product quality and design is a must, but it is also crucial to communicate correctly in the language and culture of your potential customers.

The internationalisation of SMEs: companies that started out as family businesses

It is estimated that 89% of American companies started out as small family businesses. It was a business that was run by parents, their children and/or siblings.

To think about company internationalisation may not have been the first option when starting to do business. However, it is what would make growth possible by diversifying markets.

In many cases, these small companies, which had their headquarters in a workshop of barely 100 m², often find themselves 40 years later in premises of 40,000 m², with 500 employees and exporting to more than 50 countries.


What role do translation services play in SME internationalisation?

Who doesn’t like to go to buy a product or service and be spoken to in their own language?

Whether it’s someone who buys a simple pen at the stationery shop on the corner or someone who imports three containers of Spanish oranges from Malaysia.

We are all more alike than we think. What do you think when you enter a website where everything seems to have been translated by machine translation?

This is exactly why you will not make a good impression on your potential clients if you do not translate your website, service catalogue, corporate dossier or product instructions correctly and in a way that considers your clients’ culture.


Barriers to SME internationalisation

Precisely, there are many barriers to SME internationalisation such as investing in machinery, facilities, marketing, in hiring great foreign trade professionals (who also speak different languages). But also, international events to show their customers that they are the company they want to trust!

However, the most important barrier to SME internationalisation is, without any doubt, the brand language. SMEs must ensure that their tone of voice is properly translated into the market language where we want to sell products or services.

And even if we go beyond customers, language is still essential. A good way for an SME to grow abroad is to look for investors from other places. Naturally, you should also have your pitch deck prepared in their language, through a quality translation services.


What will make your SME truly successful in international markets?

Don’t be fooled, selling outside the US nowadays is no easy task, although it is not as complicated as it was 70 years ago. Don’t panic!

We can aspire to be a benchmark brand in any country we set our sights on. For this, both brand language (in a specific language) and international web positioning (yes, we are talking about SEO translation) are essential.

About the author

Oscar Nogueras

Es el CEO de Ontranslation y dedica algunos ratos libres a escribir en este blog para compartir sus conocimientos sobre internacionalización, cross-border ecommerce y Traducción SEO. No es para menos, ya que entre su formación cuenta con una licenciatura en filología inglesa, un máster en tradumática, un posgrado en elearning y un MBA. En definitiva, una declaración de intenciones donde la cultura y los idiomas se sirven mezclados, no agitados.

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