UK companies are losing out on business because of a lack of language skills and cultural awareness.
Startling but true, however creative or entrepreneurial you might be, your global success will always be limited if you can’t communicate with potential foreign customers.
It’s not all bad news though – if you can adapt to the linguistic diversity of the global marketplace by establishing your business as multilingual, you’ll be in prime positon to reap rewards that include:
- A bigger customer base
Doing business in multiple languages will instantly widen your market, and increase your opportunities in different countries. It’s not just your global market that stands to grow – being able to communicate in more than one language could also help you expand into new domestic markets. What’s more, having a better understanding of local culture, along with up-to-date knowledge of news and events that might impact on business, will help you to win contracts.
- Faster business
Language barriers aren’t just frustrating, they are downright damaging; not only do they slow business down, promote inefficiency and lower productivity, they will inevitably result in lost business. So, imagine the difference it can make when your potential customer or client is able to instantly and effectively communicate with a native speaker from your company… Invest in being able to do business in different languages and you’ll benefit from greater efficiency across complex markets. Plus, if you can conduct your business overseas quickly, accurately and confidently, it will no doubt help to secure more contracts.
- The right reception
Language can be the decider in how customers perceive companies and the services they have to offer – consumers are far more likely to buy from you if you address them in their mother tongue. Fail to acknowledge the importance of multilingualism in business, and language barriers will forever hold your productivity back and affect your ability to take part in bilateral trade. Talk to your customers and clients in their own language (and importantly do it well…!), and you’ll build better relationships, increase your exposure and open up more opportunities for business.
- Targeting high-growth areas
Make the most of new business opportunities in emerging economies. Operate a multilingual business and you could take advantage by targeting countries that are currently experiencing high growth such as Brazil, China and the Middle East. Your ability to communicate in that region’s native language could be crucial for establishing yourself amongst competing businesses – after all, if you had the option to work with a business that could speak your language and one that couldn’t, who would you choose?
- A competitive edge
Though we know that the UK is behind when it comes to multilingual businesses, the rest of the world certainly isn’t – if you fail to invest in communicating in foreign languages, you’re likely to lose your customers to overseas competition. Establishing your business as multilingual will put you ahead of the game here in the UK, and make you more of a contender in the global marketplace.
If you’re looking to communicate in more languages, but aren’t sure of the best way to go about it, just get in touch with our team of linguists here at Sally Walker – we’d be happy to offer our advice on a no-obligation basis.