Valentine’s Day is nearly here which means couples are busy getting ready to exchange romantic gifts (except the ones of you that forgot and are now on the last minute having to rush to nearest shop for an overpriced Valentine’s Day card). Everyone deserves a bit of love today and your business is no exception! Rumour has it there’s an LSP (language service provider) nearby that could be the perfect match if you’re looking to expand your business internationally. Be careful though, we don’t want your business to be left heartbroken because it was too hasty and partnered up with the LSP when it wasn’t ready. So, have a look below to see what things your business needs to do before investing in translation or other language services… 1. Have an international strategy Before you invest in translation you need to have a clear international business strategy. You should have identified clear, realistic goals and objectives that you want to achieve in your existing and future market. Once your strategy has been created, you need think about how translation will help you achieve your goals and objectives, as well as researching what your priorities are in regards to translation whether that be getting your website translated first for example. These priorities need to be clearly outlined and you should take into consideration which translations are going to bring the most value to your business. If you’re selling a service then it would be wise to say your website translation should be a top priority, but if you’re selling a physical product to sell in stores then your product descriptions might be more important for you to get translated first. 2. Create a strong, adaptable brand After you’ve clearly outlined what your strategy is for your market, you need to be confident that you have strong brand. Having a strong brand is crucial for succeeding in international markets as it promotes recognition and sets you apart from your competitors. A strong brand doesn’t mean you have to be known by everyone in your current market (even though that would be great), it might just mean your business has a clear personality, with defined values and a unique culture. Company colours, logos, slogans, values and culture all contribute to building a unique brand and once you have fully established what your brand stands for, and what your USPs are, your brand will have a better chance at succeeding in international markets! However, don’t be fooled that your brand will be just as successful in foreign markets as it is in your domestic one. Different countries have different cultures which means that your brand may have to be adapted to be suitable for that market. This doesn’t mean you have to change your entire brand for every market that you enter, it just means that you need do your research and make sure that your brand fits in with the market culture, before you offend your new consumers. 3. Do the research You’ve created a strategy and you have a strong brand that fits in well within your domestic market and your international one, now what? Well now you need to do some research into what value translation is going to bring to your business as well as looking into your budget and timescale. You need to know how investing in translation is going to help you achieve your international goals and objectives, rather than just investing in translation because it’s the ‘done’ thing. By doing a sufficient amount of research into what types of translation you are going to need, whether that be localisation or transcreation, then you have a better chance of your investment in translation being returned to you. There is no point getting every piece of content translated immediately unless you are certain there is a need to do so. Likewise, you need to be sure that you choose the right languages for your translation and that these languages are then localised to fit your target market. It’s not good enough for you to just get your website translated into Spanish if you’re expanding into the Mexican market. You need to partner up with an LSP that provides localisation as part of their translation service so that the language being used sounds professional whilst also matching the language used locally in that market. Investing in translation is a big step for any business who’s looking to expand internationally, but you aren’t alone. Our friendly teams are here to support you through the process and offer you advice on all of your language needs. So, do you think your business is ready to commit to an LSP? Start your relationship with Language Insight today!