Yes, I’m talking about you, the trendy hat designer in Italy, the artesanal cheesemaker in Ireland, the graphic designer in Poland.
Given the two major economic factors currently driving the marketplace – the increasing globalization of buying and selling and the temporary market downturn – small businesses really only have two choices. One option is to raise your prices and continue to market locally. That obviously sounds more than a bit counterintuitive. The other option is to increase your customer base on a global level and watch your sales grow exponentially.
Whether you are selling products or services, there is no longer any excuse for not taking advantage of the global market. Large companies have been making use of translation and localization services for years now, and there is no reason that small to mid size companies can’t do the same.
It is also easy to do and not that expensive at all. Most reputable translation agencies will have translators who can add whichever languages you wish. In Europe, for example, it is exceptionally profitable to trade within the EU. By simply adding one or several of the predominate languages (such as English, French, Spanish and Italian), almost any small business can reach a surprisingly large number of new customers and clients.
It is a much more cost-efficient marketing technique than continuing to re-up the same old adverts in the same old local papers. What you need now is new customers.
Some small businesses have already been taking advantage of this huge market niche, especially those in Information Technology and, obviously, those in translation and localisation services. It is surprising, however, that so few other business owners have taken this basic step towards increasing their sales.
Depending on the size and complexity of your business, product or service, you may be able to opt for a simple translation of your website, rather than localisation. The latter entails a more in-depth process, involving a careful examination of cultural references and various technical aspects. For the small business owner, the primary advantage of a simple translation is that it is much less costly, generally charged at the usual per word basis as any other translation project.
Another way to cut the costs of this marketing choice is to choose only a few of your webpages for translation. It may be that you only really need, at least for now, to have your homepage, product page and order form translated. This is an ideal way to test the waters, and you can always include the other pages as your cross-country sales increase.
A good http://www.acutetranslations.com/home.aspx into a number of languages, allows the small entrepreneur to compete across a wide range of countries and markets, on an almost level playing field, with much larger and more established businesses.
How else will you ever find out that the chic teenager in Barcelona simply must have your perfect chapeau or that the fabulous restaurateur in Antwerp has been looking for just such a fromage as yours.
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