Key Advantages of Businesses in Multilingual Markets

This day and age has seen the rise of a new type of small business, the micro-multinational. The internet and globalization have opened up a lot of possibilities for local businesses to expand their reach to cover a larger geographical area. Going global is no longer the sole purview of the “big boys.” There is an issue, however, facing all companies eyeing the global stage – the language barrier.

The role of language in extending geographical reach

Just outside the borders of the U.S., for example, you encounter two other major languages, French (in Canada) and Spanish (in Central and South America). Reaching geographically towards these countries is logistically very feasible. But, and it’s a big but, reaching out linguistically is another matter altogether.

You may have people who already speak French or Spanish. These people, though, will probably still be homegrown Americans with an American mindset reflecting an American “meaning” underlying their use of these languages. This difference in “meaning” that underlies usage can potentially cause damaging miscommunication that lead to damaging misunderstanding. The result, instead of opening a door, you are closing it.

On the other hand, culturally appropriate communication sends an entirely different subliminal message. It says to your would-be customer that you care enough to go to the trouble. It says you care enough that you are willing to spend resources to be clearly understood. It says you want to talk to them on their terms, not just yours, in a meeting of the minds.

Breaking the language barrier is not an overnight thing

Getting your message across cannot be done “overnight” through simple, straightforward translation. It is a process, which has to be repeated with each local culture and local language or dialect you are pointing your business at.

You either hire someone who knows both your culture and the target culture from the point of view of a native, or you could get a proven third-party expert in this field, such as Multilingual Connections. The next step would be to tailor your company’s branding, message and image so it “translates” accurately into the local culture and language. This means the words and the portrayal may appear different but the core and the intent is a mirror of yours in your language and culture.

Then comes another critical juncture, key personnel need to be trained in the quirks of the target language and the local culture using it. This knowledge should also be allowed to gradually seep in into your whole table of organization. If you have a satellite infrastructure or organization already in place in your target market, they need to mirror that process but with your culture and your language as the subject of internal education.

Language is a key differentiator

Reaching beyond America’s borders has never been more possible than it is today. However, extending your geographical reach effectively means addressing the language barrier effectively, too. It is a major long-term investment that entails the participation of everyone in your organization, especially for key people and the rest to some extent or another as you might deem necessary. It will ultimately differentiate you from your competition. Just imagine all the other little things clear communication brings with it.

As marketers in a digital world looking to reach a global market, the fact is that a large portion of your international audience does not speak English, and many of those who do are still not looking for content in English but rather in their own native languages. Offering your content in the languages you are targeting, as part of your international marketing efforts, will translate far beyond just delivering a larger volume of international visits: It will also help develop closer, more engaging relationships with your customers and drive greater direct business results.

At MI Translations, our commitment to our customers is as unwavering as our dedication to providing accurate, precise translation services. We have been able to distinguish ourselves because of our team and the processes we employ to guide our work.

Change Your Business Practices to Suit Your New Cloud ERP Software

Many businesses love their old software and do not want to change them.

They buy a cheap Accounting or an ERP software that meets their business requirements when they were making USD 1M. Now they want to use the same and make it run as the business has grown to US$10M. As their business need changes to meet Sales demands or CRM needs, they buy additional software and spend huge money to integrate the new technologies to their old Software. Because they are not able to see the future growth and do not purchase a FUTURE ready ERP software.

The challenge they do not understand is, they spend huge amount of money to run the old software, they keep IT personal to run and manage their hardware and server etc. This would lead to loss of business opportunity as the old solutions are not integrated together affecting customer services.

Recently as part of our cloud ERP software sales, we met a US$100 million manufacturing company in India. During our discussions with the company management, we were sure that they are interested to go for a Cloud ERP Solutions. But the challenge was “can we customize the product to suit their business practices and needs?”.

This means, management wanted to retain and follow their 30 year old practices where they manually check the data, numbers even after these are generated from their current stand alone ERP. They wanted controls and approval at every stage of documentations.

They were in dilemma, because their business had expanded and had operations in 3 large locations. But they wanted to continue with old practices as they are afraid that their “Old workforce” can’t manage the pressure. They don’t want to change the legacy of the company Founder too.

It gave us an opportunity to think what is happening here and our findings were as below.

1. Old practice: When the Founder started the business, he wanted to control every document movements and approved by him. It is OK as that time where the taxation rules were stringent, getting bank loan was difficult and Information / trade secret should be kept under wrapped. But as the business grown they added more people to do the manual document preparation and built “verification layers”, but didn’t automate the process and remove the old practices.

2. Fear of Unknown: Many senior employees worked as assistants to the Founder and gained his confidence and were promoted. The loyalty and “fear of unknown” didn’t allow them to change the old practices. They followed “Boss is always right” model.

3. Don’t fix anything unless it is broken: They didn’t make any attempt to know what is happening around the world and they didn’t trust anyone. This was the problem as they never sought after some of the best practices around the industry and made an attempt to practice and follow. They have an ISO9000 certificate, as it was essential to get the large company orders. They strongly believed that they follow a “World class practice”.

4. Resources Cost is cheap, but now it is affecting the organization as the current Workforce did not follow the level of commitment and loyalty that was exhibited by senior employees.

5. New generation is looking to change the current practice, but are overruled by their parents who are more “experienced”. So many young generations are forced to follow the old practices, as the senior workers never listen to them.

6. Data duplicity and entries were high as their current system is a combination of multiple solutions that are decentralised.

7. Founders and their family could not penalise the old workers even though they miss the deadlines or missing the compliance rules as they were loyal to business and had grown with the business.

After analysing the above, we suggested the following with justifications. Because it is essential to be empathic to customer needs and see how can we help them?

“We are happy to customize the ERP to suit your needs. But, before doing it, you should run our ERP “as it is” for 6 months. Post that we will take a decision on the next steps to follow”.

We justified this on why they should go for automation of an ERP and not to customize it to follow their old practice with below points.

1. A world class ERP solution brings some of the best practices used across the world. This could help them to improve the productivity, reduce wastage and improve inventory movements.

2. Cloud ERP brings in process automation, control and meets compliance needs as it is. No more last moment run and miss the compliance deadlines and pay a penalty.

3. It reduces the chaos and simplifies the process.

4. It brings in clarity to the process and Business Owners can see the right details at right time.

5. Competition is increasing day by day and Businesses need to be ready with right process to win the customers. Customers are the decision makers now as the information is freely available to everyone.

6. Government Rules and regulation have become stringent. Every county is co-operating with each other to find tax evaders. So it is not advisable to keep the Oral records or miss the bookkeeping.

7. Just because they are following a process for many years doesn’t mean it is correct now.