The reality of international expansion for any company is that the strategies developed for one country may be ineffective in another. The millions of people in untapped markets all over the world may in fact represent future customers, but there are unique and numerous obstacles presented by each distinct cultural group. Specific local knowledge is required, and that means you need on-site specialists.
“Look at the highest performing companies in your industry,” Forbes Magazine author Josh Bershin paraphrases global economist Pankj Ghemawat.* “They operate globally but in a local way. Success is driven by speed, agility, and optimizing your business for local markets.”
This suggests close study of the day-to-day lives, culture and consumer needs of a country’s people and awareness of their differences from people you have already marketed to elsewhere on the globe. Communication with them in their language will be both the first challenge and the first opportunity to begin identifying and bridging the inevitable gaps.
Seeking a language service provider (LSP), you have options that include companies centrally based somewhere who rely on long-distance contacts with scattered translators and other vendors; or you have the more unusual option of a company like Skrivanek who has built a network of 45 offices on-site in 17 countries. The advantages of the local vendor management that is possible for Skrivanek with such an extensive global-local network are numerous, and the overall result is generally a far more efficient and cost-effective success for your company.
On-site Skrivanek staff work with your target country’s local translators, interpreters, subject matter specialists, software technicians, governments – any support you require — to provide teams of professionals and solutions for your language needs that companies without local branches cannot possibly develop. Furthermore, these professionals are known and regular tested during the course of long-term working relationships with Skrivanek – an importance advantage over the last minute acquisitions of freelancers that companies without a local presence must rely on. Every stage of your project’s local management, from acquisition of the best linguists for your job to the final on-site quality assurance, ensures a level of quality impossible to achieve from a distance.
* a central theme of Ghemawat’s 2013 book World 3.0