Whether you run an insurance agency, a retail business, or a consulting firm, you may be looking for ways to expand your target audience. In many parts of the country, this can mean looking beyond those who speak English as a first (or only) language and delving deeper into non-English speaking groups. While translating your promotional materials and hiring bilingual employees or marketers can go a long way toward securing new customers, you'll want to have a solid end goal in mind before you get too far down this path. Read on for a few of the steps you'll want to take when you're considering expanding your business's offerings to non-English-speaking clients and customers.
Survey Your Prospective Customers
One common mistake among businesses that expand their services to other markets is assuming that all client bases have the same needs and desires. Before you begin your expansion, you may want to consider surveying your prospective future customers (or simply analyzing surveys that have already been performed of similar groups or demographics) to see their priorities, their concerns, and how both can best be addressed.
For example, some cultures find the public discussion of money to be the ultimate taboo, which can mean convening a focus group to discuss budget-saving strategies isn't likely to get off the ground. Instead, you'll want to consider other approaches to having these tough and personal money conversations.
Once you've identified any unique challenges you'll face and reframed your approaches to better conform with the culture and norms of your community of prospective customers, you'll be in a far better position to make your business's offerings available.
Seek Out Professional Translation Services
Another common mistake made by those seeking to branch out is using a translating app or an employee who claims to be fluent in a certain language in lieu of professional translation services for website content, marketing materials, and forms. While having translation performed in-house can be a money-saver, you'll often get what you pay for—those who aren't trained in translation or interpretation may use colloquialisms or other language to send a message you may not have intended.
By using professional translators, you'll be able to better adapt your web content to the nuances of a new audience while maintaining a business-like tone. Utilizing those who are trained in business translation can also help your words from being misinterpreted; the many homonyms and homophones present in the English language can often lead to humorous results if not carefully reviewed. For more information, contact a professional business translation company, such as Executive Linguist Agency.