Written on 1 June, 2023

On 9 May 2023, the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce hosted a webinar as part of their ‘6S for Success’ programme. The webinar, organised in partnership with the Association of Translation Companies (ATC), focused on how to boost export ROI through translation.

The two organisations brought together representatives from the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), and various translation companies to highlight the value translation brings to any export plan. Marya Jabeen, Marketing Manager at Surrey Translation Bureau (STB) was one of the panellists in the webinar.

Boosting export ROI through translation

The event was curated by Jackie Highmore, International Trade Manager at Hampshire Chamber of Commerce.

Jackie commented, “We were very excited to be organising this webinar in partnership with The Association of Translation Companies and working with new companies as well as our old friends from Surrey Translation Services.  Translation is key when looking to grow your presence overseas and is often overlooked and this session reinforced why translation should form part of your export strategy.”

During the webinar, Sarah Bawa Mason, Commercial Collaborations Lead, ATC, introduced the topic by citing results from a recent study that reveal SMEs that make use of language capabilities are 30% more successful in exporting than those who do not. She stressed the need to engage with professional translation agencies to ensure business documents meet legal requirements and cater to the native audience in a foreign market.

Sarah added, “When exporting, translation is an easy win. In some cases it is a legal requirement, but it is always brand-critical risk management. Nine out of ten global users will ignore your product if it is not in their native language. Getting professional advice on the language services and technological solutions you need is a convincing first step in the right direction – these experts can also advise you on how to build language capability within your company.”

John Goldsbrough from the DBT also gave a brief overview of the various benefits available to exporting companies from the government organisation to help them grow oversees. He also echoed Sarah in highlighting the value of local language and cultural awareness.

Along with the representatives of other language services providers (LSPs), Marya emphasised the importance of tailoring company messages to the target audience. Focusing more on the marketing aspect, she stressed that most customers buy from companies that offer product/service information and support in their native language. She further highlighted why businesses should only choose translation agencies that are ISO-certified and have professional affiliations such as those with local chambers, trade organisations and industry associations.

Why translation is important for exporting companies

Listed below are some outcomes of research and studies conducted by various organisations that highlight the need for translation for companies with international customers:

1. According to a study by market research firm CSA Research, 72.4% of consumers are more likely to buy a product with information in their own language. This highlights the importance of language services in reaching international markets and boosting sales for UK exporting companies.

2. Another study by the Department for International Trade found that language barriers are one of the biggest obstacles facing UK companies looking to expand overseas. Using professional language services can help such companies to overcome these barriers and increase their chances of success in international markets.

3. A survey of UK businesses conducted by the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) found that 90% of companies believe that translation services are important for their international success, and 75% say that translation is a key factor in achieving their export goals.

4. The same survey by the ATC found that 40% of UK businesses are already using language services, with 60% planning to increase their use of translation and interpreting services in the next 12 months.

5. The UK language services industry is growing rapidly, with the size of the market in the UK estimated to be between GBP 1.5 and 1.7 billion in 2021. This is up from the estimated GBP 1.35 billion in 2019. This reflects the increasing demand for language services from UK businesses looking to expand into international markets.

Language services can also help UK exporting companies comply with regulations and legal requirements in foreign markets. A mistake in translation or interpretation could result in costly legal penalties or damage to a company’s reputation, making the use of professional language services essential.

Overall, these statistics show that language services are an essential tool for UK exporting companies looking to succeed in international markets, and demonstrate the growing demand for these services in the UK.

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce: 6S for Success

The ‘6S for Success’ event was part of a new programme led by Hampshire Chamber to showcase best practice from their members and network organisations. The 6S for Success series focuses on Security, Social, Strategy, Sustainability, Skills and Sales, and offers engaging enterprise support to help SMEs succeed and thrive.

Association of Translation Companies

The Association of Translation Companies (ATC) is a professional membership association representing the interests of language service companies in the UK and internationally.

Surrey Translation Bureau

Surrey Translation Bureau (STB) is an award-winning ISO-certified translation agency in Farnham, UK. STB offers language services to corporates, professional organisations, public bodies, individuals and other translation agencies. We have experience translating across almost all world languages.

STB’s mission today is to provide high-quality and customised language solutions for any clients – whatever their size – who want to thrive in the dynamic global market or who simply want to communicate more effectively with their customers and suppliers overseas.

Get in touch to find out how we can help you with your translation needs.

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