How language services can help your firm thrive after Brexit
Brexit has been the source of a lot of uncertainty and concern in the UK since the country voted to leave the European Union on June 23rd 2016.
Many questions remain unanswered, and lots of private companies are still in the dark about what the commercial landscape will look like after Britain fully withdraws from the EU, particularly where international trading is concerned.
Amid all this uncertainty, the firms that are most proactive and positive in their growth strategies could be the best placed to grow and succeed on the global stage.
If your business is determined to take full advantage of the international opportunities that could arise after Brexit, success could depend on how effectively you use language to convey your brand message and engage with local customers.
Many discussions about Brexit and its potential consequences for British businesses have taken on a fairly negative tone, largely because there is still so much uncertainty about the specifics of the withdrawal agreement and the reality of trading after Brexit.
However, firms looking to the future with confidence will be focused on the opportunities that could materialise – both within Europe and further afield – when Britain is no longer a member of the EU.
A recent survey by industry association Maritime UK, whose members facilitate 95 per cent of UK trade, suggested that many companies feel optimistic about international trade prospects after Brexit.
Nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of the 507 business leaders questioned had seen an increase in exports since the Brexit vote.
The study also highlighted the common view that withdrawing from the EU will provide opportunities to increase international trade.
David Dingle, chairman of Maritime UK, said while there are fears about a 'no-deal' Brexit, many businesses are excited by prospects for future trading.
Ben Murray, director of the industry group, said: "Whilst it is critical that we get the right kind of deal with the EU as soon as possible, we should celebrate our business leaders recognising the opportunity for Britain to renew its role as a global trading, maritime nation.
"Whether that's increased trade with Europe or elsewhere, the prize is the same. More trade equals greater prosperity for the UK and our trading partners."
Room to grow
One of the most exciting and potentially lucrative avenues open to companies expanding overseas is moving into developing nations that offer scope for growth and profitability.
Regions such as the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Latin America, for example, are home to emerging economies where businesses could find more opportunity than in the well-established, often saturated markets of Western Europe.
One industry that provides clear evidence of this trend is ecommerce.
The High-Growth Markets Report 2018 from e-payments firm PPRO identified Indonesia as the fastest-growing ecommerce market this year, with an annual expansion rate of 78 per cent. Mexico (59 per cent) was in second place, while the Philippines (51 per cent), United Arab Emirates (33 per cent), India (27 per cent) and Malaysia (26 per cent) also featured in the top ten.
Simon Black, chief executive of PPRO Group, said there are currently "lots of exciting opportunities for retailers to attract new international customers".
If your business has plans to venture beyond Europe after Brexit on a quest for global success, there will be many challenges to overcome along the way. One of your key priorities should be navigating a world of huge linguistic complexity and using language in the most effective way to build your brand.
Preparing to succeed
The Romance and Germanic languages – most notably Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, English and German – dominate the Western world, but there is huge diversity to be found in regions offering some of the strongest potential for business growth, such as the Middle East, South Asia and the Asia-Pacific.
Commonly used languages in these parts of the world can differ greatly from their Western counterparts in underlying structure and fundamentals.
Furthermore, every country has its own unique cultural expectations, norms and characteristics, and it's important for businesses to understand these if they want to establish a brand presence and build relationships with local customers.
By leveraging the knowledge and expertise of translators who are native to the country you are entering, your firm can communicate in a way that feels natural and appropriate to your target audience.
Techniques such as localisation also help to ensure every element of your marketing is culturally relevant, whether it's language, imagery or use of colour.
If your business makes the right preparations, invests in beneficial services and takes a positive attitude to international growth post-Brexit, a world of opportunity awaits.
Image: guirong hao via iStock