Starting a new business is an exciting experience. You probably have a million and one ideas that you would like to try out and lots of strategies for growing your business to great heights. That being said, not many business owners take the communication aspect of business growth as seriously as they should. And yet, its importance can hardly be overstated.
As a business owner, you should think seriously about how you’re going to strengthen your communication and language skills, whether you’ll be doing that by taking a business language course or language training in a foreign language. With the right communication and language skills, you will be able to more clearly convey the message of your company and make your brand identity more solid.
So why should you care so much about language skills and how can they make all the difference in the way you run and grow your business? Here are 5 reasons why business skills matter.
It can help you expand your business geographically
Sure, your business can survive locally based off of your English language skills alone. After all, you’re in your home turf and you know how to communicate with people in your hometown. However, for your business to be greater, you will have to expand eventually. You might start by spreading to other areas in the country and then eventually move across borders. At this point, language will start to be a very important factor to consider.
If you’re thinking you just need to know English to conduct business internationally, then you’re not the only one. English is, after all, the lingua franca of many areas of the world and being able to speak fluent English gives you quite an advantage over non-English speakers. However, this is only true up to a point.
If you really want to capture a market in a new country, it is imperative that you know the local language. It’s good to know English, but this won’t be enough when you’re trying to understand what makes the market tick or figure out what you need to set up your business. The paperwork needed to establish your business alone might not even be in English.
It doesn’t end there, though. There is also the little matter of the company message. While conveying it in English is okay, you should also be able to convey it in the local language. As is the case with dissertation services, sometimes in language matters it is best to leave things to the professionals. Contracting a reliable translation agency to localize your message and content in the local language is far more effective than merely communicating in English. Your audience will gain a clearer understanding and you will be convey the image of a respectful, professional, and trustworthy business. It is important for your business that the local market sees these qualities in you if they are to purchase your products or services.
It helps you win clients
This works when you build in-house language skills. If you operate on an international level, not all of your clients will speak fantastic English. Some of them will be at their most comfortable conversing in their native languages. So how do you meet them in the middle and talk to them in a language that they understand? You hire employees who speak their language.
Having a diverse workforce isn’t just about having a diversity of ideas; it’s also about being able to deal with diversity in your clients. If many of your clients are Japanese, then it helps to have a fluent speaker of Japanese in the team. The same works for just about every other language.
You can start looking for native speakers who are otherwise qualified to work for your business or you can hire someone who is already qualified and has the passion to learn and invest in their language training.
Either way, multilingual employees are invaluable when it comes to winning clients for your business. It also helps when you’re trying to pitch for new contracts or even trying to convey your ideas in a new language without losing the original meaning or humor.
It leaves your customers more satisfied and loyal
You probably already know how important it is to be able to communicate effectively with your customers. If you’re running your business in your native country, then you probably already work hard to avoid misunderstandings with your customers and try to make them feel important and appreciated. That way, they leave your business satisfied and will want to come again some other day.
The same principle works when you’re in a foreign country. Being able to communicate effectively in the customer’s service is often what will set your business apart from other foreign businesses. It leaves your clients assured that all of their needs will be adequately met.
Once a customer leaves your business satisfied, they will want to come again and again. That is customer loyalty directly as a result of good communication. Moreover, the customer will want to recommend your business to whomever they can; friends, family, colleagues, etc. By making your customer happy, you will be keeping them and gaining many more in the process.
It helps you understand your customers’ culture
Learning a new language is not just about learning the language for its own sake. It’s also about learning the culture of the people. Just as English-speaking countries around the world have their own idioms, metaphors, cultures and cultural faux pas around the world, so too do other countries. If you saw a business in your home town that seemed to infuse the local culture into their advertising and approach doing business from the point of view of your local culture, using top writing skills to produce copy that was relevant to you, you would probably appreciate them a lot more than other businesses that did not do the same.
The same is true of other countries out there. Being able to understand your customers’ local culture means you will be able to make your company message that much more relatable to them. By making the effort to learn and appreciate the culture, you will be showing a deep respect to your customers, resulting in stronger business relationships. This is why when contracting professional language services for business document translation, it is important to make sure that your content will be translated by qualified, native speakers.
Learning a new language is about more than just being fluent. You also gain some great skills in the process. For starters, your creativity is enhanced due to the new perspectives you gain. These feed into your imagination and help to generate novel ideas for your business.
Your cognitive skills are also enhanced. A new language will almost inevitably involve words, idioms, and concepts that you do not have a ready analogue for in your native language. This will expand your mind and force you to think about and understand entirely new concepts and ideas. The more you learn the new language, the greater your curiosity to learn more will be. This curiosity to learn and expand your knowledge can then be utilized in other areas, such as staying ahead of your competitors when it comes to knowledge of the market.
While we’re still on the topic of cognitive skills, learning a new language can also help you to make better decisions and also to be a better problem solver since your mind will gain new knowledge in the process.
Language skills are absolutely crucial to the success of a business, and yet they don’t get nearly as much attention as they need. If you want to give yourself and your business the kind of edge that will propel you to stratospheric heights, then you better get working on those language skills!