In the UK this Autumn is certainly unfolding under the umbrella of international trade and commerce. Only a couple of weeks after attending BCC International Trade Summit 2018 in London, I found myself to be a delegate at another event geared to promote Scottish enterprise globally — ScotExport 2018 in Glasgow.
As a founder of a translation company that operates in a very niche market, (i.e. connecting companies with the Russian market through quality translation, localization and transcreation) I found the day to be particularly useful — it furthered my awareness of the different ways commerce, contractual obligations and business relationships are perceived on different corners of our planet.
But I think some of what I found important for our business could be taken wider and help other companies that want to grow and prosper on a global scale. That is why I will try to share some of the key points from the event — to cover everything would be an impossible and audacious task.
First of all, going global, expanding your business requires a lot of knowledge of the target market and internet surfing is not sufficient to satisfy this goal. However, most importantly you have to develop a network of connections in your target country and not necessarily presume that the capital is the best place to begin. You may find the best customers for your product in remote provinces and expand from there.
Your company has got to be perceived trustworthy and credible. Partnerships are a possible way of increasing your credibility and assuring your overseas connections that you will fulfill your contractual obligations and that you have the means to do so.
A founder of a company that started as a very small business in the Hebrides and now is trading globally emphasized the importance of asking questions. There are many sources that would be happy to provide free and valuable advice, not the least the DIT and (if you are based in Scotland) Scottish Enterprise. Membership in your local Chambers of Commerce is of great help as it increases your visibility, credibility and gives a vast opportunity for learning and networking. Networking is crucial for business success.
What particularly stood out for me was the last seminar of the day: “Pitch Perfect. How to Innovate and Get Noticed in a Global Crowd”. One speaker pointed out that promoting and selling a product comes with “creating a compelling value story”. As a linguist I found it so beautiful. There is so much in these three words. We are selling a value to our customers. Our stories should be compelling and truthful, the should inspire and help our customer to get what they genuinely need for the best price. To achieve this we must look at the world through the prism of our customers. This is my main lesson from the event: to go on the “other side of the table” and see my business through the eyes of my customers. Because it is for them that we exist and we want them to be happy and benefit from our services in real-value terms!
Have a great and successful day wherever you are!
Best wishes from Liudmila Tomanek @Russian Translation World Ltd