SimulTrans Localization Blog: SimulTips

Why Startups Should Invest in Translation

[fa icon="calendar"] June 2, 2021 / by Margarita Núñez

invest VC funding in translation

Startups must maximize the value of every dollar they receive from venture capitalists in order to grow into a self-sustaining business.  Professional translation and localization services offer an efficient way for startups to work towards this goal regardless of industry or niche.

Achieve Business Growth with Translation

To achieve swift, sure growth your startup should tap into foreign countries.

Earmarking a small amount of seed money for translation of the product, website, and marketing will allow your company to unlock markets with thousands of new potential customers.  

Startups who receive funding often use it to help them propel further market growth, create new products, or acquire other companies through a leveraged buyout. They usually focus on international growth as gaining access to new overseas markets is one of the fastest ways for a business to increase its revenue. 

As some venture capital investments are made in tranches or a series of payments spaced out in time, payments are conditional on the startups' ability to meet certain agreed-upon milestones. Typical milestones include: 

  • Reaching a certain number of users
  • Reaching a certain amount of revenue
  • Securing key distribution deals abroad
Translating the product and website will help achieve any of the milestones above.

Sell to a Global Audience to Increase Revenue

To sell internationally, consider investing some of the money your company has got in translating your product, website, and marketing to promote and sell your product to a global audience.

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Translation is a cost-effective way for a start-up to reach a wider range of potential customers. This is true whether the company intends to focus on the US market or expand to international markets.

Consider these 3 facts:

  • 75% of consumers prefer to shop for products in their own language.
  • 60% of people with a native language other than English rarely or never buy from websites that are only available in English.
  •  80% of marketing decision-makers feel that localization is essential to successfully break into new markets. 

Furthermore, evidence suggests that businesses continue to prioritize localization in their budgets even under significant economic pressures imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Nimdzi Insights, a leading research company in the translation industry, the industry was projected to grow by 2.5% in 2020 to an estimated $55 billion globally.

Target the Most Lucrative Markets

Carefully weigh your options and choose the languages that will allow your company to capture as many new customers as possible for the lowest cost.

While there might be  254 million native English speakers in the USA alone, there are other potential customers around the world that speak the following languages:

  • Mandarin Chinese: 1,117 million native speakers
  • Hindi: 615 million native speakers 
  • Spanish: 534 million native speakers
  • French: 280 million native speakers
  • Arabic: 274 million native speakers

However, when deciding what languages to target for localization, your company should not look only at the number of speakers in the world, that figure alone will be misleading.

For instance, while there are 615 million Hindi native speakers, and you might think that this is a good language to translate into, the reality is that most people in India also speak a second language and also understand English. So, Hindi might not be the best language to pick for translation.

From these statistics, you can deduce that accessing the Chinese market alone would nearly double the number of potential customers for a startup. So, Chinese Simplified might be a good language to start with, but only if your company has plans to break into the Chinese market.

There are few other investments a business could make that can provide such a dramatic and immediate boost in market reach. If the startup marketing is strategic and well-executed, the ROI of translation services is virtually unmatched.

Contact SimulTrans to discuss what languages, based on the volume of words for translation and what our clients translate into most frequently, could be a better fit for your company and product.

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Topics: International Business Strategy, Translation Services, Website Translation

Margarita Núñez

Written by Margarita Núñez

Margarita is SimulTrans' Director, Global Marketing. She spearheads SimulTrans' Digital Marketing Strategy by creating, managing, and publishing content for inbound and outbound campaigns across multiple channels. Margarita has more than 25 years of experience in sales and management for the localization industry. She has been involved in many localization organizations, currently serving as a Program Director for Membership for Women in Localization, a non-profit global organization.