Language means business and export success

We’re excited to share that for the past three years Comtec has been working with Aston Business School to support PhD researcher Ankita Tibrewal, on a unique piece of research sponsored by the Association of Translation Companies (ATC).

The research explores how investing in language capability impacts export success. The headline finding from the study is that SMEs embracing language capabilities are 30% more successful in exporting than those who don’t.

Language means business and export success

It’s excellent to see a clear statistic on the impact of languages but – at the risk of sounding like know-it-alls – we’re not surprised to see the results. For 40 years it has been our mission and passion to help organisations make the most of global opportunities. We know first-hand how managing the challenges of language and culture can unlock success in new markets. Take a look at our case studies to see the power of languages in action.

We were eager to support this research as it is at the heart of what we do and speaks to our commitment, as a translation partner, to enable organisations to make the most of languages to drive international growth. This research will not only provide reassurance to those entering the global market, but help guide them with practical suggestions to maximise their language capability.

In her quest to examine how investing in language capability (in-house or via use of a language services provider) can increase global competitive advantage for the UK SME sector, Ankita looked at 415 companies across sectors.

You can read the full report here, but below are the top findings and outcomes:

  • Through their knowledge of language, companies can access wider networks and demonstrate greater competitive advantage.
  • Language capability enables companies to build invaluable knowledge and understanding of their target sector, driving better access to markets.
  • Future focused companies who are more willing to invest in the development of their workforce, are in turn more likely to invest in language skills.

The results of the research indicate that SMEs can significantly increase their export sales, growth and profits by:

  • Hiring people with language skills and high cultural intelligence.
  • Providing language training to existing staff.
  • Investing in professional translation services using sophisticated language technology.

The UK’s six million SMEs play a critical role in the economy and employ 61% of the UK’s workforce. These findings have the potential to help organisations not only exceed the average SME lifecycle, but to grow and thrive on a global scale. SMEs flourishing internationally has a direct impact on the UK’s economy, bolstering employment and revenue into the country.

Dr Geoff Parkes discusses the findings with our client, Rob Mannion, founder of e-commerce platform B2B.Store, in the latest podcast from Aston Business School. Listen about how Rob has successfully harnessed the power of languages and achieved excellent business results.

“We believe that languages give SMEs and all businesses a competitive advantage, and this research has tangibly proven it.” Dr Isabella Moore CBE, Founder of Comtec and former President of the BCC.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how translations can play a part in your growth strategy, please book a call with our team.

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