Do you have what it takes to run a successful business?
According to the statistics, 600,000 new businesses open in the U.S. each year, but some still fail. Sometimes it’s the circumstances like the pandemic that don’t let you build and grow your company. But sometimes, newbie entrepreneurs are the ones to blame for their business’s failure.
What should a successful entrepreneur have?
The standard package includes the knowledge of the industry, market, business operations, HR, and financial management. These are the essentials that will help you jump-start your company.
But what if we told you that you also need to know foreign languages to be successful entrepreneur?
Not sure how and why?
Let’s take a look at the opportunities that the knowledge of at least one foreign language can bring to your business.
It’s every entrepreneur’s dream to go global with their business someday. In reality, most businesses don’t even get at least a 1% return on assets. According to Harvard Business Review, only 40% of companies manage to get 3% ROA, and it still takes them five years to achieve this number.
Why do businesses fail abroad?
Here are some of the most common issues:
Another reason is a lack of proper knowledge of the market. And here’s where the knowledge of a foreign language can come in handy.
When you learn a language, you learn a foreign culture as well. This knowledge helps you understand the reasoning behind many processes on a foreign market, including the increased demand for certain products. The more you know about the foreign market from the cultural perspective, the more you’re likely to succeed.
One more common reason why businesses fail abroad is a lack of rapport with the target audience. You can’t follow the same pattern as with your local target audience. The buyers on the foreign markets have other needs, often conditioned by language and culture.
Let’s see how your knowledge of a foreign language can help you sell to your foreign audience.
Suppose you want to expand your business to the U.K. If you have at least minimal understanding of the language, you know that English is rich with weather-related expressions. You can use this knowledge when creating your first ad or promotional content. Surely, you won’t get tons of new buyers right away, but your target audience will see that you’re trying to relate to them.
This is a very basic example, but you get the gist – speaking the language of your new target audience will help you expand your business faster and successfully sell your product.
Today, businesses are expected to have diverse teams. Diversity has proven to be beneficial for companies – it promotes open-mindedness and brings new talents.
What does diversity entail?
This notion is no longer just about genders. It’s also about a multicultural environment, which inevitably means that you’ll have team members who speak other languages as well.
Of course, you shouldn’t learn the language of every employee coming to your team. But sometimes, you’ll have to optimize your business operations to make them comfortable for diverse employees.
For instance, if often run surveys with your team, you can translate them to the languages your employees speak. With Plutio, you can create a survey in any language you need. You’ll also have no problem tracking the results.
Optimizing business operations for other languages is especially important if you have a large international team. Then, the knowledge of a foreign language will help you manage your employees easier and avoid misunderstandings.
What if you’re a solo entrepreneur or a freelancer? How can the knowledge of a foreign language help you grow?
The answer is obvious – more exciting projects with potentially higher pay.
When you speak at least one foreign language, you are open to more opportunities. But the key to getting a project overseas is establishing a rapport. That’s why you should start speaking a foreign language as soon as possible – you need to practice your speaking skill to become more confident and be able to wow the client with your qualifications.
Does your language need to be advanced to get projects abroad?
Not necessarily. You can start from the basics and work your way up to the B1 level, which is enough to make sure you and your client understand each other. But everything depends on how advanced the project is.
As a solo entrepreneur or a freelancer, you need a good portfolio to attract new clients. That’s why it makes sense to start improving your technical skills first. But if your goal is to become known for your skills on an international market, a knowledge of a foreign language can help you stand out.
As you can see, the knowledge of a foreign language can be life-changing for your business and open new opportunities for you as an entrepreneur.
Think of the possibilities – expanding your business abroad, getting to know more people, growing your customer base – all this is possible if you open your mind to a new language. And it won’t take too much of your time – all you need is consistency and persistence.