In order to grow, companies need to establish their business in a given country and also expand worldwide. The key to successful exporting of goods and services lies in the careful planning of the whole process, taking into account many elements. In addition to the purely economic and business consideration, the company needs to envisage translation of its various documentation ahead of exporting. A careful review of all the necessary steps, requirements and regulations related to exporting sets the difference between passive and active exporting. Below we will have a look at some of the basic elements of preparing for growth abroad and to understand why translation matters.
Passive vs. Active Exporting
The biggest difference between active and passive exporting is in the level of preparation and adaption of the product that is to be sold abroad. In active exporting, the company goes through a thorough research process to see which products will be accepted on the new market as they are (if any) and which need to go through small or substantial changes and adaptation in order to be competitive. That also includes a considerable amount of translation work: document translation, transcreation of slogans and advertisements, localization of labels, manuals, employee trainings, etc. In other words, active exporting is marked by active preparation for the process.
On the other hand, passive exporting does not involve so much arrangements. Often the product is exported as it is with the hope that it will be accepted by the local market. Only basic research of regulations is made and translation is often not included in the plan but happens ad hoc.
How to Prepare your Product for Exporting
When you consider exporting a given product, you have to be prepared to meet the needs of the new market and the specific requirements of the consumers. In some cases, the adaptation is only minor like changing some labels or colors to make it more appealing to the new audience, while in others it is substantial. Sometimes the product needs to be modified and/or redesigned in order to be able to be used in a foreign country. If electrical, there might be different voltage for example, used by both private and business users that requires changes in the product so that it can operate. This will entail amendments in the manual and the warranty that accompany the given product. Correspondence with the local requirements and regulations is also very important, otherwise the product cannot be marketed and sold in the given location. Below we will get into more details about these requirements.
Why Translation, Localization and Transcreation Matter
Translation, localization and transcreation are very important for the successful export of goods. Let’s have a look at all three of them and see why they matter.
The translation of all documentation related to the marketed product is very important. This includes all kind of manuals, guides, warranties and the like. If the product is patented, patent translation will also be necessary if you would like your rights to be protected. You need to plan the translation process ahead of the export as this will cost you less compared to translating bits and pieces when it is necessary or already urgent. If you are establishing a new website or adding a new language to your existing one, take into account this type of translation service as well. If you want to make your website translation a success, you need to include this step in the overall plan of exporting a given product.
Localization is the second logical step that comes after translation. It is not sufficient to have your documentation simply translated. They need to be localized as well, so that it takes into account the needs of the locality it is meant for. In addition to that, you need to localize your company training, if you are going to open an office abroad to facilitate the better marketing of your exported products. Localization of a contract or manual also includes taking into account the specific regulations that govern the safety or usage of your product in the given country.
You have the perfect slogan of your product but it makes sense only in your own language and for your own location. Do not compromise your exporting efforts by simply translating that slogan into the foreign language. In order not to diminish the properties of your product, use transcreation to create the perfect slogan, logo or ad for your product. This will guarantee a greater interest to your product and make your export successful and respectively the return on investment much higher.
The Importance of Regulations
Last but not least, we are going to mention the importance of regulations in preparing and launching a product for export. You need to take into account both the local requirements that regulate export to third countries and the regulations of the target country. It is very important to make sure that your products do not violate any requirements as this will have dire consequences on your business.
The Export Administration Regulations govern all aspects of export and re-export of goods from the USA. They determine issues related to national security, foreign policy, crime control, anti-terrorism, etc. Some exported goods need special license that is received from the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security. The need for a license depends on the technical characteristics of the given item, the target country, the end users and the like.
The country into which you are importing the goods certainly also has specific requirements that need to be met. They concern user safety or environmental protection, for example, and need to be strictly followed.
Thorough research and consultation is necessary, so that you have all the needed documentation ready and/or translated. Thus, you will avoid unnecessary delays and further troubles.
The general conclusion is that the more prepared you are for the exporting process, the less stressful the experience will be. If you have a well-structured plan and embrace the active approach to exporting, you have more chances to be successful in this undertaking. Do not forget that translation and the related services are an important element of the overall process. Plan ahead, so that you save both on money and time and offer the foreign market a complete product in all aspects.
Source: A Basic Guide to Exporting