Now is the time to export

Now is the time to export

With a 0.3% growth rate for the first quarter of 2013, and 0.7% for the second quarter1, we can’t claim that business is booming in the UK. In contrast, the Chinese economy is predicted to grow by 7.4% this year, with estimates for Indonesia, India, Pakistan and regions of Africa ranging from 4.4% to 6.2%2.

Now is the time for UK businesses to take advantage of growth in other countries by exporting. And really, with only 62 million people in the UK, we are only a drop in the proverbial ocean! There are more than 7 billion people on Earth, and plenty of them would love to buy innovative British products.

Why wouldn’t you want to export? At Web-Translations, our sales consultants have heard every excuse possible, starting with “We are just too small to export”. Our client portfolio includes many small businesses who export, and who have greatly benefitted from international trade, and with a well localised and optimised website, there is no reason why small companies can’t successfully export. There is no need to open a foreign office or fly around the world. Instead, find distributors and agents who can help you crack their market. Take advantage of video conferencing products, Skype and email to communicate with them. Promoting your website, which will bring in direct buyers, is also vital.

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Yorkshire exporters will reshape the region’s recovery

According to a new Ernst & Young study, exports from Yorkshire will reach £18.3bn within the next 4 years and we can expect to see 2.2% annualised growth by 2017 – far beyond the UK average of 0.3%. This is the first UK Goods Export Monitor study conducted by Ernst & Young, and tracks international goods export data by region, sector and trade routes over the next five years.

The research also highlights that Yorkshire’s pharmaceutical sector, although relatively small, is set for big gains – the UK as a whole specialises in manufacturing drugs for export overseas, particularly to emerging markets, so the potential for growth there is huge.

David Buckley, senior partner at E&Y in Yorkshire, said: “There is a once in a generation opportunity for UK goods exporters in Yorkshire to help reshape the recovery, tapping into the sharp end of truly global supply chains, like pharmaceuticals, and made in Britain heritage brands.”

If you think your business is ready to start exporting, take a look at Tuesday’s blog post about the Institute of Export introductory course!

Ultrapreneurial inspiration…now in French, German, Spanish and Italian

Web-Translations is proud to announce that our collaboration with Julian Hall, entrepreneur and digital media expert, has gone global!

Julian’s book “Entrepreneur to Ultrapreneur – 100 Ways To Up Your Game” is an Amazon “Best Seller on Kindle” and contains 100 inspirational, original sayings for entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs.

The translation was funded through rebuildingsociety.com, a peer-to-peer lending platform which allows individuals to invest in business loans.

Web-Translations helped to create Spanish, French, Italian and German editions of the book, providing translations and typesetting to create print-ready files. Kindle versions are now available from Amazon, and paperbacks will be available later this week.

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W-T’s Daniel Rajkumar attends G20 YEA Summit as UK delegate

Last week I had the honour of being part of the UK Delegation selected to attend the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (YEA) Summit in Moscow. The Summit brought together over 400 entrepreneurs representing 20 of the world’s most powerful economies, to discuss and try to solve many of the challenges facing Small Businesses in the current economic situation. The UK delegation led by Alex Mitchell of Young Brits and Helen Gale of YBI, were represented by 12 young entrepreneurs – the largest UK delegation to attend any YEA Summit to date.

The Summit took the form of a combination of panel discussions, breakout sessions and guest speakers. Ernst and Young presented their findings on their ‘Entrepreneurship Barometer’ and Accenture presented on ‘Innovation as a major factor of growth and employment’, there was also a very interesting panel discussion on doing business in Russia. It was discussed how Russia’s strong telecommunications infrastructure, balance of labour cost vs. skills and above average education levels continue to make it a prime target for international investment and trade.

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Chinese web localisation could transform your business.

Chinese e-commerce grew by 66% in 2011, representing a turnover of 93 billion euros.

With more than 513 million Internet users and 356 million mobile Internet users, according to the 29th Statistical Report on Internet Development in China by the China Internet Network Information Center, China is the world’s largest online market, and this population is continuing to grow.

With rapid improvements in the technological infrastructure there, use of the Internet is continuously evolving and becoming more sophisticated. Combine this with China’s growing middle class who have more buying power than ever before, and you can see why online shopping has become so huge there so quickly. A 2011 study of online buyers worldwide conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 86% of China’s nearly 200 million online shoppers considered themselves experts at ecommerce, compared to 70% in the UK and 72% in the USA.

With an average of 8.4 online purchases per month by online buyers, China makes developed Western Internet economies look like ecommerce newcomers. For comparison, online buyers in the US made an average of 5.2 purchases and 4.3 in the UK, while in France and Netherlands just 2.6. In Germany, Europe’s largest and strongest economy, this figure was 2.9 purchases. Who are you considering selling online to at the moment? Germany? France? Or maybe China?

Only 42 million people in China (8.2% of Internet users) used travel booking services in the last year. However, the Chinese travel market is predictably seeing fast-paced growth in the coming years so online travel booking businesses are expected to experience higher growth there. South African Airways Simplified Chinese website for mainland China is an example of a full Chinese site translated by Web-Translations.

China’s scale, combined with its online population’s embrace of online shopping, present an important opportunity for businesses wanting to “go international”. However, setting up a business and subsequently succeeding in this country where almost everything is different can prove challenging. Consumer tastes, strict regulations, government involvement, Internet censorship, cultural differences and bureaucratic processes are some of the issues companies need to examine when entering China’s online market, yet the potential seems to outweigh the obstacles bearing in mind the current economic situation we find ourselves in in the West.

Recently we have completed International Blasts for China for some of our clients who aren’t afraid to begin facing this challenge: Brandy Classics and Click Meeting by Implix. This service is a great first step for companies interested in China by setting up a microsite and optimising it so you can begin to see the traffic to your site and interest in your product over there.

To find out how to launch a Chinese version of your website to start selling to China, please contact Web-Translations: sales[at]web-translations.co.uk / +44 (0) 113 815 0460.

Rapid growth in Turkish eCommerce

Taking a bite from the Turkish delight will reap sweet rewards for online retailers

Turkish e-commerce transactions reached an impressive $12.3 billion in 2011, representing an increase of 57% on the previous year according to the Interbank Card Center. Combine this upsurge with the 12% per year e-commerce growth Forrester Research Inc (FORR) predicts for European growth over the next 5 years, and it becomes obvious that it’s time to pay attention to Turkey.

Impressive statistics, but what’s going on?

Half the population of Turkey is under 30 years old. This young society has been quick to adopt technological innovations and they now spend more time online per week than the worldwide average. This tendency translates into a high responsiveness to social media – 89% of Turkish Internet users are on Facebook and they are the 11th most active country on Twitter.

95% of the Turkish population are expected to have a mobile phone in 2013, with global corporations such as Telecom Italia having already entered Turkey to take advantage of this.

Furthermore Turkey has a credit driven economy, with a 62% credit card penetration among consumers. All of this has led to a positive environment for the development of Turkish e-commerce.

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When Should Your E-Commerce Startup Go Global?

Selling online has enormous advantages over a traditional business model.The main one is the ability to be instantly global, in the sense that your website can be accessed by anyone, anywhere, anytime. However, very few e-businesses take a global approach from the outset or even seriously consider harnessing this potential once they have reached scale in their home market. (more…)

We've Taken The Plunge Into Bath!

We’ve expanded Web-Translations and opened an office in Bath to meet the needs of our growing portfolio.

Andrew Carter (pictured right, below) who has been with us for over 2 years as a freelancer, has now become a full-time employee, and is heading up the new satellite office with his latest recruit, Jonathan Power (pictured left).

Andy & Jon - Bath Office TeamAndrew says: “I worked with Web-Translations on a freelance basis for 2 years, and became a full-time employee just a few months ago. I enjoy working with a wide variety of clients, and love knowing that whatever their aims are we have a product in our multilingual website “toolkit” that will help them succeed in international markets.” (more…)

Peer to Peer Investment Funds Web-Translations Growth

Funding Circle brings hundreds of investors to Web-Translations

It is with a sense of anticipation that we enter into our 9th year, celebrating the recruitment of four new team members and carefully planning our expansion into Germany.

For as long as we’re helping our clients to grow their profits from international markets, we can be confident of the growth of our own business. While organic growth has been steady, I feel that the business could be achieving more rapid growth. However, such growth wouldn’t be possible without access to funds. In today’s market, capital doesn’t come easy. While the base rate of interest is remarkably low, the banks are using the opportunity to improve their margins, failing to pass on the rate reduction. Before the economic crisis, I obtained a loan at 4.5% over base. However, the rates I’m currently being offered are in excess of 17% APR.

Obtaining funding to grow has been unusually challenging…
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Diageo boosts results with sales in emerging markets

Diageo announced a 5% growth in annual profits today, an increase that Chief Executive Paul Walsh largely attributes to its activities in emerging markets.

While sales fell in Greece, Spanish and Ireland (all economies that have struggled in the last few years), Diageo’s acquisition of the leading Turkish spirits company Mey Icki, and its performance in North America and Asia-Pacific have offset the downturn in European trade.

This makes them the latest in a line of successful global companies who are spreading the risk of underperformance in developed markets such as Western Europe by expanding into countries further afield, or the path less trodden by competitors. (more…)

5 Reasons Why International Trade Will Help Your Business

International trade has many benefits, some of which are more obvious than others. Detailed below are key benefits highlighted by clients who have made international trade a major part of their on-going business strategy.

Read on as Charles Purdy,  Director of Smart Currency Exchange Ltd gives his insight on the main advantages of international trade.
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Join us at the Internet Retailing Expo – 23rd-24th March

Web-Translations will be exhibiting at this year’s Internet Retailing Expo at the Birmingham NEC from 23rd-24th March.

The expo brings together leading marketing, software and service providers to help all kinds of companies involved in online retail to grow and succeed.

Our Managing Director Daniel will be presenting as part of the Jumpstart programme:

Increasing export sales to foreign markets

While the UK leads the way in ecommerce, relatively few etailers profit from exploiting foreign markets. In his presentation, Daniel Rajkumar will explain how a multi-market, multi domestic approach to ecommerce helps increase visitor confidence to drive up conversion rates. In addition to best practice, Daniel will divulge secrets and practical tools for your multilingual eMarketing strategy, including the use of Social Media, SEO, PR and local affiliate networks to drive traffic and revenues.

Whether you’re a global company operating in many markets or a domestic business looking to export for the first time, Daniel’s presentation is pitched to cover the basics as well as some advanced practices, useful to strategic decision makers and practical implementers alike, you are sure to come away with ideas and inspiration that will open your eyes to the lucrative potential of non-English markets.

View the presentation schedule online

Register online free at http://www.internetretailingexpo.com/

We hope to see you there!

Web-Translations meets with Lord Stephen Green

L-R: Lord Stephen Green; Bill Brown (MD of Angloco); Steve Lloyd (MD of GSPK Circuits); Cassandra Oliver

On Friday I had the opportunity to have lunch with Lord Stephen Green of Hurstpierpoint, Minister for Trade & Investment.

Entrepreneurs from businesses across Yorkshire attended a lunch event hosted by Angloco in their Batley premises. Angloco manufactures fire engines for all kinds of organisations around the world, and exports to over 45 countries. (more…)

Look to overseas markets for growth, says CEO of eCommerce success ASOS

It’s always good when a prominent figure echoes what we’ve been saying for years – expanding into foreign markets using your website is a great way to grow your business, and is a low-risk option in these difficult financial times. (more…)

Goldman Sachs to help Web-Translations prosper

 Web-Translations is pleased to be part of the Goldman Sachs Business Growth programme. This unique business education scheme has been organised by Goldman Sachs to support small businesses throughout Yorkshire and the Humber. It is run by the Business Schools of Leeds and Oxford Universities, who also devised the programme.

Our founder and managing director, Daniel Rajkumar, is one of the 25 entrepreneurs selected from 150 applicants to be invited to attend business management courses and receive mentoring and support from a senior member at Goldman Sachs.

The idea behind the project is to help small businesses in the region achieve their maximum potential, and also to help create job opportunities, in order to alleviate the effects of the current economic crisis. As the main focus of the programme, the entrepreneurs will undertake a four-month business and management course which will have an emphasis on real-life practical experience, allowing the participants to implement the ideas and strategies they learn as they go.

Daniel says of the scheme: “The Business Growth Programme has been excellent so far. The topics covered have given me a better strategic understanding and practical skills to aid the decisions I make in the business. I’m learning to step back from the day-to-day activities of running the business, which allows me to work on my overall business vision and direction. I’ve had the chance to learn from the experience of 24 other successful entrepreneurs, and have met inspirational leaders and been taught by some leading business lecturers. I would recommend it to other business owners.”

We all look forward to seeing Web-Translations expand and flourish thanks to the support of Goldman Sachs.

German exports up 3.8% during June

There has recently been a further sign of recovery in Europe’s biggest economy – German exports were up more than 3% in June, and the country has experienced unprecendented growth of 2.2% from April to June this year.

A weakening of the Euro in recent months coupled with a strong demand for German goods in Asia has helped to boost exports. (more…)

Making the case for Multilingual SEO

SEO is just as important for your foreign language sites as for your English one. Simply translating content and putting it online unfortunately does not mean that any of your potential customers will find the pages you have created for their benefit.

As Nataly Kelly of the Common Sense Advisory says:

“It just doesn’t work to assume that a target audience who has been linguistically underserved in the past will miraculously show up at your site in the months following the launch of your new content. […] you need to publicize your new content and drive your target audience to the new site. Just as with your source language website, expect the traffic to build over time.” (more…)

How International Blast works

This post is an explanation of how our International Blast service works, as it’s something we are often asked about.

International Blast was developed as a first step localisation for companies who wanted to begin trading internationally online, but preferred a cautious approach rather than investing a larger amount of money, time and resources in localising their whole website.

Even localising just one or two key pages of a website yields results, and often generates sales in a new target market. By pricing the service at £295, it is also an affordable option if a company wish to test several new markets at once. (more…)

Yorkshire businesses are well-positioned to sell into Scandinavia

Yorkshire companies are “well-positioned to sell into Scandinavia”, according to Danish business expert and former diplomat, Benny Sørensen.

At a recent event to inform businesses in the region about opportunities in Scandinavia, the organisers (Import-Export consultants SØRENSEN, and Denmark’s inward investment organisation Copenhagen Capacity, teamed with the Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce International Department)  experienced unprecedented demand from Yorkshire businesses wishing to attend, and have urged companies who are interested in trading with Scandinavian countries to act quickly to make the most of the opportunities available. (more…)

Maximise exporting opportunities with a multilingual website

According to a recent EU report, 2 of the main obstacles faced by UK businesses who are exporting for the first time are language and cultural barriers, and how best to promote their websites using SEO and online advertising.

The first step in trading internationally is to localise your website. This way, you can gain enquiries and orders from overseas customers with only a small investment – with even just one or two pages translated into foreign languages you can use your website to “test the water” in a number of countries at once, and see which ones gain you the most web traffic.

By monitoring the visitors to your localised webpages, you can choose the countries which warrant extra investment and focus on marketing your product or service there.

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Online Purchases Increase Across Europe

As e-tailers prepare for another record Christmas period they should consider the changing trends in consumer confidence across Europe for new opportunities. Consumers are buying more frequently in every country in Europe, but as the pace of growth slows in the UK and competition stiffens, smart businesses will look to serve multilingual markets where consumerism grows faster and is less competitive.

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International Trade – ask the expert!

This month in Yorkshire’s Insider magazine, Daniel Rajkumar, managing director of Web-Translations answered readers’ questions about web translation and emails, and setting up internationally usable websites.

Q: I have set up a new arm of my company in France as a base for drawing in business from across Europe. As I am looking at a lot of different countries do I need translation of the whole of my website or blog into all the possible European languages? Won’t English do?

A: “If you are serious about drawing business in from Europe you will have to have the website or blog professionally translated for the main language of each country you are targeting. People use the web for research and they search in their native language, so if your website is not multilingual, it will simply not be found.

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International Trade will keep your company afloat

Trade figures have recently shown an improvement in business exports  – partly due to the weakened value of our currency. According to research, companies which trade internationally are more likely to stay in business longer and are usually more profitable than those which choose to concentrate only on domestic sales.

Exporting is a great way to expand your business – those who trade internationally grow faster and fail less often than companies that don’t, and the current weak curerncy makes our prices much more competitive, so there’s no time like the present.

Which products/services sell well in Europe?

Machinery, engineering products and consultancy, vehicles, aircraft, plastics, crude oil, chemicals, plastic and rubber, metals, foodstuffs, beverages, textiles & clothing are all in demand throughout the Eurozone, and a little effort in approaching a potential client in their own language can go a long way. Even something as small as localising key pages of your website for a foreign market show that you are interested in foreign customers, and are a forward-thinking company.

What about in Asia?

The main exports to China are electrical/mechanical equipment, precision instruments (medical, optical, photo, technical), plastics, iron & steel, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, and Automotive , Biotechnology & pharmaceuticals, Construction, Engineering, Financial services & ICT are all industries which have experienced growth there. As for India, there is a similar focus on engineering, sciences and technology, but in fact opportunities exist there for most sectors.

Where else should we look to?

Emerging markets have been identified in Poland, Vietnam, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Singapore, and Argentina. Opportunities exist in various sectors in these countries, notably design, consultancy and engineering – the sectors that are most commonly successful for overseas trade.

Brazil and Russia will also continue to be key areas for companies trading internationally.

Great Expectations: Can Obama change the world?

Are our expectations of the 44th US president too high?

As the first African-American ever to hold presidential office, Barack Obama certainly already has made history, but will he be able to make the difference that many are dreaming of? Or are the expectations of his citizens and in fact the world at large simply too much for him and his administration to achieve?

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Exporters should take advantage of the strong € Euro

The Euro is at its strongest since its launch 9 years ago, at 1.116 Euros to the pound/0.745 EUR to the US Dollar.

While on the surface, this sounds like bad news, and it is in terms of our import buying  power, as well as the cost of living which (reduced petrol prices aside), looks set to continue climbing well into 2009; for exporters it’s good news.

The tide has turned: where once the UK and USA could count on importing goods from overseas cheaply, and it was our own goods and services that were perceived as expensive by other nations, the shoe is, for the time being at least, firmly on the other foot.

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Where next for International Trade?

UKTI has earmarked the countries that will be the next big thing in terms of International Trade.

The emerging markets in Brazil, Russia, India and China will continue to be key areas for companies trading internationally, but a report commissioned by UKTI has identified Vietnam, Mexico, Ukraine, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates as the new high-growth markets.

The “Tomorrow’s Markets” report also lists Indonesia, Poland, South Africa and Argentina among the priority markets for expansion – these countries have huge potential for investors and look set to provide companies with a similar level of success and growth that has been experienced in China and India.

So, we could soon start to see an increase in demand for Ukrainian and Vietnamese, and the other languages spoken in these emerging market countries as UK companies turn their attention there. Here’s hoping!

Recession or Opportunity?

When even your own Chancellor starts to talk down the economy, you know you’re in for a tough time.  But there is one advantage to the gloom that has led to another record low for Sterling; exporting. British goods and services are now more attractive than ever to foreign markets and a surge in exports could really help slow down the decline.

If you’re new to exporting, it can seem daunting at first but if you already have an English e-commerce platform, a company like  Web-Translations  can help you start trading in another market in just a matter of weeks.  And if you’re worried about servicing foreign-language speaking clients, services like email-translations can help you deal with customer enquiries without the need to recruit linguists into your customer service and fulfilment teams.

It might just be the only way you will survive in a climate where many of your competitors will fail.

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