Localization for Startups: How to Create a Global-Friendly Business

Last Updated March 2, 2021

A startup is meant to stand out by deviating from what is expected. Prioritizing localization right out of the gate will help you get a leg up on the on the competition.

Nearly 4 billion people have access to the Internet. Run wisely, your startup can reach customers all over the globe.

Transcending language and cultural barriers doesn’t happen by accident, though. Reaching a global customer base with your startup requires a thoughtful approach to localization from day one.

Here is how to quickly scale your startup’s growth by focusing on localization.

Localizations Begins with Internationalization

From the ground level, a global market should be considered by any startup.

For example, when setting up a website or application, think beyond the original language during the coding process and make it easy to adapt different languages to avoid headaches down the road. This is what we mean by internationalization.

Additionally, if you develop your product or service with one audience in mind, you may be unintentionally excluding huge revenue streams from other countries.

By thinking about and investing in localization from day one, you can make sure you haven’t created any unnecessary boundaries to scaling your product/service globally in the long run.

Skipping over this important step could require massive changes—whether it’s recoding your website or changing something about the product itself.

Not only are you cutting your business off from revenue streams, but you’re also incurring the cost of making these changes, all of which can set your startup back in a big way.

Thinking globally may seem intimidating but it’s the smart play that will pay dividends and set you up for success.

What is localization, exactly?

Localization refers to the adaptation of all your startup’s components to the linguistic and cultural standards of a given country or region. This applies to website content, branding, and even the products and services you are providing.

By translating your website or application into the target language, you can be sure that what you want to convey to potential customers is completely clear to them.

Localization goes several steps further, though – a successfully localized startup is one that appears to have been developed within a given culture anywhere around the world.

On top of language, localization includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Localization ensures your startup is relevant to anyone around the world.

What Localization Means for Startups

Let’s take a look at a few benefits startups can expect after taking localization seriously from the start.

1. Easily Enter New Markets

Your initial goal might not be to go international, but why not think big and expect your startup to expand? A localized mindset can help remove barriers to global success.

Your startup can easily gain traction in new markets much quicker, avoiding cultural blunders along the way.

Consider first targeting markets that rely on your original language. For instance, if your startup is based in Australia, your go-to-market plan can expand to include countries like the U.S., Canada, the U.K., New Zealand and many other parts of the world that are fluent in English, with minimal changes to the product.

Later, when ROI justifies translation costs, your product can be localized for any other country and region that you want to target, significantly expanding your international markets and reach.

It might mean more work up front, but it keeps the door open for exponential growth.

2. Set Yourself Up for Long Term Success

Establishing a startup can be a tricky process on its own without the added burden of getting ahead of others trying to gain inroads in the same market.

Don’t get caught taking the easy road in order to get up and running quicker; it’s important to think long term. You will have a clear advantage over startups unwilling to localize, thereby gaining the trust of potential customers.

You will also be able to compete more effectively with local companies by taking going above and beyond the translation stage and demonstrating a level of care for a culture and its people.

3. Develop a High-Ranking Website and App

Someone who visits a localized website is bound to feel more at ease. This allows them to navigate freely and easily understand every message, meaning they are more likely to become a customer and increase your conversion rates.

Full localization of a website allows for increased Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Through multilingual SEO efforts, your website is more likely to rank highly in regional searches for whatever product or service you are providing.

In this way, your startup’s website and accompanying app can help you reach a high number of prospective customers.

Localization can also help easily and quickly introduce necessary changes and modifications. Quick error correction enables an avoidance of unnecessary expenses. Try out different solutions at low cost and operate in multiple areas simultaneously.

4. Establish Customer Loyalty

A satisfying customer experience from the outset will encourage not only return business, but also positive word of mouth.

Communicating with users in their language and considering cultural norms will go a long way towards establishing trust, and a positive experience will make it more customer retention much more likely.

5. Enjoy a Bump in Revenue

The goal of most startups is to grow and you’re going to see an increase in revenue if you successfully tap into a bigger customer base.

By limiting your company to a single language or geographic area, you’re cutting it off from an abundance of revenue streams and limiting your ability to grow.

An international, yet localized focus will allow for a more sizeable return on investment and help you move from startup an established and successful company.

The more you adapt your marketing content to the cultural customs of a given region, the more you will increase the likelihood of your success.

Get Started With Localization

Work with a localization partner that understands how to help you achieve global growth from the start.

SLT has helped many businesses of all sizes navigate this terrain. Our data and localization solutions are highly adaptable to a company’s specific needs.

We help our global partners achieve the look and feel of a local company in the eyes of potential customers around the world.

Book a consultation today.

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