Research reveals the economic value of language in business success
New research funded by the Association of Translation Companies, and carried out by Aston Business School researcher Ankita Tibrewal, has pointed to how translation and localisation support growth for exporters.
The research reveals that SMEs embracing language capabilities are 30% more successful in exporting than those companies who did not make this a priority.
The report focused on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) as this group play a crucial role in the UK economy; comprising 99% of the business population, 60% of employment and around 50% of UK private sector turnover.
The study revealed that SMEs who expand their reach to include international territories were likely to survive longer than 10 years – higher than the national average for SMEs. Moreover, it is clear that there is a direct correlation between an organisation’s commitment to translation and localisation and the bottom line.
The report specifically reviewed how translation and localisation support growth and collated empirical evidence on the impact on exports relative to a company’s organisational level language capacity (LO-C). Where an organisation demonstrated a commitment to the five key drivers for LO-C namely:
• Linguistic Competencies
• Cultural Intelligence
• Willingness to Invest
• Training for Languages
• Technological Awareness
The study found that there is a positive impact on export orientation, value-based selling, export sales, export sales growth and export profit.
The survey covered the following sectors:
• Information Technology
• Financial Services
Perhaps more surprisingly, the report concluded that the sector did not matter in terms of correlation between LO-C and the impact on internalisation and export readiness. Across all the sectors surveyed the level of correlation between LO-C and export sales, export sales growth and export profit was the same. Translation and localisation support growth!
The overriding conclusion of the report is that those SMEs that are motivated, plan and use language are likely to experience the greatest increase in export orientation and consequently export sales, export growth and export profit.