by Raoul Hanchate
Since the onset of COVID-19, countless of businesses around the globe have faced and are still facing uncertainties over their businesses. Some have closed down their operations temporarily, while others are still struggling to find a balance on how to break-even. Some that have managed to thrive through the ongoing pandemic and its great impacts on the economy have focused more on diversification to ensure sales across the globe.
As part of diversification, a multilingual culture, which entails the learning and unification of various cultures, languages, customs etc., has played a key role in the success of businesses during the pandemic.
Below are five benefits that entrepreneurs can gain by incorporating a multilingual culture.
The act of conversing with clients using their native language or even the simple act of respecting their traditions and norms creates a sense of familiarity and comfort for clients. This alone evokes trust and allows a client to feel ease in getting the product. According to the analysis of Joy Organics, the trust that a client has on you, which is to provide a product that works or meets its purpose, is what sets a higher mark on your sales margin over your competitor. Thus, maintaining trust is an essential component in the growth and development of businesses especially now, when all businesses are working extremely hard to not only bring in new clients but also maintain existing customers to break even through the COVID-19pandemic.
Entry into new markets is always a hurdle for most entrepreneurs, with a language barrier and culture shock included, the chances of survival for a business is closer to zero. A story is told of an organization that incorporated meat processing into their business and spread across its branches worldwide. Without proper research, the organization extended the service in its India branch and within a period of one month, their sales margin in India dropped by approximately 80%. To some, they would say they company was arrogant enough to sell beef meat which is an abomination of the Indian beliefs and cultures, while to others it would be ignorance from the research and business development team. From whichever angle one seeks to have this, clearly this is a great impact of lack of practice of multilingual culture.
With the health pandemic that's affecting businesses, multilingual culture allows entrepreneurs or rather businesses to create a point of connection, be it through use of the same language with clients or promotion and appreciation of cultures, it provides a positive rapport. This brings forth positive business to customer relationships, which are a key factor for the sustenance of businesses. For businesses wishing to venture into new markets, a background understanding of culture and language is essential to avoid cases of culture barriers that will vehemently bring a business to a halt before it could even break ground.
Navigating the international market is quite a snag especially when dealing with different countries who bear different cultures and traditions leave alone language. As an entrepreneur it's always wise to go the extra mile and understand your business partner's language and culture so as to avoid instances of culture barriers that may affect the business in the long run. Multilingual culture promotes positive working relationships that goes beyond work structures but also social dynamics. It promotes healthy relationships not only between business owners and their clients but also between business partners from diverse parts of the globe.
In as much as Language and culture are portrayed as different entities, these two share common ground when it comes down to communication. Not only is it easier to bond with an individual when you understand their language but it also reinforces your understanding of their traditions, culture, norms etc. This aspect works towards establishing networks that can open new opportunities to meet new clients or even partnerships with other organizations in different parts of the globe. Appropriate networking businesses grow tremendously since diverse clients willingly promote their products through word of mouth to their friends, families etc., which essentially translates to having potential clients.
Understanding the multilingual culture is a learning process and entails basic learning of various languages and cultures. According to Pipplet, an educational site, learning new languages sharpens your mind and promotes resourcefulness. Considering entrepreneurs' main goal is to bring forth creativity that would push the sales margins higher, then multilingual culture is a concept that should be applied by businesses.
Overall, surviving the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, all businesses should focus on strategizing and applying new approaches that are diverse so as to enable them reach individuals across the globe, be it through investing in multilingual customer service departments especially for e-commerce sites, the bottom line is clients feel appreciated and at ease when entrepreneurs go the extra mile as to learning and understanding their language and culture.
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