Using your languages to widen your business offer

Because languages are an asset

About Pixel Executive

Pixel Executive is a Digital Services Agency with a business development attitude. We build brochure websites, multilingual websites and e-commerce sites, and clarify the best online and offline routes to market. We help make our clients’ online presence relevant and get their site working as a brand and business development tool.

We are a boutique agency, supported by a network of trusted specialists such as copywriters, translators, and experts in multilingual SEO, cross-cultural communication and website data compliance. 

About me

Over 25 years’ experience of successfully building businesses in the UK, France and across Europe. Bilingual French/English, Stirling has managed, bought, sold, acquired, merged, restructured and turned around businesses in the UK, France, and Europe and Germany, started and developed four companies and two business units from scratch and completed a number of successful assignments as an Interim Manager.

Then after a spell as a professional musician started up in web design.

  • Computer supplies distribution
    • developed a UK/European  distributor network from £300k to £3M
    • created, developed and ran the French subsidiary of a UK Plc 
      • organic growth to 18€M with 60 staff
      • acquisition and merging of two competitors to a combined turnover of €M76 and 120 staff
  • Recruitment
    • built and sold a Paris based Anglo/Franco Interim Management/Executive Search firm (2M€  fees)
    • developed a niche recruitment business specialising in Multilingual Executives
    • interim Management and consulting projects:
      • asset-Based Finance 
      • online picture library project for a major media group
      • online trading exchange for IT products and services
      • distributor of technical development & business software tools
  • Entertainment
    • Founded and managed a professional function band business performing at high-end corporate and private events
  • Digital Services
    • Created Pixel Executive, specialising in brochure, E-Commerce, multilingual websites and business development

A Language Professionals Questions

What do you want?

What are your personal, business, and financial objectives, and what is your why?

Is your current offer relevant?

Does the time you spend on what you do now reach your aspirations and produce sufficient return on investment?

How can you grow?

What other related services could you provide to existing and new potential prospects, clients, and markets?

Some statistics

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More than 24

Officially recognised languages in the European Union

English only websites reach less than 25% of internet users.

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54%

Europeans speaking only one language

Almost half of Europeans speak no English at all.

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45%

Potential sales increase

Increase in sales achieved by businesses that are proactive in their use of language and cultural skills (BCOC)

You may think the "languages" market is saturated, but there is still potential

What is a business asset and why is it so important?

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It has value

Business assets are those resources of value which you own, and that are capable of being turned into revenue.
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You can "sweat it"

"Sweating the assets" is can be defined as getting as much use as possible out of what you already possess.

As a language professional you can consider your skillset as a “business asset” that can be used in different ways to build your business.

Language commoditisation

How much are words worth?

Can be unprofitably competitive
Volume clients, agencies, Fiverr, Upwork, it can be a race to the bottom. There's always someone else cheaper, and building a relationship is difficult based on price. Are you spinning plates?.
Undervalued
Many people see language skills as a subjective service. If they don't understand a language themselves, they especially can't appreciate its true value. Or you your true value either.
You can't judge so easily
Two translators on a ship are talking.” Can you swim?” asks one.” No” says the other, “but I can shout for help in nine languages.”
Unfortunately, the world is full of clients who don't understand the " 2 out of 3" principle. So increasing your worth can get you further.

Sweating your assets

So what else can you do in business with languages? Start by setting yourself apart, with a niche, adding skills. As a serviced based business, with technology, there are no barriers to doing business internationally.

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It works both ways

  • You speak at least two languages, so this means translations can be done both ways. Market to both sides.
  • Get started with your own multilingual website so businesses see what you do in both markets.
  • Target companies with multilingual websites and point out any translation errors. You’ve got nothing Toulouse.
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More services

  • Cross-culture training for businesses, personal, expatriates…
  • Market surveys for companies wanting to expand into new markets
  • How to deal with cultural differences in online meetings and negotiations
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Specialisation - Niche

  • Specialise in a particular sector relevant to your languages and their markets. (Portugal/Brazil, France Belgium)
  • Concentrate on niche industry sectors, e.g. recruitment, medical, pharmaceutical. That makes it easier to target and win clients and establish yourself as a specialist.
  • Become a translation moderator in negotiations
  • Helping firms to communicate with overseas workers
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Strength in numbers

  • Start a pseudo agency by teaming up with people from other languages and pitching for bigger jobs together.
  • Offer a basket of products, either as an agency or to specific clients. (for example cross-cultural training.) That way you may get bigger clients
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Incremental markets

  • There are European cultural clusters (e.g. Anglo-Saxon Europe, Scandinavia, Northern Europe Southern Europe, Central Europe and Eastern Europe, so you can team up and cover more than one market for anything with shared cultural references
  • You can specialise in one sector for both languages
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Trade

  • Skill swaps. Perhaps you can help someone with their language needs in return for marketing.
  • Design skills
  • Coaching or guidance
Proverb: You are more than what you have become. - Lion King
How I combine my languages and international business experience with web design skills to increase my value:
I build multilingual websites that enable businesses to increase revenue by becoming visible in foreign markets.

Example: Things to consider when building a website in another language

Choice of plugin

Multilingual SEO

Country and market specifics

Translations

Design and formatting

Flags

Each language version needs to be native to the local user

4 business fundamentals to start the process

Whether you are a sole trader or a big corporation, the thought process is the same.

Goals

e.g. Broad, desired outcomes you want to achieve

Objectives

e.g. Specific and measurable outcomes with a timeframe that show progress on those goals

Strategies

e.g. How the goals and objectives will be achieved

Tactics

e.g. Specific actions that you will take to carry out your strategies and achieve your goals and objectives

If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe

  • Talk to other people who’ve done it. Ask their story.
  • Speak to your customers-what else do they need?
  • Engage with your competitors – speak to the competition about the competition. Check out their  websites and clients. 
  • Decide what your hook is – product range, pricing, service
  • Adapt your look and feel to what your target clients expect to see
  • Is it about efficiency and turnaround?
  • Is it about a personal service, or a machine?
  • Are you projecting high end, or  a commodity service
  • Small firms or blue chip
  • Industry and sector based, technical or style
  • Should you concentrate on referrals, email marketing, networking, agency work?
  • Look at trade associations, COC, networks for the clients you want. People deal with people.
  • What does your website say about you? Home made? Cheap and cheerful? Professional? You don’t know about people who never made an enquiry

Conclusion

Think outside the box - your languages are a business asset that can be used in more ways than one.
Decide what you want from your business both short and long-term, personal and professional.
Decide what you can do about it, make a plan, and sweat your asset.
Exclusive Multilingual Website offer for the language professionals network.

 A PAY AS YOU GO multilingual website to take your business to the next stage.  Keep overheads low whilst still improving your  online presence. 

Choose from a selection of professional templates, and I will build you a multilingual website, including web hosting, and maintenance from just £30 p.m.*

* You supply the translations, of course, price depends on how many pages and functionality.

Questions

If I could add one more service to what I currently offer, what would it be and why?
What is the main thing that prevents me from widening my business offering and why?