What type of localisation partner will help you meet your expansion goals?

You’ve just raised a round of funding and the future’s looking bright, exciting, and just a little bit… what’s the word?

Scary.

What’s more, your latest funding comes with some pretty demanding milestones. You’ve done the research, but you need to have launched in Japan and two additional Western European markets by the end of the year.

No problem. You’ve seen loads of marketing stuff from localisation providers over the last few months. It’s time to give them a call…

You speak to a few, share some sample source files, and brush off several clumsy attempts to chase you for a decision within an hour of receiving some rough pricing.

Company A invites you to talk to one of their long-standing clients to see how they’ve rolled their market-leading SaaS product out to over 30 countries in the last decade.

Company B talks you through the process they use for receiving files, managing amendments, and returning localised files to you. They ask you to sign up so they can set you up on ‘the system’.

Company C tells you that if you sign up this week they’ll provide an additional discount of 25% for the first year.

So far, so good. But a colleague of yours has found a cloud tool you like the look of — it won’t do the localisation for you, but it will help you integrate the localised files into your workflow as you expand. You ask your shortlist of localisation providers about it.

Company A says they’d be happy to work with your tool, and offers some suggestions as to other ways they could help you manage the localised files before go-live.

Company B tells you that their client management system adds value at every stage of the process, and will fulfil your every wish. You end the call none the wiser as to whether they’ll work with the tool, but convinced their tool is powering the International Space Station.

Company C says they’ll use your chosen tool, forgets its name, and then asks whether an additional 10% discount per translated word would encourage you to commit this week.

You’re nearly there. But market conditions and a couple of minor technical hitches mean that the Japan launch is being put on hold in the short term and you’d like to accelerate the European launches. You’d also like to add Brazilian Portuguese into the mix. You call your prospective partners to let them know and see what impact it might have.

Company A sets up a call with their two co-founders and the Project Manager you’ve dealt with since the first call. One of the co-founders talks you through some of the challenges that other clients have faced when launching in Latin America and suggests tweaking certain elements to meet some unique cultural challenges in the region. You also get an email that evening with a link to a news story that relates directly to the conversation you had earlier.

Company B tells you the person you spoke to previously has left the company. They find the previous quote on their system and ask you to hold whilst they run the new language pair through their quote engine. Within an hour you have a new quote, after spending twenty minutes trying to log into their portal to retrieve it.

Company C answers on the first ring and asks if you’ve made a decision yet.

Now here’s the big question — which company do you choose to work with?

If it’s Company Awe should talk. You’ll like us.

If it’s Company Bwe should talk. And you’ll be pleased to know you won’t have to log into a portal to arrange it. You might also be interested in taking a look at this earlier article.

If it’s Company Cwe’re happy to talk, but you might not like what we have to say.