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Why language skills are great for business?

Thanks to theguardian

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In-house language skills win clients

By offering those skills, SMEs could find their client base growing. Solicitors Moore Blatch has always welcomed bilingual employees – its staff includes French, German, Mandarin, Russian and Japanese speakers. So it was well-placed to respond when it was approached by Polish charities seeking help for clients who had suffered personal injuries. The firm now offers a dedicated Polish legal claims service.

“Many businesses will rely on the help of translators, but we have found that investing in a dedicated service has led to stronger relationships with clients – so much so that the majority of work the firm receives under this service is through personal recommendations,” says partner Ciaran McCabe.../...

Help employees to learn

So how do you get employees up to speed? There’s a multitude of ways that SMEs can access training. This includes online providers such as Skillsoft and Rosetta Stone, which offer a variety of e-learning methods, including live online tutoring.

Guy Blaskey, founder of premium pet food manufacturer Pooch & Mutt, speaks French and Italian. He studied the languages at university originally, and has kept his skills fresh by talking to native speakers regularly and spending time working in France and Italy in his pre-Pooch and Mutt days. “I worked in an ad agency in Paris after university and the agency hired an American creative director whose French was terrible,” he remembers. “So that was actually really good for my skills, as I had to step up.” Pooch & Mutt exports to countries worldwide, including Finland, Sweden, America, Hong Kong and Turkey.../...

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