Lucy Xu

3 Steps to Getting Started with Startup Localization

One of the biggest localization roadblocks that startups face happens before their localization efforts even take flight. Often, startups will fall into the trap of thinking that localization is too complicated and expensive to be a worthwhile investment early on. This mindset, coupled with other common misconceptions of startup localization, prevents startups from thinking about localization when they need to most — from the beginning.

However, by thinking global early, you are setting up yourself for localization success down the road. It’s important to set a strong foundation so that you are building software that is set up for internationalization from the beginning, to make things easier down the line when you do decide to go global and localize into different languages. This foundation helps you to avoid slowing down the localization process in the long-run.

Here are the three key steps to getting started on your way to easy, affordable, and effective startup localization.

Calculate Scope & Budget

Whether you are bootstrapped or funded and growing, budget is a vital conversation for any new type of investment, and localization is no exception. First, calculate your translation budget using one of these two simple and comprehensive equations. Then, determine the scope of your localization project. For localization, scope means starting with the decision of which markets to localize into first and subsequently, which languages to translate your content into.

Figure Out if Your Software is Internationalized

After scope and budget comes the technical fun. At this step, determine whether or not your software is internationalized. This is important because software that hasn’t be internationalized from the start will require extra time and backtracking from your development team during your future localization efforts. Properly internationalized software enables your website and app to be easily translated and viewed in other languages without causing major issues to layout, design, and overall functionality.

Prioritize Content & Optimize Translation Resources

Startups that have successfully localized not only follow the steps from above, but also some fundamental best practices. Part of these best practices are two main components: prioritizing which content to localize first, and getting creative with localization techniques to maximize all available translation resources. For both these components, keep in mind that all your content can be localized — it’s just a matter of when and how. For the what and the when, we recommend starting with your top-performing content and combining that with some research about your international traffic. As for the how — an effective, engaging, and powerful localization method popular amongst startups is crowdsourcing from their user communities.

Of course, there are other resources and methods that startups are using to get their localization efforts going. Get all these startup localization insights, trends, and best practices in our latest Localization for Startups Infographic.

For more startup localization tips, trends, and how-to’s — download the Localization for Startups Infographic. In this first part of a three-part infographic series, we break down the localization landscape, why more and more startups are investing in localization, and how they are effectively reaching their global audiences … all on a startup budget.

Check out the infographic today to learn more.

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