Today, franchise businesses (franchisors and/or franchisees) from large companies with thousands of locations to small companies with less than 10 locations, are going global. To support their global growth, the need for translation services is increasing to include training materials, marketing, websites, applications, menus, contracts, etc. Franchise companies increasingly find that they will need translation for their employee and customer needs domestically as well.
Training can be in document forms such as manuals or posters, or in many cases as videos or eLearning. Franchisors may create training videos for their franchisee to use in their employee training. Staff under the age of 30 often prefer and learn their job tasks better from viewing a video. Staff that does not speak English will benefit greatly from content provided in their native language. Having the videos translated with voiceover and/or subtitling will help the employees be more productive, improve safety, and customer experiences.
A US-based franchise opening a location in say France may want to translate their training content to French. A franchise in the USA may consider Spanish. A franchise in Dubai may consider Filipino. In Dublin, Ireland perhaps Eastern European languages may be a need. The need may not always be what the national language of the country the franchise is operating within, but the language of its workers.
Marketing flyers, coupons, advertisements, commercials, and websites that are localized for the target market can help a local franchisee earn business in that region. In regards to the website, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for targeted languages should also be considered. In this case, it is not just a matter of translating keywords, but doing keyword research for the language in a specific market to understand which terms are being used for that region. It may not be a direct translation of your English keywords.
In some markets, a translated menu can be most helpful for customers. Tourist areas or global business centers may see customers from around the world. Having a translated menu may help expand one business for a small cost.
It has become common for franchise businesses to have apps for their customers and employees to use.
Apps for customers help orders to be placed, appointments booked, and deliveries made. Likewise, franchise companies often have separate apps for their employees for internal use. We recently localized an app for a customer for their delivery drivers.
Having an app today helps grow business. Lack of an app may see a customer to choose another company that has an app due to the added level of convenience. In some countries, I have seen companies use only an English app in markets that do not speak English or have an expectation for the customers to mainly speak English, only because this was provided by the franchisor in English, but the master franchisee for a country did not wish to translate the app as it would have been a cost item for them. This is not a win-win for either party.
Doing business globally may require a franchise company to have a contract translated. Perhaps a franchisee’s Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) or other discovery needs. For example, the franchisor needs to consider the laws in the local market in order to understand what obligations they may be responsible for while operating in a given country.
In the past, translation was often overlooked as a need to be addressed by the franchisor or even the franchisee, as neither party wanted to be responsible for the cost. Today global franchising has created a very competitive market where a logo only goes so far, translation for marketing, training, and digital experiences can provide an edge with customers, benefits in employee efficiencies and safety, and repeat business.