Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!

Full Speed AheadLast week we received the following from a prospect: “I regret that other pressures have meant that – for the time being at least – we’ve had to shelve further investigation of our options for publishing Chinese and Japanese header information and abstracts of our published articles online (and with the current economic situation we are trying to contain our existing costs without adding new ones!). Hopefully we may be in a position to pick this up again later this year or early next, and when we do I will contact you again as your proposal was certainly in line with our requirements.”

It is worthy to note that this was one out of hundreds of prospects that we have talked to this year and that a clear majority expressed the opposite view.

Despite of talk of recession and slumping economies, demand for translation and localization services seems to be at its peak and for good reasons:

1. The US dollar hit lows against many currencies that have not been seen in many years, making US based products and services relatively inexpensive and favorable compared to others. Many US companies are capitalizing on the cheap dollar and expanding their sales overseas.

2. Energy prices are in record territories compared to previous years, stressing further the need for companies and individuals to look at ways to reduce energy dependency. Telecommuting is becoming more justifiable and companies and individuals all over the world are investing in new software, hardware and telecommunication infrastructures to reduce transportation costs.

3. New technologies in renewable energy, environmentally-friendly appliances, geological testing and energy efficient manufacturing are emerging every day amidst great demand worldwide.

These trends, coupled with the Federal Reserve’s inability to increase interest rates due to major problems in the housing and financial sectors are creating a sub-surface current pulling demand for localization and globalization services and keeping our industry moving forward in spite of a bear market and economic downturn.

These are economically turbulent times and many industries are in survival mode. But in turbulent times, new opportunities emerge and many will capitalize on them and flourish. Globalization trends have never been stronger!

If your industry can benefit from ongoing global trends, don’t let pessimism slow you down. Your competition isn’t letting its guards down and is keeping its eye on its long term success. When asked by your upper management, board of directors or investors to cut back on your global expansion, borrow from Old Salamander’s adage and remind them of their long term strategic goals!

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