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The British & International Franchise Exhibition 2017

The British & International Franchise Exhibition, Olympia, London 20 – 21 Jan 2017 Banner

On Friday 20th and Saturday 21st, Jan 2017 a very interesting exhibition took place, where we had the opportunity to visit not only big players as McDonalds and RE/MAX but also other well-established businesses looking to expand via franchising. In addition, there were plenty of conferences and workshops to learn about the procedures and tactics used in franchising.

Here is a short summary of all the useful notes to be considered from all the workshops and conferences that we took part in, for both the franchisor and the franchisee:

  • Be realistic and not overambitious.
  • Take legal advice from a franchise lawyer.
  • Learn about the viability of the business you are about to embrace.
  • Understand the context and the numbers related to franchise finances.
  • Search for expert advice.
  • If you are planning to borrow money for your franchise project, talk to more than one bank.
  • Read carefully the franchise agreement.
  • Franchising laws vary from one country to another and there are some that have none.
  • Usually, franchise agreements tend to last 5 years, but there are exceptions.
  • The initial fee usually covers training and additional equipment (for example banners).
  • The monthly fee usually covers management and maintenance service plus a part for global marketing.
  • Remember that to be a franchisee means you will have to maintain a minimum level of sales. There is usually a minimum performance clause in each agreement.
  • To acquire a franchisee may take in between 6 weeks to 4 months.
  • Do not rush through the process or you will end up with the wrong franchisee.
  • There is no get rich quick scheme!
  • Do not think that the franchisor will get the leads for you; they may help but is up to the franchisee to grow.
  • Usually, to recover your investment as a franchisee may take up to 2 years, do not expect profits in the first year.
  • Learn about the financial information for both franchisor and franchisee.
  • It is always better to have a couple of meetings face to face.
  • Be prepared and flexible when approaching a potential franchisee.
  • Be aware of time differences.
  • Follow a system. Make the system easy to learn for others.
  • Invest in training creation.
  • Know when it is time to stop holding hands. A franchisee is very similar to raising a child.
  • The franchisor should train, coach, motivate and monitor. But do not suffocate the franchisee.
  • Always protect your trademark at the earliest possible.
  • Understand cultural differences.
  • A franchisee candidate can be: an organization looking for diversification, a strong business leader looking for their own venture, an investor with strong management skills, and a company similar to the franchisor.
  • Do not set up a lot of franchisees in a short period of time if you know that you will not handle them properly.
  • Prepare in case things go wrong. If your franchisee fails you may be dragged to failure too.
  • If possible became a member of a franchise association as BFA (British Franchise Association) or EFF (European Franchise Federation).
  • To success in franchising align and embrace brand values.
  • Visit the franchisor and the franchisee office.
  • Listen to everyone’s ideas.
  • Work with a tested system and implement new solutions when required.
  • Recruit and develop quality people with problem-solving skills.
  • Be aware of taxation practices related to franchising.

    At The British & International Franchise Exhibition, Olympia, London 20 – 21 Jan 2017

 

At this moment you may be asking yourself… Why would a translation company go to a Franchising exhibition?

There are two answers to this question.

The first answer is: because every company that wants to have franchisees requires translation services to expand their global scope.

Any company that would like to enter the European market require a trustable translation partner.

This will allow them to translate and localize legal documentation, marketing campaigns, and their websites in order to reach the desired locations. At Jensen Localization, we have 16 years of experience providing reliable, accurate and fast translation and localization services. If your company is willing to have franchisees all over Europe, get in touch not to be lost in translation.

The second answer is: that we are the first translation company to franchise our formula. We are a recognized trademark under the EU trademarks registry. We have extensive experience in the localization market. We have 3 offices that allowed us to gain experience in providing localization services. A central office in order to have the others running smoothly and focusing on translation as their main focus rather than IT, Administration and Marketing. If you would like to know more about being an ambassador of our company, contact us to schedule a visit to our office in Fuengirola, Spain.

At Jensen Localization, we hope that you found this article useful to help you succeed in your franchising plans. If you have suggestions or questions about this article e-mail us!

The Translation Landscape in Northern Europe: NTIF 2016 Malmö

It was 07:00 am on a cold autumn morning in Malaga. The plane to Copenhagen was heating the engines for taking off and I, the representative of Jensen Localization, was on board that plane.

After 3.5 hours of bumpy flying with plenty of turbulence, I reached Kastrup airport. My next objective was to get to the train station to reach Malmö, a small Swedish city right next to the mighty Baltic Sea opposite Copenhagen.

Tickets in the train station were only sold in machines; it was a premonition of what was lying ahead in this trip, the replacement of humans with machines. Science Fiction? A sad reality? Continue reading to find out what happens.

Two big guys asked all passengers for our IDs before entering the train platforms. The train arrived on time, and it speeded up while crossing the Øresund Bridge, an amazing piece of engineering. Once in Sweden, there was a border control. What for? I still do not know; we spent 25 minutes waiting for some controllers that never showed up.

Øresund Bridge,

Øresund Bridge, Øresund. Source: Wikipedia.

Before NTIF 2016

At Malmö central station the Sun was shining and however cold, I had some time to discover a bit the old town of this northern Venice.

Suellsbron bridge

Suellsbron Bridge

Christmas decorations in Malmö old town

Christmas decorations in Malmö old town

sculpture in Malmö

Optimistorkestern, the optimistic orchestra. It was erected in 1985 to celebrate the opening of the first pedestrian shopping street in Malmö.

That same night, I attended the NTIF 2016 welcome dinner, where I had the pleasure to meet very nice people from Sweden, Latvia, Poland, Hungary, and many other countries. We had a glass of champagne and some nice finger food while chatting. There were too many names to mention as there were more than 150 attendees, so it would be difficult to be fair to everyone.

Nicolás and Anne-Marie

With Anne-Marie Colliander Lind, one of the NTIF organizers.

After some tourism and socialising, it is time to start working

On the first day, the 24th November, there was a tight agenda that took us from all current issues and advances in the localization industry to periods of networking, eating, drinking coffee, and visiting booths.

The conferences made me think more about fuzzy matches. In the future, would it be possible to have standard rules for metrics? Would it be possible to use them globally? I believe that there is a real need for everyone in this business to make these metrics as consistent as possible, as we are currently forced to use the ones established by the big guys in this industry under their own rules.

What most of us already knew, or had a feeling about, was that online translation services might be the next step of evolution in our business. However, will they replace human project management? This is the reason why Translation.net and Matecat instant quote appeared on the market. Will they be successful? Time and customers will decide their fate.

And the day went by. The feared Machine Translation monster is growing, but we should not be afraid of losing our position in the translation process; all rule-based systems and the ones requiring coding will have to be reviewed by an IT specialist that would need to work closely with linguistic reviewers for the best results. The guys at Prompsit (the creators of Apertium, a free open-source machine translation platform) made some remarks about how dependent some organizations in Nordic countries were on these tools and highlighted the concern of Nordic institutions on the impact on Nordic students, who use them to cheat on their homework.

Cultural issues and the job of translators finally recognised

Around midday, I attended a very particular speech, which was not directly tackling translation issues, but culture issues. How do Nordic people look to outsiders? Michael Booth described each Nordic tribe from the perspective of a British man that married a Danish woman and moved to Denmark for love. Scandinavia may seem like the new utopia for many people around the globe, but it also has its downsides. Do you want to know what the similarities between Danish and Norwegian languages are? Have a look at this article on our blog.

typical Dane

A typical Dane, according to Michael Booth.

Because energy moves the planet and our fast developing society, we are happy to see initiatives like the one at one of Europe’s leading energy companies: DONG (for Danish Oil and Natural Gas). With around 6,500 employees, they are planning to increase the visibility of translators in corporate and government organizations. If you are a translator, it is time to say: Finally! Or Hurray!

Florian Faes from Slator updated us on the latest news on the translation industry: the rise of MT, the battle for TransPerfect, Lionbridge reorganization, and how SDL went back to the roots. He also talked about Who Went Where, as the localization industry is one with the highest employees mobility. I am well aware of it! Northern winds brought me back to the warm South, although houses are warmer in northern European countries, you know.

When we were approaching the end of the day, all of us held our hands together and sang Kum ba yah (not really, but it would have been nice) during the presentation about networking tactics by John Di Rico. He made us understand that united we prevail and that business cards should be exchanged with both hands in Japan. Remember this on your next business trip!

After a one-hour break, the time for the real deal arrived: the Dining and Dancing event sponsored by Moravia & Ciklopea, which was indeed a total success. I was surprised by the charisma of Moravia and Ciklopea representatives and amazed by the dancing skills of the participants; that would make any Latino dancer jealous! I suspect that not only Cecilia and Anne-Marie may have some Latin roots.

NTIF dinner

NTIF dinner with Swedish delicacies

NTIF dinner

Time to dance with some Swedish music!

Sales and marketing strategies for translation companies

The last day of the NTIF, 25th November, focused on conferences about emerging business opportunities and again the dichotomy between Machine and Men in translation. The needs to cope with new challenges in the industry: transparency, costs reduction, data control, and a sustainable business model. Very nice on paper, but difficult to achieve in reality.

In the morning, another beneficial and challenging factor that was discussed was the media growth of Facebook and Netflix and their constant struggle to increase video production, as well as subtitling, dubbing/voice over and graphic localization. Adding to this growing cake is the lack of banking rewards for big money savers that is pushing them to invest in growing industries, the translation industry being one of them.

Midday conferences focused on mergers and acquisitions, buy and to be bought. They brought to our awareness that company owners do not live forever, even if they want to, and that sooner or later a merging will even shock or benefit any LSP.

The last two conferences that I was able to attend were about the enormous impact of social media and browsing on our lives, and the importance of creating proper content to reach our target audience. Both of them made a convergence that the old sales method is in decay and that feelings, emotions, connection with your audience, quality and added value are key points in reaching your objectives.

It was a pity, but I could not stay until the very end of the event because I had a plane to catch in Copenhagen to be back in Spain. Luckily, I was able to follow the final part of the event via the Nordic Translation Industry Forum Facebook page.

We, at Jensen Localization, would like to suggest that the 2017 NTIF should be hosted in Fuengirola. Do you know why? Because it is one of the Andalusian cities most populated by Nordic people (according to the 2014 statistics, there were registered 4,500 Finnish, 1,750 Swedish, 1,200 Danish and 800 Norwegians). It is warm, beautiful, with a balanced combination of beach and mountains, you will feel at home!

If you were in the NTIF and I did not have the pleasure of meeting you or dancing with you, please feel free to write me or contact Jensen Localization for any question you may have or just to say hello and keep in touch.

Thank you, Cecilia Enbäck, Anne-Marie Colliander Lind and all NTIF participants for such a memorable event that already has a place in the translation landscape.

Happy Jubilee, Hendrika!

We have reached the mid-year at Jensen Localization, and a very special event attracts attention among birthdays, contract renewals and baby announcements. Hendrika, one of our colleagues in our Dutch branch celebrated her 12.5 anniversary at Jensen Localization this month!

Hendrika was one of the first persons to be hired at Jensen Localization Benelux 12.5  years ago. By that time, we had a small office in De Kleine Raamstraat in the city centre of Groningen but nothing compared to the modern offices we currently have in Zernike Science Park. Hendrika was initially hired as a project manager and soon moved on to become the Assistant General Manager. During all this time she has performed all her tasks with exceptional professionalism. She has grown professionally with us, and our company has grown thanks to her job and the team she managed to build and train.

In August 2015 she decided to focus on linguistic tasks instead and she is now part of our in-house team of Dutch translators.

We are very happy to have Hendrika with us, and we want to congratulate her on her jubilee. If you would like to learn more about her, you can read a past interview.

Hendrika celebrating her Jubilee at translation company Jensen Localization

Hendrika is celebrating her Jubilee at Jensen Localization this year. Congratulations!

The Expedia Localization Vendor Summit in London

Expedia offices, LondonFor more than two years now, Jensen Localization has been working with Expedia as their provider of Dutch translations.

Although we maintain daily communication with our clients, there are times where a more relaxed atmosphere allows you to go beyond the client-vendor relationship and transform it into a partnership, where you really feel you are part of a team that is working together towards a common goal.

And this is what we have experienced at the Expedia Localization Vendor Summit that we attended from 6th to 8th October 2015. Our PM at Jensen in charge of this account, Isabel Guijarro, and our Language Lead, Jenny Bos-Klok, attended this summit in London, where not only they could meet the people at Expedia with whom they work more often, but also the vendors working on other languages for this company.

Jensen Localization at Expedia offices in LondonThese types of summits help you to understand how each department involved in the localization process works, and how our work fits in each of the stages of the process. During three days of meetings, they had the opportunity to learn a bit more about the different departments and brands Expedia needs localization for, such as Venere or Hotels.com.

Working with a big client such as Expedia does not mean that you just sit in a conference room and listen to a long list of requirements. This can easily be done by email. Expedia is a human-value company, where we can express our opinion about those things that would help us to improve our job and processes. Our colleagues took this opportunity to ask specific questions about reference materials, handoffs and tools for both translation and QA before final delivery.

Expedia Localization Partner SummitTechnology does help a lot, and we need it to work more efficiently and meet our demanding client requirements. But in the end, business is done between people, and when you are part of a multilingual and multicultural team of vendors, it really helps to have a face to face meeting from time to time to learn more about each other and empathise with them. Next time we are asked to do something we do not see the point in doing, we are sure we will find an explanation to it :-).

We want to thank Tommaso Rossi and Andrea Velasco from the Vendor Management Team at Expedia for their help since the beginning of our relationship with Expedia and for inviting us to this event, which really exceeded our expectations. We look forward to more years of successful partnership.

(Pictures courtesy of Expedia, Inc)

 

Networking in the translation industry. The GALA conference in Seville.

GALA roll-upIt is time to find cooperators and not competitors. Competition exists and will always be there, and actually I think that our competitors are more outside the translation industry that inside.

Compared to other industries, I think that the translation industry is quite collaborative, long before the term networking term was coined.

Therefore, we are very used to do networking. We attend congresses and seminars where we find both freelancers and translation companies with whom we discuss opportunities for collaboration, because even if we do the same, there is always something where you are the best and something where you need help.

The last event we attended was the GALA conference in Seville, Spain, held in the end of March.

It was the first time we attended a GALA event; we attended conferences in the past such as Localization World, or TAUS Summits, but we never attended any event from GALA. And I must say that it was nice to be back in a translation event.

I thought it was going to be a European event, so to speak, and it came as a nice surprise to see that there were people from all over the world, from the US to South Korea and a large representation of Argentinean companies.

From this blog I want to thank the GALA organisers for organising a networking event where, in a very few minutes, we had the opportunity to meet around 60 people, which is absolutely not bad.

Does this mean that I will make business with each person I met? That would be great, but it is not the purpose of a networking event. In a networking event you get a first picture of a person or business, and it is not until you are back in your office that you start contacting those that attracted your attention most. Do not be afraid if you do not close a deal after a networking event, or if you do not hear soon from someone you met. Maybe at that moment there was not a need to get in touch, but that need may arise later and be sure you will be contacted if they need you.

So, do not worry about preparing a perfect sales pitch for a networking event. Instead, try to get information from your counterparts, see how you can help them and they will in return ask you how they can help you. And it is then business may come.

Attending all sessions was completely impossible, for obvious reasons, so I had to make a choice. Due to my job position, I focused on the sales speeches, and I enjoyed very much the open discussion about collaborative selling with Anne-Marie Colliander Lindt from Inkrea.

Despite companies having a sales specialist, companies need to be aware of the fact that all departments are part of the sales cycle. The whole staff needs to be aware of it too, and for that they need information and training.

For example, if the IT department helps the production department, PMs and translators will be able to work more efficiently, and therefore, the client will trust the company more and this can lead to more sales.

PMs are the ones talking with clients on a frequent basis, they are the ones clients will ask when they need help, and they are the ones getting important feedback from the client that can help the sales staff to prepare specific offers and proposals to increase sales.

And this is true not only for translation companies, but for any company. Communication, proactivity, team spirit and thinking about the general benefits and not the individual ones will be crucial in the success of your company; no matter how good your translations are or how much you invest in technology.