When assessing the market in regards to your business, what do you generally see? A variety of businesses and consumers, or perhaps you even have a narrow niche in which you excel. These are all great things that can effectively drive business. Yet in most, if not all cases, what do they have in common? Language. English. Different language communities in many cases aren’t really a consideration when building a business and mapping a market. With the diversity of the local population and immense communities all around us, it actually works to the detriment of companies to not reach out to them.
These communities are here, and just as English speakers, they too use the variety of services that any business has to offer. In the greater Columbus Ohio area, over 15% of people speak a language other than English. That is a massive portion of the population! With over 50,000 Spanish speakers and 45,000 Somali speakers, the communities are too big to not engage with. That doesn’t even include all of the other substantial language communities here in the Columbus area (Arabic, French, Nepali, Portuguese, etc…). What this boils down to is that in the $136 Billion Columbus economy, with over 15% of the market, this means businesses leave over $20.4 Billion on the table by not reaching out to these communities.
While the figures stated above act as an aid in visualizing the possible impact inclusion of these communities can make, the point really comes down to the simple fact that language outreach for businesses really ends up being in the best interest of everyone. The business is able to expand into other communities, grow its customer base, and possibly even become a preferred provider for their particular specialty. For employers, tapping into a whole new workforce and gaining the capability to effectively and professionally train personnel left out by the competition provides a distinct advantage. As for the communities, it gives them the opportunity to branch out and reach more of what is around them.
Bottom Line: if you aren’t communicating, you are being left behind. Businesses and organizations of all kinds have already started making a concerted effort toward providing language assistance to effectively communicate with the immensely diverse communities that are already established among us. With the consistent and exponential growth of the various language communities here in Columbus, the businesses and organizations that will have tremendous success during this time are the ones that take the simple step of engaging with these communities. Don’t be left behind; strengthen your ties with your local community and expand your organization by taking the simple step of providing language services!