Please provide a company background including when it was established, where it is located, how many staff you employ etc.
Languages for Life Ltd is a specialist language agency based in Grantham, Lincolnshire. The owner and founder, Brigitte Peach PGCE MCIL, is a native German speaker and a fully qualified teacher, technical translator and interpreter with many years’ experience in corporate, schools (up to A-Level), further education and university environments. The company was established in 2007.
We work closely with over 4000 qualified linguists world-wide, allowing us to provide complete language and cultural support across a variety of business and educational environments, covering most global languages. Languages for Life Ltd ISO 9001-2008 registered to underline our commitment to delivering high quality services. Our interpreters and translators work only within their areas of specialism and into their mother tongue, for example: Technical, Legal, Health, Pharmaceutical, Engineering, Marketing etc.
Please provide an overview of the products and services offered and areas of specialisation.
Languages for Life is a ‘one-stop’ language provider, offering translations, localisations, all types of interpreting, language tuition, voice-over, proof-reading, book reviews and cultural workshops, which can include help with developing effective strategies for verbal and non-verbal communication with non-native English speakers.
How did you find out about emita and what benefits do you find the most valuable?
We have been a member of emita for a number of years and have benefited from training and networking events.
How long has your company been active in the export / import market and which countries do you currently trade with?
We have been exporting for about three years to a few customers in Germany, have just won a contract to provide English tuition in Sweden and have been asked to quote for English tuition in Norway. We are currently focusing on growing in Germany and Scandinavia, followed by Italy, France and the BRIC companies.
What made you decide to expand your business overseas?
For many years Languages for Life has supported customers in their strategies to growing globally; expanding our business overseas is a logical next step. A few months ago, at an emita event, we learned that North-Rhine Westfalia (coincidentally the area in which I grew up) is one of the UK’s largest export markets. Shortly after this event we talked to UKTI and have been able to join the Passport to Export Programme, which is hugely exciting and encouraging to us as we build on this area of our expertise.
What has been your biggest exporting / importing challenge?
Most of our business is carried out online; finding the best suitable linguists in the right places to provide language training can be challenging and we also spend a lot of time on research in order to get our pricing right. Despite having a Business Euro Account, International Banking is still very inflexible.
What’s the most helpful piece of international trade advice you have received?
‘Visit your target market, get to know your customer(s)…’, which means to invest time and often money and seeking cultural advice before you endeavour on this journey. There are government incentives and financial as well as practical support available to help small companies to become exporters.
What does the future hold? Any particular markets you are looking to target next?
At Languages for Life we believe that good communication is paramount, both with our clients and our linguists and enables us to build up trust and long-term working relationships. Many of our clients are developing strategies for Export in order to expand their businesses, which in turn offers us the opportunity to find ways to support them in their language needs, and therefore to grow ourselves.
At the moment we are working very hard to grow in the markets we are already exporting to such as Germany and Scandinavia, but are also researching markets in the Middle East and South America.