The business category features all blog posts related to all forms of business, from start-ups to entrepreneurs and conglomerates. Most post refer to the business world of translation and localization though.

Bill Payne on Fundable Start-ups

Bill Payne with Damian Scattergood on fundable start-ups

Bill Payne, Angel Investor with Damian at a HotHouse event on fundable start-ups.

Thursday 19th of April 2012 was a fantastic day here at the Docklands Innovation Park when we had the chance to meet Bill Payne, America’s 2009 Angel Investor of the year. Bill has invested in over 50 companies including DoubleClick. His successful track record makes amazing reading.

Bill was visiting the HotHouse entrepreneurship program based in the Docklands Innovation Park where STAR has its Dublin office. It was great to be able to meet and discuss this topic with him. The title of his presentation was “Fundable Companies” which caught my eye straight away. At the end of the day, the real question for any investor or managing director is “the project or company actually fundable?” All too often business plans have great ideas and lots of out-of-the-air sales figures and projections, but what investors look for is the core of the business.

Management Team is Key

One of the key factors that Bill highlighted was the strength of the management team. You may have a great product and a million-dollar market, but can you actually manage the company when it gets to that size? As companies grow, you have to evaluate your management skills (across the company) and ascertain who is the right person to manage it and what skills they require.

The skills to manage a 5-person start-up are not the same as those required to manage a 100-person company. Sometimes a CEO has to decide and plan when they need to be replaced. If you are looking to have an exit sale of your company, perhaps it is better to put in a CEO that has done it before, so they can manage up and out for that trade sale.

But I’m only a Start-up

You might not be the million-dollar company looking to be bought out if you are just a start-up. Again Bill offered some excellent advice on how to manage the early-start investment (or whatever cash you had) and how to focus on building your company. Start-up companies should first consider…

  1. where to focus?
  2. how to spend and manage cash?
  3. and where to build the correct value in your organization?

Angels are people too

Young entrepreneurs often forget that angels are people too. They have the same concerns and worries about any business as you do. They may have the money you need to build a company, but have to be careful where they put it. Bill told us that 50pc of his investments go nowhere. That’s a lot of money to lose; he looks for companies that might deliver back 20 times a return. If you were looking to have an angel invest between 500K and 1 million in your company, they would be looking at getting 20 million in a trade sale in perhaps 5 years. So think before you leap.

Top 7 tips given to us by Bill…

  1. your management team is important
  2. scalability: your business needs to be able to scale fast (i.e. production, people and management skills)
  3. Angel Investors tend to invest in local companies, so do your homework on who is in your area
  4. potential fundable companies should be customer-ready
    • you should have some customers and a little traction in the market
    • Angel money gives you the funding you need to scale, it is not research money
  5. competitive advantage: you need to have some form of competitive advantage
    • if someone can copy you tomorrow and take the market away forget it. It doesn’t mean you need IP rights etc, this can come later, just an edge to get the first 10 million in sales!
  6. niche markets helps
    • if you are in a market the big companies aren’t looking at, you can take market share quickly
  7. sales and marketing plan: make sure you have a proper sales plan
    • not that we’ll get 1pc of the market by 2012; how are you actually going to sell your product?

If you’re interested in learning more about Bill Paynes’s system for ensuring you’re ready for investment, then check out his website.

The STAR Team

Other resources: Are you investable?

Are You Export Ready?

Damian with Rena Cushion from Enterprise Ireland

Damian with Rena Cushion from Enterprise Ireland’s ‘Get Export Ready’ program discussing languages for exporters.

Get Export Ready, Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland’s new program to help first time exporters.

Last Wednesday we attend Enterprise Ireland’s export event in the Clarion Hotel in Santry. It was a very interesting event focused on their new ‘Get Export Ready’ program.

The event was really well attended with so many companies in Ireland growing their international businesses.

The guest speaker was John Byrne of Byrne Looby Partners, International Consulting Engineers who shared his experiences in developing overseas markets such as Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi etc. They’ve done a great job in a tough business environment.

EI’s “Get Export Ready” program which was recently been launched outlines all the key areas for any new business going into international markets from market research, funding and advice to on-going training.

Four steps to exporting

Four steps to export overseas.

The site offers a free Export Ready Healthcheck that you can complete and enables you to build your business plan for exporting.

By developing your business overseas you can…

  • spread the business risk across markets
  • open your company to new ideas for products and services
  • achieve greater economies of scale and become more cost competitive
  • enhance your credibility with customers
  • increase the skills, knowledge and expertise within your company

Exports and Translation

There was a number of great hints and tips given on the day to help you gain traction in your new markets.

A topic that was asked during the Q & A was about language translation and how you can do business in another country (when you don’t speak the language)? We found this one a really good question as there isn’t a single answer to this.

It really depends on your business model and how you choose to enter the target market. If you’re interested in this area, you can also download our white paper on Going Global. The white paper has lots of hints and tips on how to design and prepare for translation before you enter a new market.

Another interesting question was around English. Perhaps a simpler approach for first time exporters is to just target countries that speak English only.

Which countries speak English as their primary language?

Countries where English is the de facto language Region
Australia Australia
United Kingdom Europe
United States North America

Sovereign States

Countries where English is a de jure (official) language Region
Antigua and Barbuda Caribbean
Barbados Caribbean
Belize Central America / Caribbean
Botswana Africa
Cameroon Africa
Canada North America
Dominica Caribbean
Eritrea Africa
Ethiopia Africa
Federated States of Micronesia Oceania
Fiji Oceania
Ghana Africa
Grenada Caribbean
Guyana South America / Caribbean
India Asia
Ireland Europe
Jamaica Caribbean
Kenya Africa
Kingdom of the Netherlands Caribbean (and Europe)
Kiribati Oceania
Lesotho Africa
Liberia Africa
Malawi Africa
Malta Europe
Marshall Islands Oceania
Mauritius Africa / Indian Ocean
Namibia Africa
Nauru Oceania
New Zealand Oceania
Nigeria Africa
Pakistan Asia
Palau Oceania
Papua New Guinea Oceania
Philippines Asia
Rwanda Africa
Saint Kitts and Nevis Caribbean
Saint Lucia Caribbean
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Caribbean
Samoa Oceania
Seychelles Africa / Indian Ocean
Sierra Leone Africa
Singapore Asia
Solomon Islands Oceania
South Africa Africa
South Sudan Africa
Sudan Africa
Swaziland Africa
Tanzania Africa
The Bahamas Caribbean
The Gambia Africa
Tonga Oceania
Trinidad and Tobago Caribbean
Tuvalu Oceania
Uganda Africa
Vanuatu Oceania
Zambia Africa
Zimbabwe Africa

The STAR Team

50 Changes to Google Search Engine

Changes to Google Search, March 2012

In March, Google made some 50 changes to the Google Search Engine — all positive and will have a huge impact on websites and current SEO.

The changes to Google Search include items such as:

  • Better indexing of profile pages. [launch codename “Prof-2”] This change improves the comprehensiveness of public profile pages in the Google index from more than two-hundred social sites
  • High-quality sites algorithm data update and freshness improvements. [launch codename mm, project codename Panda] Like many of the changes Google make, aspects of the high-quality sites algorithm depend on processing that’s done offline and pushed. In the past month, Google has pushed updated data for Panda
  • Live results for UEFA Champions League and KHL. Google have added live-updating snippets in search results for the KHL (Russian Hockey League) and UEFA Champions League, including scores and schedules. Now you can find live results from a variety of sports leagues, including the NFL, NBA, NHL and others
  • Tennis search feature. [launch codename DoubleFault] Google have introduced a new search feature to provide real time tennis scores at the top of the search results page. Try [maria sharapova] or [sony ericsson open]
  • Fresher image predictions in all languages. [launch codename Imagine2, project codename Suggest] Google recently rolled out a change to surface more relevant image search predictions in autocomplete in English. This improvement extends the update to all languages
  • Tweaks to handling of anchor text. [launch codename PC]. This makes for better quality link scores
  • Fewer undesired synonyms. [project codename Synonyms] When you search on Google, it often identifies other search terms that might have the same meaning as what you entered in the box (synonyms) and surface results for those terms as well when it might be helpful. This month they tweaked a classifier to prevent unhelpful synonyms from being introduced as content in the results set
  • Better handling of queries with both navigational and local intent
  • Better local results and sources in Google News
  • Improvements to Image Search relevance
  • Tweaks to language detection in autocomplete

For the full list of changes see Google Inside Search.

The STAR Team

Mandarin Chinese, Most Spoken Language in Business

Chinese Mandarin, most spoken language in business

Chinese Mandarin, most spoken language in business

Most Spoken Language in Business, Mandarin Chinese

Mandarin is the official spoken language in China. It is spoken by 730 million people. According to Bloomberg Rankings, it is now scored highest in a ranking of languages for business usefulness, excluding English.

The rankings takes into account…

  • the number of speakers
  • the number of countries where the language is official
  • economical rates
  • educational rates

Doing business in Asia will call more and more for language abilities to be successful in non-English speaking countries. It provides advantages by being closer to the culture and habits and it also favours connections in a faster and more complex business environment.

World Facts

Number of speakers in the world per language (approximations only):

  • French; 75.9 million*
  • Arabic; 295 million*
  • Spanish; 470 million*

Mandarin and Cantonese are often confused when people request translation services for China. It is easy to confuse them as the written form can be different depending on the country you are in. We have produced a simple table explaining the differences between Chinese languages and dialects.

*Based on figures from 2010, first language speakers only

The STAR Team

Source: Bloomberg.com
Updated: 1st of December 2015

Bord Gáis Energy Social Media Awards 2012, Nominated

Social Media Awards 2012, nominated

We are delighted to tell you that STAR has been nominated for the Bord Gáis Energy Social Media Awards 2012. Over the past six months, our followers will know over that we’ve been blogging, posting on Facebook and Tweeting like mad to tell everyone about translation and language. It’s been really hard work, but great fun too.

Videos

We’ve a couple of great videos that we produced, including our learn how to speak Irish videos.

The culmination of all the hard work is that we are nominated in four separate categories:

  • Online PR Campaign
  • Blog of a Business
  • Video / Video Campaign (non-broadcast)
  • Best Business Twitter account: marketing, sales sponsored

The competition will be tough. We’re up against Jedward in one of them! Wish us luck!

You can view the entire nomination list on the Social Media Award website.

The STAR Team

What is BRIC?

What is BRIC?

What is BRIC?

BRIC

BRIC is an acronym for the emerging countries Brazil, Russia, India and China. Most located on the east side of our ageing European continent those countries now represent a lot of growth opportunities for the global economy.
Where does BRIC come from?
People agreed that BRIC first appeared thanks to Jim O’Neil who had formerly written a paper entitled “Building Better Global Economic BRICs” in 2001. The acronym spread when Goldman Sachs published a report on 2003 “Dreaming with BRICs: The Path to 2050”. The report was a sort of prediction of our future global economy. In Goldman Sachs’ scenario, the BRICs are the heroes struggling to endorse global growth and that they would dominate the world by 2050. The report has been a good insight to the future as since publication many revelations reported in it were realized, even sooner than expected. I guess this is the reason why the first publication has been reviewed three times since its original publication (2004, 2007, and 2010).

Is BRIC the future of the world?
According to the Goldman Sachs’ report, China and India will become the dominant global supplier for manufactured goods and services. Meanwhile, Brazil and Russia will become the dominant one for raw materials and energy. When we focus on published data it is clear that BRIC will overtake the USA as the world’s biggest importer by 2014.

Embrace BRICs

STAR helps clients who do business in BRIC countries by providing translation services for Documents, Websites and Manuals. If you’re doing business in any BRIC country – STAR can assist you with your language requirements.

Want More BRIC?

There are other versions of BRIC you may also like to explore:

  • The Big Four
  • BRICS — including South Africa
  • Chindia
  • CIVETS — acronym from HSBC 2009, including Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa
  • MINT — from Fidelity 2011, including Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey

The STAR Team

Finance Bill 2012 to Attract Investments to Ireland

Finance Bill 2012

Finance Bill 2012

Finance Bill 2012

The finer details of the Budget 2012 have been released in the Finance Bill 2012 and it contains a significant number of items that favour Foreign Direct Investments. The Finance Bill 2012 contains major incentives for companies investing in Ireland. The main points are:

  • Research and Development (R & D) relief
    • Key employees, excluding directors and certain others, can avail of a reduction in their income tax liability where their employer surrenders their R&D tax credit to the employee in question
  • Foreign Earnings Deduction (FED)
    • Support for companies expanding into certain emerging markets by giving employees tax relief
  • Special Assignee Relief Programme (SARP)
    • Intent to encourage the relocation of key talents within organizations to Ireland; further improvements have been made as well as many restrictions have been removed
  • For instance, the Budget 2012 will keep:

  • 12.50% Corporate Tax Rate applicable to Irish trading
  • 0% rate for new companies for the first three years of trading which were incorporated and started trading in 2009 (with profit up to 320,000 per annum)
  • Ireland keep holding and negotiating a network of double taxation treaties. It avoids the need to pay tax twice on the same income or gains for international companies. Currently, 55 countries are concerned and 46 countries already applied it – including BRIC countries

Those incentives should attract talent and create jobs. Indeed it supports export by helping companies willing to expand their business into emerging markets. It also would grant a special deduction for an individual spending at least 60 days a year in developing market for BRIC countries.

For further information, please follow the link below:

Finance Bill 2012
The STAR Team

National Entrepreneurial Business Awards, Shortlisted

National Entrepreneurial Business Awards 2012, shortlisted

Wish us luck for the National Entrepreneurial Business Awards.

National Entrepreneurial Business Awards 2012

We have been shortlisted for the Entrepreneurial Business Awards in Dublin. We are delighted to share the good news with our followers.

The EBA Gala night will take place in Kildare on the 18th of May. This is the first year for the EBA Awards and it’s a great opportunity to celebrate Irish Entrepreneurs at all levels.

The event has regional awards per county and an overall All-Ireland Award for the best companies. We are shortlisted for our customer service and technology development for our customers. It’s great to hear good news about so many companies doing well, supporting our country and growing Ireland’s new business culture.

For more information visit the EY Entrepreneur of the Year website.

The STAR Team

Tips for SEO for Big Brands

Top Tips for SEO

As a translation services company, we provide both document and website translation services. That’s why we are also interested in SEO.

When launching or managing a website, or a blog, you need to look at the best SEO practices in order to optimise the visibility of your site on the Web.

Here is an interesting infographic we found on this subject that we want to share…

Six tips on SEO for big brands

Image credit: Neo Mam Studios

The STAR Team

Google Warns SEO Experts for Over-optimization

Google Warns SEO Experts

In Matt Cutts’s latest video on Google Search Engine Optimization, he warns Google will penalize sites for over-optimization.

The next generation of Google Search will analyse sites that have been heavily optimized. The idea is to level the playing field for all users online.

Listen to Matt and share your opinion with us.

What do you think? Is it a good or bad move by Google?

The STAR Team