UN Russian Language Day is celebrated tomorrow on June 6th! This day was established by the United Nations in 2010. In order to get ready for this event, here are some good reasons to enter this market and some tips to overcome the challenges in Russia!
Little Explanation about this International Day
June 6th was chosen as the UN Russian Language Day, because it was the birthday of Alexander Pushkin, recognized as the father of Russian literature. Moreover, this day underlines the importance of multilingualism and cultural diversity. Russian is the most widely spoken Slavic language and the 8th in terms of native speakers in the world!
Why choose this market to expand your business? Here are some reasons that will convince you
- Russian economy:
Despite some recent geopolitical issues, these ones shouldn’t prevent you from doing business over there. Russia is a land full of opportunities that is often underestimated by Western companies. It is the 6th largest economy in the world. Russia has a massive, undiscovered potential as it is the largest country in the world. With a population of 142 million, it has a huge consumer market waiting for you!
- Business opportunities:
Moscow is the biggest and most developed city in Russia; it is also bigger in terms of investment, population and economy than other Russian regions. There is also other areas that are developing fast like St Petersburg, Samara, Kazan, Mizhny, and Novgorod. So, when doing business in Russia, you should focus on these regions where chances of success are higher!
Additionally, you’ll be more likely to excel in Russia in these following sectors:
- Industrial activity and retail trade
- Energy industry
- Transport and storage sector
- IT Industry
However, entering the Russian market isn’t easy - even the gigantic company Google is not the leader in Russia. We will discuss overcoming the obstacles of the challenging market to become a Russian Super-Leader!
Here are some tips in honour of Russian Language Day:
1. Speak Russian
If you want to do business and be understood in Russia you’d better learn the language. In fact, 70% of Russians don’t speak any foreign languages. And only 11% can speak English. So speaking Russian is definitively a great advantage for your company to make sales.
Here is a sentence that could make a good impression for your business:
- Say: 'здравствуйте' (zdravstvuite) when shaking hands, it literally means I wish you health. It’s better than just saying Hello, this will indicate your interest in Russian culture
If you‘re not very courageous to learn this complex language you should think about using interpreting services so that you avoid any misunderstandings.
2. Localise your website
It is very important to translate and localise your website in order to reach a larger audience and lead customer interests. It was revealed that 87% of non-English speaking customers who cannot read English will not buy your product or services.
Get some basic localisation advice:
- You should make sure that your website is translated by native Russian speakers, so your content is both technically correct and culturally relevant.
- When doing the localisation, remember that each social group of target audience has his own language depending on age, region, gender, and status.
3. SEO Strategy and Use of Social Media
In SEO terms, you should bear in mind that Yandex is bigger than Google in Russia. You have to know that Yandex has different SEO requirements than Google. Concerning social media LinkedIn and Twitter are not very common, so you should focus on larger platforms such as Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki.
4. Find Local partners
Having local partners is a big advantage if you want to expand your business in Russia. In fact, compared to other companies, you’ll benefit from your partners‘ expertise about the local economical trends. Thus you’ll be more likely to answer the market expectations and avoid marketing mistakes. These partners can also handle administrative issues, which can be tricky for a western company.
5. Build business relationships and trust
Concerning business relationships, one of the first rule in Russia is to be open, straightforward and clear with your offer. Also, avoid introducing yourself with your first name but only with your surname. In fact, the first contact has to be formal. Finally, building trust is a long process so to ensure that you are credible and sincere, make an effort to present yourself as dignified and confident, but at the same time let them see that there is still an air of friendliness in you!
6. Stay politically correct
Russians are generally proud of their culture, heritage, and history. Even if you disagree with some political practices, you should stay away from criticizing their political system and focus on doing business. Don’t let your unwanted message affect your relationships and, after all, business.
In brief, as tomorrow is the UN Russian Language Day, it is a good excuse to start learning this language and consider the numerous opportunities that the Russian market has to offer for your business expansion. Now you’ve been given useful tips to enter this market, don’t wait and pack your suitcase for Russia, or someone else will take your spot!
Written By Anais Laget
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