Categories: Europe

Should Italian Businesses Expand to New Markets Amidst a Global Economic Downturn?

Economic headlines around the world make for pretty distressing reading these days. As such, many businesses are looking for new ways to shore up their revenue streams and to open up new markets in order to spread their risk and maximize their returns. This is true of businesses in Italy, as well as in other countries around the world. So, is now the right time for Italian businesses to consider expanding their operations to new international markets? Let’s find out.

H2: How Is the Italian Economy Performing?  

As recently as May 2022, it seemed that inflation would be souring Italy’s economic prospects, with the European Commission reporting that Italy continued to be dogged by “excessive imbalances.” 

However, just a few months later, the Italian economy surprised analysts by performing better than expected, growing by 0.1% in Q2 2022 and by 0.5% in Q3. While this was positive news for Italian businesses, many are still considering their options in terms of growing their international customer base and opening up new revenue streams. Increasing market share in preparation for tough times ahead certainly seems like common sense as we head into 2023.

H2: The Economic Situation in Europe and the Wider World

Just as Italy is facing ups and downs in terms of its economic performance, so are other countries across Europe and around the globe. According to the World Bank, there is a rising risk of global recession, with simultaneous rate hikes in multiple countries not sufficient to curb global inflation. 2023 is likely to see central banks increase global monetary-policy rates to nearly 4%, as the economic situation continues to worsen. 

H2: Practical Considerations: From Language to Legal Obligations

For Italian businesses that have decided to seek new markets overseas as part of their strategy during the global downturn, there are several practical activities to undertake in order to make that reality.

H3: Market Research

No new business venture, no matter which country it is in, should be undertaken without market research. This is a company’s way of understanding the local marketplace, analysing demand for its service and gauging customers’ views on everything from its products to its competitors.

Italian businesses that are reaching out to new markets outside of Italy will likely need the help of a proactive and reliable Italian translation service. Italian is spoken by between 63 million and 85 million people as a first language (estimates vary considerably) and the vast majority of them live in Italy. For businesses targeting customers overseas, Italian to English translation will be a top priority if they are to complete their market research thoroughly and gain the insights they need from that process.

Market research is one task (of many) that will require translation both from Italian to English (to undertake the research) and from English to Italian (to understand and analyze the results). What is the best English to Italian translator? It’s someone who speaks Italian natively. Likewise, the best Italian to English translator will be someone who speaks English as their first language. Using a native speaker of the target language almost always yields better results in terms of translation quality. 

H3: Translating Italian Businesses into International Ventures 

Translation from Italian to English (or to any other language) will also be essential for a range of other purposes. Any Italian business that is seeking international customers will need to translate everything from its website to its order confirmation emails into the customer’s language. 

This is a fundamental part of expanding a business beyond Italy’s borders. The quality and reliability of the Italian translator that a business uses for these tasks is paramount. They will need to source Italian translation services that can reliably translate any type of document for a wide range of professional purposes. 

Cost, of course, will come into play when it comes to finding the perfect service. How much does a 1,000 word translation cost? It will depend on the content being translated (specialist documents such as legal paperwork can cost more) and how quickly it is needed. A rough budget of $0.10 per word – so $100 for a 1,000 word translation – should give a ballpark figure, but costs can vary significantly between different providers of Italian translation to English. 

H3: Regulatory Compliance

Another important aspect of international expansion is complying with the requirements of local regulators. Italian businesses have an advantage here if they are expanding into other countries in the EU, as much of the legislation they already comply with governs the entire bloc. Any business in Italy, for example, will already need to comply with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which can help ease their passage into other countries within the EU.

That said, EU member states can (and often do) also have their own requirements when it comes to regulation and compliance. As such, Italian businesses will need to understand the local environment. This involves extensive online research, perhaps with the assistance of computerized Italian to English translation in order to understand the meaning of the documents being read. Machine translation can be an excellent help in this regard, though it should not be relied upon for the translation of documents which require skilled human nuance, such as marketing materials. Professional Italian translators should also be used for the translation of any legal documents, such as shipping paperwork, storage contracts, manufacturing documentation and so on.

The same is true when it comes to local finances and tax arrangements. Any Italian business setting up a new international branch will need to be aware of local taxation requirements and ensure that it complies with these to the letter. Again, the assistance of an Italian translation service can be extremely helpful with this task.

H2: Italy’s Major Exports 

Italian businesses are certainly not strangers to the concept of making money overseas. Italy was the world’s seventh largest exporter in 2020, according to OEC data, with top exports included packaged medicaments, cars and motor vehicle parts, refined petroleum and vaccines. Italy also exported more unglazed ceramics, pasta and processed tomatoes than any other country in 2020. Germany, France, the US, Switzerland and the UK were the top importers of Italian goods. 

H2: Tuning into Italian Culture 

Italy’s cultural exports are also a major source of revenue for the country. Check in on any top Italian influencer, such as Chiara Ferragni, and you’ll see plenty of focus on fashion and beauty – beautiful clothes and products, beautiful people, stunning architecture and snapshots of contemporary Italian family life that resonate with viewers around the globe. 

The general global appetite for Italian culture presents opportunities here, which is something that Italian businesses considering expanding internationally can use to their advantage. 

H2: The Risks of Expanding During a Global Economic Downturn

While there are many opportunities associated with expanding internationally, it is not without risk. Expanding beyond Italy’s borders can be a costly and time-consuming venture. If it doesn’t work out well, it can damage a firm’s finances and its reputation. That said, given the uncertain future facing so many countries’ economies at the moment, not expanding during a global economic downturn could prove to be just as risky. It’s a chance that every Italian business owner will need to weigh up for themselves. 


Since 2005

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