Planting a Tree in Sierra Leone

According to the World Bank the average person in Sierra Leone earns the equivalent of $1,750 USD per year. Incomes like that don’t make attractive markets for the latest smartphones or computers or cars. Fact is there really isn’t a lot of reason for the global economy to pay much attention to Sierra Leone.

Unless it’s possibly the source of a virulent virus that has the potential to spread across the whole world and cripple global commerce. 

The Ebola outbreak is a serious reminder of how small and interconnected our world is -- and how it’s getting smaller. Increasingly easy communication and increasingly easy transportation of people and goods are fueling this. The areas where different cultures intersect are often areas of friction and misunderstanding but for people in business they are areas of opportunity.

No matter what business you are in, software, manufacturing, legal services, publishing, if you answer the right question or solve the right problem with your product or service you can open up new markets anywhere. But how do you solve a customer’s problem or answer their question when it’s being asked in a language you don’t understand? How does a consumer know you have what they are looking for if the words they’re using to search don’t exist in the language your website is written in?

A recent survey of 2500 consumers around the world showed that more than 50% would not buy a product whose packaging, website, etc... was not in their language. 

If you could speak another language to improve your business today, what language would you choose? 

Mandarin? Hindi? Arabic? Portuguese?

There’s a Chinese proverb that says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

There are markets and opportunities waiting for you out beyond your cultural comfort zone (And it can get uncomfortable if you have the wrong approach). If you’re ready now, or you’ve thought about it in the past and felt it was too difficult…we can help you understand those markets and help those markets understand you. 

And it’s not just all about China. Even markets like Sierra Leone have potential. Incomes there have risen about 250% since the year 2000. Where do you think that number will be in 20 years?

Maybe you should go plant a tree. (We’ll help you translate your website into Temne.)