Your business is going well. After a lot of hard work your products are selling well locally and you have decided to sell internationally.

No-one within your company has the time and the skills to run an international digital sales project and you dont know where to find the right person, or even want to employ them full-time.

So what’s the solution? A bilingual web project manager who specialises in website project management and localisation.

But first of all, what is a project manager and why employ one?

Software project management is the art of balancing competing and different objectives, managing risks and overcoming constraints to successfully deliver a product that corresponds to clients’ and users needs.

Quite simply, website project management is the art of making something happen on time, on budget and according to quality requirements.

PMBOK is recognised since 2000 by the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) as the standard in project management literature. PMBOK breaks down project management into 5 groups of processes (Initialisation, Planification, Execution, Control, Closure) and 9 skills (project integration, perimeter, calendar, costs, quality, human resources, communication, risks, purchasing).

What can a projet manager bring you when translating your site and selling to a new market abroad?

There are several factors to co-ordinate and take into account.

For translations you need to:

  • Decide what content to translate.
  • Decide if translation is regular and on-going or one-off.
  • Extract the sites content to send it to the translator.

Once the translation is finished you need to insert the translation back into the site. For this: 

  • What technical solution have you chosen?
  • Has the content changed since it was originally sent to be translated?
  • Who is going to check that each page has been translated correctly?
  • Are your images translated? Do you need a graphic designer to integrate the translations within your images?

For SEO you need to:

  • Find out which key words are needed for the destination country to ensure that your products and services are found on the internet by clients in that country.

Additionally a website project manager will plan and coordinate the following:

  • What are the rules in each country regarding VAT, invoicing, cookies, sales period? Sales are legally held at specific dates in most European countries, but in the USA sales tend to be around specific days (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, New Years Day, Memorial Day).
  • How are you going to manage currency? Do you need new bank accounts? Does your bank have solutions for you?
  • Do the payment solutions you have on your site suit your future clients? For example, did you know that most Germans prefer to pay on line by bank transfer without a credit card? Here is a recent study that shows payment methods preferred by Americans:
  • How will you manage prices? Is it a simple conversion linked to the exchange rate? If so what rate are you going to use (daily, monthly …)? Or are you going to decide on your prices according to the tarifs in your physical outlets in each country? Or according to a pricing benchmark? It is pointless to try to sell a t-shirt at a much higher price that that of the market in the country concerned, even if it is a direct conversion of the price using the exchange rate.
  • How are you going to manage delivery? Have you negotiated prices for delivery in the country you are targeting? Transport companies can have different prices for different countries (DHL, Fedex, Royal Mail…). For example the Kiala pick-up point system for ecommerce delivery is very wide-spread in France, but not in other countries. Does your e-commerce platform allow you to change delivery prices easily according to country and method?
  • Have you decided to allow free returns? What are the habits and rules regarding returns in each destination country? Did you know that in the UK you have to re-imburse your client on request up to 14 days after the article has been received? The client has 14 days to return the product and you have 14 days to reimburse them once the product has been returned. A client also has 6 years to request a replacement product or repairs to a damaged product.
  • Is your customer service department ready to advise your international clients before and after purchase? Does your customer service personnel understand all the regional accents and habits in the destination country in addition to speaking the language fluently? Do you need help with customer service? 
  • Have you translated your social media? Do you need to allow your international clients to possibility of reaching you by Facebook or Twitter? In February 2016 Facebook launched a new function to manage multi-lingual articles. It is very simple to use and allows an article to be published in as many languages as you wish, but you still need someone who knows how to write these articles in the language you want.

In conclusion, if you want a successful multilingual site, all these points and stages need to be taken into consideration, planned, budgeted and tested to ensure you achieve the desired results in the desired time frame and without escalating costs.

Are you a web agency with an English-speaking client or a client who is part of an English speaking company? 

I am a freelance and bilingual project manager who has worked as a digital project manager for several years, with an in-depth knowledge of French, English, American and Australian cultures and technical terms. I can, therefore, manage your web project, coordinating between your client in English and your internal departments or partners in French.

Check out my CV to see my specific technical project management skills.