Get ready to become the next Spanish unicorn!
Today we’re digging into several reasons why Barcelona startups can benefit from business English classes.
A high level is important for fast-growing unicorn businesses (or wanna-bee’s!) simply because it’s THE dominant language of international business communication.
Here are 7 benefits showing how a higher level of Business English can generate growth at your Barcelona startup:
1. Improved communication with international clients and partners
A strong Spanish or French accent can be difficult to understand, even if the speaker has a rather high level, like a B2 certification.
The result will be improved communication with international clients and partners. Your competitors are already building partnerships and strategic alliances, and all of that happens in English.
2. Translations are more expensive than…
It’s more expensive to translate from Spanish to English than to write sales, marketing or customer success materials directly in English. How many of your employees are capable of this?
The same applies to emails. A poorly written email simply gives the wrong impression of your future European unicorn!
3. Increased competitiveness in the global market
A no-brainer. Unless your business is aiming for LATAM, a higher level of the language means increased competitiveness in the global market.
Invest in business English classes the same way that you invest to increase brand recognition in new markets.
You’ll get an improved ability to expand into new international markets, and a higher chance of being competitive. This also applies to opportunities to network and form partnerships with companies that don’t speak Spanish.
And it doesn’t stop there! Add improved communication with potential investors and customers.
4. Increased internal communication
How many of your Spanish speaking employees will understand 100% of internal emails, Slack messages, or news?
Increase the effectiveness of your internal communication with business English classes. It will be more important the bigger your company gets.
We don’t learn English by magic, we all need a little help!
5. Attract Talent
What would be the impact on your startup if you had more employees who were proficient in English? Would you get more talented people applying to jobs?
Foster a diverse and inclusive company culture to attract a wider range of talent. International candidates are more likely to choose your company if you have a truly global outlook.
You should have a culture where employees speak English not just in meetings, but also over a cup of coffee during a break. Many co-workers are shy or don’t feel their level is good enough, something which is semi-easy to correct in class.
6. RETAIN your talent
Many startups in Barcelona and Catalunya offer Business English classes not as a perk, but as part of their basic employment package to retain talent. Encourage employee development and provide corporate language training and resources to improve skills and stay up to date with industry trends.
Offer workshops and training in English, like
- How to negotiate effectively
- Public Speaking
- How to have hard conversations at work
How do your employees pitch your startup to friends or potential customers? It might surprise you.
7. Selling your startup?
If your goal is to be the next European unicorn and sell your business there’s a high possibility that the buyer will not be based in Barcelona, or even Europe.
One of the things a potential investor or buyer will look at, is how well prepared your company is. And that starts with a workforce that has an awesome, or at least acceptable, level of English.
Your exit strategy should be tied to ongoing training. Particularly for high-level executives.
Conclusions and Recommendations for Barcelona startups
Many Barcelona startups aren’t aware, or aren’t using, the generous FUNDAE subsidy where you can get up to 100% of the price covered for business English classes.
The classes can be online, in-company in Barcelona, or hybrid. It depends on what works best for your employees and company culture.
If you’re thinking of offering a course, our recommendation is to use a provider with experience in startups in Spain and the ecosystem. The more specific the course is, i.e. adapted to your company’s current needs and strategies, the better.
The classes should be based around relevant tech lingo, industry trends, etc. This makes the class more fun, and keeps your employees motivated to improve their level of the language.
In our opinion, it’s best to get native language teachers that not only teach you the language, but also explain cultural aspects. A seasoned professional will also have a deep understanding that a new teacher will take years to develop. This is why all our native teachers in Barcelona have at least 10 years of experience in teaching professionals.
In short, preparing your top startup for the next chapter starts with a high level of business English.
Let us know if you’d like our help 🙂
Related article: 10 (fun) ways to practice your English in Barcelona