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Starting and Making a Success of Your Translation Business

source: daytranslations.com

Many might argue that the success of any business is based on luck. Maybe luck is part of the success by basically it is all about serious pre-planning, setting short and long term goals, keeping an eye and an ear on opportunities and investing plenty of time and hard work to see to it that everything is in order.

It is not easy to set up your own business and that is why there are plenty of information and tips available on the Internet to guide you in making informed decisions and learning from the success of others.

First things first

The first thing you need to have is a business plan. This is very crucial. This includes your cash flow among all the other things related to finance. This will give you a rough idea on how your business will be, financially, for the first three months of operation. Even if it is only just for you, take the time to sit down and write your business plan – jot down all the ideas you have and you will eventually see a clearer picture of the things you want to achieve and when you are going to achieve them. To be in the right direction and to get organized, set your plan aside for a few days and then go back and review it so you can improve on your plans. Here are more tips:
  • Find out how your business is to be registered in you area. See which one will work best for you. You can be a sole proprietor or a limited liability company (LLC). If you are going to be a freelancer and only you will be involved, there is less paperwork in registering as a sole proprietor.
  • Check out the professional organizations in your country and weigh the benefits of joining them. This is not a requirement but you will get some benefits from the membership.
  • Figure out your terms and conditions as well as the fees you will charge. Your terms and conditions will be legally binding when both parties agree to them, so you should have an attorney prepare one for you or look over the one that you have prepared.
  • Ensure an online presence by setting up a website. Be active on social networking sites.
  • Create a plan on how to market your services and get potential clients. Be sure to have business cards printed and bring them with you wherever you go, as there may be potential customers that you might meet.
  • Be sure that you do not stop learning and perfecting your craft. See and decide where you need to specialize. Persevere and do not get discouraged at the initial stage. Keep on marketing your services and looking for opportunities. You will indeed be a lucky one if you get work within the first few weeks. It takes about two years for a translation business to take off for some entrepreneurs.

From a keen interest in languages

A translation business usually starts from a keen interest in languages. It could be due to a person being already multilingual because of ethnic origin or because the person actually took up linguistics at university. The success of setting up your own translation business depends on your drive and making use of the opportunities presented to you coupled with some foresight.

Sean Hopwood, the President and CEO of Day Translations, Inc. said that he started his company because of his love for languages and because he saw the need for good translators.He had to translate some documents for a church, and he had to go around looking for help in translating them. He, too, started out as a small business, with a good friend helping him in doing the translation, until the business grew by word of mouth. Mr. Hopwood added that in time they had so much on their plate that they had to work almost non-stop to get the work done. Eventually he had to hire additional office staff. For him it was difficult to let go of some of the duties, because the company is like a child he reared from infancy. He carefully selected his staff, which had stayed with the company since it first started seven years ago.

One translation company started out as a 2-man team working out of a college dorm, charging less than what larger competitors would normally charge. They got their clients through referrals. Each of them put in so much hard work to make their business work while juggling school work as well. They had a vision as well as short term and long term goals. They wanted to grow their company and set up an independent office in six months. They did achieve their goals, which is now a 5 million business, employing more than a thousand employees and 4,000 subcontractors.

One of the things that contribute to a translation company’s success is the choice of translators to work with. Today’s global business requirements are getting more complex. There is a need for localization as well as specialization. Global companies now want their websites localized. Technical data need to be translated in several languages but will need experts on the subject to do the translation properly. There are more documents that need translation now more than ever. You have legal documents, scientific manuals and data sheets, medical translation, certified translations; videos, films, games, books, magazines, and marketing campaigns that need to be translated in several languages.

You need to establish a quick turnaround time, decide on the right person or team to handle the work, whether it will be done in-house or subcontracted. Translation is a very dynamic business and translation companies have to diversify their services to fit the ever changing needs of global clients. You should be ready to assemble the right team immediately and make use of time zone differences to meet client deadlines. Throw in the fact that you also learn about the culture of different nationalities and target audiences to prevent cultural blunders.

Globalization is one of the allies of translation. There will always be a need for (human) translation services. You success depends on finding the right people, providing enough opportunities for advancement and keeping up with the ever-changing trend.



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