Starting a translation agency
Think before you act – how much research is actually involved in launching a new business?
With constant increase in demand for translation and interpreting services, this particular market field seems to be an easy shortcut to successful business. Upon closer inspection of this specific market niche, though, one realises that success lies further away than expected – and that they, as a business owner, might be in for one wild, bumpy ride to achieve their aims. Before even thinking of quitting one’s job, potential entrepreneur should prepare a meticulous business plan and perform a thorough background check regarding possible competitors, expected demand for services offered and their own workforce. Estimates are not enough – it is real numbers that one should base their anticipations on. Preparing a sheet containing all of future expenses versus the estimated income should provide enough information to decide whether it is even worth to take such risk.
Getting down to business – paperwork and bureaucracy
While the idea of being your own boss might be very appealing, finding your own way through all the required formalities might turn out to be quite challenging. You are the only person responsible for making all of the binding decisions and filing appropriate documents within the set deadlines. If the costs are slightly overwhelming, you might try EU financing – one has to bear in mind, though, that such actions require even more tight deadlines and a thoroughly prepared cost estimate. Creating formal foundations of your future enterprise is just a beginning; finding credible co-workers and letting the others know about your translation agency proves to be even more demanding.
Reliable collaborators and advanced PR efforts – what else do you need to be successful?
Careful selection of potential co-workers may be a make or break for your company. Reliable and timely execution of orders helps in establishing long-lasting partnership with potential clients – and that’s exactly what you need right after the launch of a brand new translation agency. There is also one incredibly important thing that lots of new entrepreneurs seem to forget about – advertising. Nowadays it is not enough to simply be on the market; you are the one who is supposed to reach out to potential clients. Invest in a professional website, set up a Facebook profile for your company; be present in other social media, such as twitter, linkedIn or even Instagram. Consider a collaboration with PR professionals who will advise you on creating a proper image of your company on the market. While you may not consider it to be a thing of an utmost importance at the very beginning, the power of graphic representation of your enterprise might be tremendous. Cooperate with a professional graphic designer to create a logo which will complement your agency and brand image.
Last but not least – make sure your work meets the customers’ expectations
Gaining new clients can be challenging, especially at the beginning of your road to success. In order to look like a credible partner in your future collaborators’ eyes, try to obtain any proof of your performed work - references from your former employees or sample translations. At the very beginning you have to remember that establishing a partnership with a given client does not mean they will remain loyal forever; that’s why it is so important to employ various strategies of maintaining high level of customer satisfaction. Ask your clients about their opinion on an executed order; every once in a while, offer them an attractive discount and think about preparing a newsletter to make sure that they stay up to date with current developments and improvements taking place at your agency.
Launching a translation agency requires not only a long preparation process, but also quick action and orchestrated efforts of many people afterwards. One has to remain two steps ahead of the competition and customers’ expectations while staying up to date with all of the formal requirements at the same time – and while it might be slightly overwhelming in the beginning, your success is an incredibly rewarding experience.