Expanding the benefits within the reality of current translation industry – Part I
You Can’t Manage What You Can’t Measure
This old adage, often attributed to Peter Drucker, has inspired and fuelled countless implementations of business improvements. It’s no wonder, then, that it guides many entrepreneurs through daily demands of modern translation market.
Translation industry is gradually becoming more competitive than ever, making nearly every business effort far more complicated. All these changes are reflected in international expansion of numerous businesses, as well as increasing customers’ demand; these, however, do not go hand in hand with willingness to provide appropriate compensation for services received. There are challenging deadlines, competitive freelancers and cutting-edge technologies to master. The vicious cycle of expecting extraordinary service within the shortest possible time does not help the pursuit of positive enterprise development and financial benefits.
Staying true to our old ways isn’t very helpful in bringing our business endeavours closer to those among our customers who are bravely leaping into the future. If we want to remain competitive in this ever-changing industry, we are bound to make some bold choices concerning daily tasks. It is up to us, however, whether we base our decisions on vague facts and guesses or justified facts. It is business process maturity that allows well-established companies to stand out among their competitors.
Control over business finances seems to be of paramount importance – and it indeed is, since being able to track sources of both revenue and expenses has a tremendous impact on your company’s condition. It is, however, crucial to notice what lingers in the darkness and see beyond the obvious costs. Investigating the following areas may bring some surprising insights:
- Project Management. Efficient workflow is crucial for successful completion of entrusted orders. While their work tends to be overlooked as long as the project runs smooth, any impediments in their performance is noticed immediately. Repetitive tasks are responsible for countless hours spent on pointless duties which barely contribute to the overall success. Consider the implementation of automated solutions which will not only save time, but – first and the foremost – significantly increase financial benefits.
- Vendor Network. Spot-on task assignment constitutes a cornerstone of company’s effective operation. It is important, however, to ditch the classic strategy of relegating tasks to preferred translators or proofreaders only. Always do your best to find the best specialist which boasts extensive knowledge of a given topic. Having an extensive vendor network is priceless when it comes to flexible price adjustment – hence it is also possible to offer best prices to your customers. Do not underestimate the power of new specialists who might be a breath of fresh air among your trusted providers – who are only human and sometimes also need a moment to relax.
- Sales. Ensure that all your teams are well aware of their general goals. Salespeople are most likely to aim at sealing the most profitable deal, whatever the price is. The opinion of a production team, however, might stand in a stark opposition to this approach: they know best that sometimes such projects require time and effort that is not reflected in the ultimate revenue.
Your actions should follow the “If it ain't broke, don't fix it” motto. Before jumping at any solution that is bound to require solid team effort, conduct a thorough analysis of existing processes. This will allow you to find an appropriate solution and foster prompt and seamless implementation of groundbreaking changes. Trying to solve things that did not require any mending in the first place might bring further expenses and distract you from real problems.
Bringing ground-breaking changes is neither quick nor easy, but a simple change in attitude might work wonders. It is easy to overlook problems in their initial stage, before their effects can be noticed in full swing; monitor closely any areas likely to bring problematic issues and ensure that the goals of particular teams are clearly communicated. Regain control over your finances and prepare a meticulous, detailed plan of change implementation, paying particular attention to the timeframe – do not expect immediate effects in case of solutions that have been in force for months or years.