It is worth to run your own translation agency
Your own translation agency: how to organize it?
Many translators start to think about self-employment and starting their own business when their careers reach a certain level. They are experienced: they not only know the language, but many of them also know the reality of working both as a freelancer as well as for a professional translation company. They are familiar with quality standards and methods of effective work. Good translators very often have a well-established reputation. But the majority of them, after the preliminary calculations, resigns from running their own business. Why?
More and more companies are established...
For a few years now, we can observe an increase in demand for professional translations. This tendency favours those who wish to start their own business in this industry. In addition, opening a company is now - looking at the formal aspect - much easier than it used to be just a few years ago.
In all industries, the number of entrepreneurs grows rapidly. This is only partially caused by formal facilitations or development opportunities. The other factor is that it is increasingly difficult to find a permanent job which would allow you for professional development. Educated people, who are among the best within their field, prefer to start their own company, rather than being underpaid while (over)working for others.
Young entrepreneurs encounter many problems on their way. More and more of them are not able to survive for just 2 years on the market. Translation industry is already known as one of the most competitive sectors, which makes this market not only difficult to enter, but, above all, to acquire a number of orders that would ensure profitability of your endeavour.
The second problem posing a significant threat is an enormous number of formalities connected with running one’s own agency. Don’t forget about high fixed costs, which must be covered - even if the income is scarce: taxes, insurance, employee salaries, utility payments, buying necessary programs, tools etc. There are not many people who can finance it all without any support from a bank - and in case of individual business, it is not only more difficult to obtain it, but also hard to tell whether or not we will be able to pay it back.
What we need is a meticulously prepared business plan and accurate understanding of market needs. This, combined with calculations of the potential number of orders and estimated achievable revenue, will be a good start. There is a rule on the translation market, that if a person who wants to open a translation agency doesn’t have a network of contacts, including at least three loyal, big and reliable clients - then starting a business is a huge risk.
The knowledge of the market and the realities of the particular sector determine the success.
We must realize that the most important factor when starting a business is always advertising, which is not cheap. The more difficult the market and the greater the competition, the higher the costs of advertising.
Having the extensive knowledge of the translation sector, the right place, money and trusted associates facilitates organizing a translation agency. First orders may be processed after 2-3 months from starting all the formalities connected with opening the business.
Not everyone is born to be an entrepreneur
Many companies cease to exist because even though the owner has good knowledge of the industry, he doesn’t possess the ability to manage an employee team. Numerous problems appear in regard to customer acquisition, information flow, work methods, financial liquidity. It is good when a prospective entrepreneur gets familiar with rules of conducting such a business before even starting it.
If you have a lot of determination and knowledge - you will thrive in the language industry. It really is worth giving it a try. Your own translation agency will not only give you more revenue, but it will also be a very rewarding endeavour, completing complex, interesting and significant projects.