Managing a translation company is a busy business. There are clients around the world to look after, along with translators in a vast range of locations. Then there are the administrative and operational details to take care of, from financial admin to marketing. With all this going on, it’s sometimes hard to find the time to sit back and take a strategic look at the business. However, strategic planning is essential to the translation company’s future success, just as it is to any modern business.
Whether it’s holding a company ‘away day’ or simply blocking some time in the diary to spend thinking, looking strategically at the running of your translation company is essential if your clients and translators are to remain happy. You need to provide first class support to clients, while managing your talented team of linguists in a positive and supportive manner.
Of course, it’s also important to undertake all this as efficiently as possible. If your business costs are too high, your services will become unaffordable and your company won’t last long. As such, we’ve pulled together a few ways in which you can increase your translation company income and reduce your expenditure, making for a more profitable translation business.
When it comes to increasing your translation company income, there are a couple of options available to you. The first is, quite simply, to put your prices up. Though not likely to be popular with your clients, companies do have to put their prices up from time to time in order to keep up with inflation.
Increasing the range of specialist services that you offer is also a good way to boost your translation company income. Do you have a full list of your translators’ expertise? If not, you should! You could have a patent translation expert already on your books without realising it, or a scientific translation pro, or an environmental translation expert… Any such service can command a price premium due to the specialist knowledge required in order to translate the topic accurately. As such, be sure to keep abreast of your translators’ skills and offer these to your company’s clients. Remember that skills such as desktop publishing are also often helpful to translation clients and can be used to further boost income levels.
Of course, one of the most sustainable ways to increase your translation company income is to get more clients. Marketing can be expensive, but you don’t have to bring in Saatchi and Saatchi in order to drum up more business. Word of mouth is a powerful tool in the translation sector, so encourage your clients to ‘refer a friend’ in order to earn a reward, such as a discount on their next translation. You not only enjoy the benefits of working with lovely new clients that have been recommended by your loyal existing customers, but those existing clients will also be keen to place their next translation job with you in order to enjoy the discount they’ve just earned. In short, everybody wins.
Reducing your expenditure can be just as helpful for your bottom line as boosting your income. Take a look around you and consider what you really need in order to deliver a high quality service to your customers. With translation staff based around the globe, do you need to maintain an expensive office building? Freelancing is the way of the world these days and you can engage staff online easily, without the need to provide them with a place to be physically present (and all of the costs associated with doing so).
Using freelancers also reduces your company expenditure in other ways. The usual tax and social security payments associated with employing staff evaporate if your business engages freelancers instead of employees.
Outsourcing particular services can work well too. Using an external IT agency or HR service, for example, might be more cost effective than maintaining an in-house team.
Finally, remember that your translation company will change over time. The strategy that’s most appropriate for you right now might no longer be the best approach in six months’ time. As such, be sure to review your approach regularly in order to make your translation business the best that it can possibly be.