Business Translation Center

Translation for startups and small businesses – top tips for getting the best from your language services

by OFER TIROSH 24/07/2019

If you run a startup or an established small business, you’re no doubt familiar with the need to buy in the best services without paying over the odds. As such, Tomedes has put together some top tips to help you find the right professional translation service and ensure that you’re getting the best from it. 

Small business statistics

The number of small businesses dotted around the world is staggering. In the US alone, there are 30.2 million small businesses, accounting for 99.9% of all US companies according to this 2018 Small Business Profile factsheet from the US Small Business Administration.

If you’re one of those operating a company with just a couple of employees, or even entirely on your own, you will appreciate the importance of finding the right services to support your operations. When it comes to buying in language skills, this is particularly important, as the right translation company can make the difference between you connecting positively with audiences that speak other languages and you making a misstep that alienates those potential customers. 

Finding the right translation company 

The translation company that you use should be one that cares about each and every customer, no matter the size of their business. This means finding a company with a reputation for great customer service, as well as one that offers a wide range of language pairings and specialist skills (financial translation or legal translation, for example). 

It’s also important to find a translation agency that has a strong focus on localization. Localization is the process of adapting a translation to suit the cultural, religious and moral expectations of the intended audience. The result is a document that reads as though it was written specifically for that audience, rather than something that has clearly been written for another readership and then translated. As such, localization has the potential to have a major impact on engagement rates. 

Set expectations from the outset

The average amount of startup capital is just $10,000, according to this article on small business statistics from Digital. That amount of funding can very quickly disappear, particularly if the business is one that requires physical premises or equipment in order to operate. 

If your company doesn’t have a huge budget, it doesn’t mean you can’t still use a professional translation service. Just be clear from the outset about what you have to spend. It’s also worth considering your future needs – if the translation work is going to be a regular, long-term arrangement and the volume is sufficient then you might find that discounts open up to you. 

The same applies to other services that you may need. If you’re likely to need interpretation, multilingual content writing or desktop publishing services, for example, it’s worth mentioning this at the outset and seeing if some kind of well-priced package is available. It’s also important to ensure that the agency you choose offers all of these services, as not all translation agencies do. Checking early on that the translation company you plan to use does in fact provide all of these services can save you from wasting time recruiting a second company at a later stage. 

Share your knowledge

Once you’ve found the right translation company, share with them as openly as possible when it comes to what your business does and why. The more your translator understands about what you sell, what your values are and who your audience is, the better they can shape and localize your translations to help you meet your company goals. 

Final thoughts

If your startup or small business needs a language service, make sure that you get maximum value and maximum quality out of the company that you use by following the steps above. If you would like to know more about translation and other language services for businesses, why not browse our site to enjoy a range of insightful content?