Starting and growing any business is tough. The challenges you encounter when setting up shop can leave you questioning why you even started the journey to be your own boss. However, if you continuously put in the time and effort, even when things are hard, you’ll surmount the challenges and ultimately succeed.
If you’re running a small internet translation agency or are thinking of starting such a business, you should know it is possible to grow it from a one-man show into a reputable organization offering the best translation services possible.
How do you do that? Read on to get tips on how to scale your professional translation company over time.
Here we go!
1. Continuously reach out to potential clients
Many freelance translators don’t spend a lot of time looking for clients. Some for example set up a profile on online job platforms like Upwork and wait for clients to find them. Wrong move. You have to constantly pitch your services to people you think will hire you to do translations for them. And don’t just apply for translation jobs you see posted on the job platforms. Go a step further and apply directly to companies.
For you to know which companies to contact directly you will have to spend some time doing your research online to find these companies. You also have to create a convincing proposal on why they should give you a job. This exercise ensures you don’t stagnate at one job and you’re always on the lookout for better opportunities which will increase your company revenues.
2. Increase your professional translation rates
When you start offering translation services it is ok if you charge the minimum rates payable for your services. But after a while, you’ll have gained more knowledge and experience, therefore, you should charge more. I suggested you don’t charge your starting rates for more than six months and as you continue to grow decide if you need to increase them.
Don’t lock yourself up in your home office working all the time. Create some time to get out and meet people working in the same industry as you or those who may be interested in your services. Local or national business forums are some of the events you can attend to sell your business. When you go for such meetings remember to carry your business cards to give out to people you meet.
Another way to network is to join social media groups that discuss professional translation services. There are many such groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Reddit where you can discuss the latest translation industry news and market yourself.
4. Create a digital presence
You’re running an online business so it will be absurd if you don’t have an internet presence. To create an online presence you need to create social media pages and a website to market and promote your business. On your website include the following:
- Your credentials. This will show potential clients your education, years of experience, previous customer testimonials and so on.
- Your portfolio. When a potential customer comes to your website they will be interested to see work you have done in the past which makes you qualified to be hired by them. Save them the trouble of having to ask you for samples and put them there for everyone that comes to your website to see.
- A blog. One of the best ways to build brand awareness is through blogging. So, create engaging content on translation for your website. If you’re not a good writer consider hiring someone to do the writing for you, because blogging has been known to drive more traffic to a website. More traffic to your website could mean more jobs for you and the growth of your business.
5. Invest in learning
It’s good if you have a degree in translation services or linguistics but your learning shouldn’t stop there. We live in a world where things are changing every day. If you want to remain relevant in the translation business you have to read a lot to stay on top of changes in your industry. So read business books, take Udemy courses, go back to school for a master’s degree, do a certified document translation course, etc. All this will make you develop new skills and be more marketable.
6. Sell more than one service
I have found that companies that want their content translated also need people to proofread or edit their content. You could, therefore, come up with a package that offers translation, proofreading, and editing at a price that is affordable so that your existing or new customers have no option but to pay for it.
When you offer additional services you’ll be giving clients a one-stop shop for all their online content requirements saving them the trouble of having to deal with different people for each job. Am sure clients will be happy with your list of services.
7. Go for bigger projects
When starting out, small projects will help you build your reputation but after a few months in business begin going for the larger and long-term projects. Larger projects will mean you have more work and will be making more money.
Also when you get larger projects you can begin hiring translators to help you do the work or you could hire people to do your bookkeeping, emails, blog writing and so on. Then you can concentrate on your core business which is translation.
8. Build solid relationships with your clients
If you’re to grow your business you have to deliver quality work to your clients and within the required time. That way the clients will always come back to you for their translation needs and recommend you to others so that you can grow your client’s list.
This point is one of the most important aspects if you hope to successfully grow your business. If you can’t create good and memorable working relationships with those that hire you, sooner or later it will come out that working with you is a total nightmare and your chances of growth will be greatly hampered because clients will go where they are guaranteed a good experience.
9. Keep your business costs low
Your translation business may be struggling or may not have the funds to grow because you have a lot of unnecessary expenses. Managing your finances well is crucial if you’re to have the funds to take the business to the next level. So take some time to go through your finances and cut monthly subscriptions or office expenses that you don’t have to pay for.
How have you successfully grown your translation business? Or how do you plan to do that if you’re just starting out? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.