How to Run Your Own Translation Company

Want to run or grow your own translation company? There are a number of challenges associated with running an owner-managed language service provider, but there are also a number of benefits to running your own company, whether you want to hire Vietnamese translators or Latin translators online. Here are some of our best tips for running your own translation company:

  • Find the right people that share your work ethic, vision and ethos. The first few years of running your own translation company will be exciting, busy and most likely stressful. We recommend hiring people as soon as you reasonably can to help take some of the stress off of your growing business. But beyond simply hiring people, you want to hire the right people for the job, people you actually share your vision, your ethos and your values. Succeeding as a growing translation company means asking the right questions to your applicants and really listening to their answers. Work can be a fun and fulfilling place when you are working with people who share your visions and values, and you will be able to achieve more and drive your company forward.
  • Be clear about the employee’s role and find the right people. Don’t try to force a candidate into a role if they’re not a good fit. You want to find the right candidate for the role, rather than changing a role to fit a candidate. You need people that have the right qualifications and right focus to meet the needs of the company. Making compromises for a candidate will likely only lead to disappointment down the road.
  • Search for people with skills and abilities that complement your own. You should hire people with skills and abilities that complement your own skills and abilities and are willing to give you honest opinions about your work. Constructive criticism will help your company improve as a whole.
  • Keep in mind that your role at the company will likely evolve. As you hire more people in your company, it is super important to understand that your own role in the company will most likely change and evolve over time. You will move through different roles, from a translator to an editor to a project manager to a manager of your team. It is important to keep tabs on your managerial style and decision-making process. Do you tend to shy away from conflict and uncomfortable conversations? If so, you will probably need to go against your natural style and learn how to have those more difficult conversations with your employees. You have a responsibility to lead your employees, and sometimes that means having more difficult conversations in order to help your company grow.
  • Learn more about employment law. It is also super important to learn more about employment law, as the owner of a translation company. Human resources are crucial to your company, from setting up employee contracts and disciplinary procedures to putting a process in place for annual reviews. Figure out what your responsibilities are when it comes to pensions, holidays, health insurance and more.
  • Plan your processes. As you hire more and more employees, your internal processes will definitely become more complex over time. So it’s important to map out, plan and formalize your processes early on and figure out which costs are associated with these processes. Some processes simply involve an initial set up cost, while others have ongoing costs.
  • Choose the right translation tools. As your business grows, you might find it helpful to purchase better tools and features to streamline and automate your operations. Keep in mind that automated translation tools don’t always include all of the cultural nuances in the languages you’re translating, so anything you translate should be reviewed by an actual translator in addition to an automated tool.
  • Cash flow forecasting. Figure out how much an employee will cost you, including their salary, taxes, insurances, investment in equipment, ongoing training and an increase in utilities. Keep in mind that their salary will likely increase over time, so don’t just use their starting salary for your calculation. Translators are employees that will definitely bring in more money to your business, but the calculation gets more complicated when you hire staff that are not translating and are therefore just a cost to your business, including project managers and administrative staff. These employees might not bring in a profit, but they will definitely add some needed expertise to your team and help relieve some of the burden for you so that you can focus on bringing in more business.
  • Keep an eye on your overheads. Continuously ask yourself if the tools you are using are justified or if they are simply adding more to the overhead cost of running your business. Are these tools helping your company run more efficiently and competitively? If not, consider getting rid of the tool.