You may decide to start your own translation agency after a few years of working as a freelancer. You will likely feel ready to make this move after working as a free-lance translator for several years and knowing your trade well.
You will feel proud to have your own business. You will have to plan and organize a lot before committing to this new career. How can you tell if you’re ready to start your own business? This blog post should help you determine that.
You need to be at the top of your game
You should make sure your skills can compete with the best. When you own a translation agency, you will have to compete for customers and clients more intensely. It is therefore important to stand out amongst the competition. You might also want to consider adding new languages to your repertoire. In general, the greater the number of languages that you can offer, the more appealing you’ll appear to clients. You will be able do a great deal of work in different languages and clients won’t need to find a translator for every language. When you hire staff, look for people who can translate from and to a variety of languages.
How to Choose Your Collaborators: Freelancers or Employees?
You will be able hire employees once you have become a business. If you plan to grow and develop your business in the future, this will be an important step. You will need to choose between hiring full-time employees or freelancers. Contractors are usually cheaper because you only pay for what they actually do. Both options have their pros and cons, as with anything in life. Here are some examples.
The pros and cons of hiring permanent employees
In the short term, permanent employees are more expensive, regardless of whether they work full-time or on a part-time basis. In the short term, it may be more expensive. But in the long run, it could prove to be the best option. While working with freelancers may seem cheaper initially, you could end up paying more in the long run if their work is not good and they need to be replaced by another freelancer. If you had a permanent employee, it would be impossible to do this because they are always available to talk directly to and work with to correct the translation, even if the original was inaccurate, without paying more.
Permanent staff are usually more committed as they invest in the business. They will put in more effort because they know they must see you each morning. A freelancer could disappear and you would not know where they are.
You can always rely on permanent employees, and you’ll know that they will be there for you, whereas freelancers may be available but not necessarily. Even after many years of working together, you cannot guarantee that a freelancer is always available for your needs. An employee, however, is a reliable resource.
The pros and cons of working with freelancers
Freelancers may be your best option. It will help you keep costs down, especially at first. You will only pay the freelancers if they are actually doing work. You don’t need to pay them the same salary as you would for employees.
When you start your own translation agency, you will need to keep in mind that the process for working with freelancers can be more complicated than when dealing with employees. You will first need to create a list of freelancers and interview them to find out who would be best suited for each project.
Think about your office setup
What about your office space? You probably worked from home up until now. You won’t be in a position to continue working from home once you start a business and hire staff. You will need to begin looking for an office space. Consider a centrally located location that is convenient for your employees as well as any clients you may want to meet. Consider co-working spaces if you cannot afford to rent an office. They are a great option for new businesses and will help you network with others.
Prepare yourself to network
As a former freelancer, you will be familiar with networking. It is even more crucial once you start your own business. Once you start trading, you may be able keep some of your existing clients. You will start to attract more clients, particularly if you are looking to hire a team and move into a new office.
Start networking to find these additional clients. Many towns and cities around the world host business networking events. You should attend as many as you can, particularly those where meets. You will also want to try and find as many clients abroad as you can as a translator. It may be worthwhile to attend international networking events or Translation Conferences held all over the world.
You need to improve your management skills
You would have had to manage all your clients and accounts as a freelancer. Once you set up your own translation business, this is still true. You can now manage your employees as well.
There are many tools and resources available to help you gain experience as a manager. One of our favorites is the Gliderpath Academy. You will become a better manager with time. You shouldn’t let this deter you from starting a translation business. You may find managing your employees difficult at first, but you will get better with time.
Know How To Register Your Business
When it comes to registering as a sole-trader, freelancers do not need to do a lot. So long as the freelancer has informed the taxman of their status, they’re good to go. When you start a new business, the rules are different. To legally trade, you will need to register the companyin a correct manner. It is also necessary to tell the taxman you’re moving from being a freelancer into a business. It will take a lot of paperwork to sort out all the details, but in the end it will all be worth it!
Get Your Business Plan Started
You should not overlook the importance of a business planning. You still need a plan, even if your business is small. You will stay on track during the first few trading years. You need to provide a lot of information about your finances, and how you plan to obtain business funding. You should also include a list of short-term and longer-term goals, and the steps you plan to take to reach them. Register with associations for small business owners. You may find the help you need. Consider hiring a consultant who can help you define your business goals. You should also track them over time in order to ensure that your business is sustainable.
Do you have plans to move from being a freelancer to owning a translation agency in the future? Comment below to let us know the challenges you face and the results your translation business is achieving!