The demand for translation agencies is increasing, and that is a perfect opportunity to use this potential to scale your business. Here are top 10 tips to help you scale your translation agency.
How to scale your translation agency
The main idea behind scaling your business is to increase your company’s revenue. But how does it differ from growth? The key difference is costs.
When your company grows, your revenue grows along with your expenses. However, when you scale your business, your expenses do grow, but the increase in spending is significantly slower than the growth of revenue, which propels your company’s expansion.
As a rule, scaling should be planned already at the very early stages of creating your company’s activity. Sometimes, however, opportunities appear on their own, as a result of your business growth. Regardless of the stage your translation agency is in, you can still make a plan for scaling your business. Here is a list of 10 tips that we have prepared for you.
1. Define your scaling strategy
Before you make any specific improvements to your business, start with analysing the current state of affairs. Take a close look at the offerings of your agency, the staff, and the external processes. The conclusions you arrive at will help you realise what can be done to increase your company’s efficiency and revenue, without disrupting your current operations.
With a plan and scaling strategy in place, it will be easier for you to set specific goals, track your progress and analyse the results of the implemented solutions.
2. Pay attention to the quality of translation
Translation is the foundation of your business, therefore you have to deliver the best possible quality. In order to assess that, make a comparison between the translation and the source text. Did your employee understand the context well enough? Do you see any errors or omissions? Is the style and voice of the original still present in the translation? Are there any grammar or punctuation mistakes? If you are wondering how to scale your translation agency, you need to ask these questions. The quality delivered by your team is at the heart of your business.
To find the answers to all these questions, you will need to invest some time (if you think you can judge the quality of the translations yourself) or financial means (by commissioning an external review of the texts or investing in the right tools). These are however the costs that are worth bearing. They will help you increase the quality of your services and eventually affect the loyalty of your customer base. If your clients are satisfied with the cooperation, they will come back, or maybe even recommend your company to their friends.
3. Expand your translation team
Why would you hire new people and pay new specialists if the expenses are supposed to grow slower than revenue? The answer is in the previous tip – it is all about the quality of services and expanding your offerings.
Diversify your team by working with specialists from different countries. What they bring to the table is not only the ability to speak the languages, but also cultural context and even connections from their home countries. Sometimes the rates of cross-border experts are also better than those at the home market.
Useme will help you with billing while cooperating with international freelancers. The platform takes care of formalities and admin tasks associated with settling deals. It is Useme that actually hires your freelance translators, being in the position of their employer. In turn, you buy the effects of the commissioned work on the basis of a purchase and sale transaction. If you create a free account, your first transaction with a chosen freelancer will be free of service costs.
Why should you give this solution a try? As a company owner you will not have to bother with registering a new employee or paying taxes related to hiring them. Your cooperation will be formalised with a tax invoice. You will save time and money that can be invested in furthering your efforts to scale your translation agency.
4. Invest in marketing and promotion
Nowadays marketing and promotion stretch far beyond the radio, television or billboards by the road. Even small investments can help you reach a wide audience, simply by using organic or promotional posts in social media and creating a good e-mail marekting strategy. But how do you avoid burning through your marketing budget? Start with identifying your target and personas, and then analyse what social media they use. Remember – you do not need to be everywhere, but you need to be where your potential customers are.
By raising awareness of your brand, you are generating traffic on your platforms and website. These customers need to become interested in your offering, get convinced that you are indeed experts, and eventually – be part of a long-term business relationship. Tools such as blogs, newsletters, case studies or testimonials from satisfied customers will help you achieve that.
5. Build your agency’s brand
Raising awareness is one thing, but you also need to identify strengths and unique properties of your agency. Once you find them, focus on them in your communication. Customers tend to trust companies that have established values and goals, but also engage in certain activities, for example take part in industry events, do community work or are known for working with big names.
Work on your network – start with your employees and current customers, but with time take up new cooperations that will help scale your translation agency and its services.
6. Standardise your operations
How to scale your translation agency? If you want to go global with your business take a step back. In order to expand your business, first you need to standardise your current operations, such as internal communications (within your team) and external communications (with your customers and other stakeholders), your company’s values and mission, your organisational culture, recruitment processes, onboarding, quality assurance of your translations, etc.
Please bear in mind that no progress is possible without properly taking care of the fundamentals. You will need an action plan to be able to measure and track progress, which is crucial to analysing whether the steps you are taking are actually helping scale your translation agency.
7. Use automations
You already know the processes your company runs on. Now it is time to examine which of them can be automated. The right tools will help you avoid doing the tedious and monotonous tasks, which not only take up your time, but also might be bad for morale and efficiency. Which processes can be automated?
- Customer service — use a chatbot that will answer the most common customer queries;
- Recruitment — use ATS systems, which offer multiposting or automatic resume selection;
- Billing — use Useme, a platform that takes over your employer responsibilities and does all the billing in cooperating with freelancers for you.
Remember: if you are wondering how to scale your translation agency, automation is key.
8. Monitor the outcomes
There is no guarantee that your actions will ultimately aid your company’s growth. Therefore you should closely monitor the state of your business and verify the changes being introduced to make sure that they are not moving you away from your business goals. This will allow you to react quickly to any potential issues or even optimize company costs that you find to high.
9. Embrace the change
In big corporations every deviation from the norm has to be accepted by a long chain of management. Smaller businesses find it easier to introduce changes and respond to them. Stay up to date with market trends and potential customers’ needs. In expanding your offer, consider their expectations, for instance offer translations of social media posts or movie scripts. Do not forget to do market research – your direct and indirect competitors. Who knows, maybe their activities will inspire you to find new answers on how to scale your translation agency?
10. Do not be afraid to take risks
Whether it is in private life or in business, progress requires changing your ways. Getting out of your comfort zone allows you to see new perspectives for growth. Reading this article is your very first step on this path. Do not be afraid to take risks, as they might help you scale your translation agency and grow in unexpected directions.
You have now reached the end of the list of tips on how to scale your translation agency business. We believe that they will help you set a clear goal and expand your company in a way that will bring you more revenue than expenses.