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How to Start a Profitable Translation Agency Business

Do you want to start a translation agency business? If you are an expert in your own mother tongue and know one or more regional and/or foreign languages, you can very well earn a lot of money working as a translator.

The demand for professional translators is going to rise in the coming years. The reason for this growth is mainly due to more and more businesses expanding their network through digital mediums. In the year 2021, the U.S. translation services industry ended at around $7 billion. Industry experts predict the translation and interpretation industry will grow by 17% by 2028.

Hence, starting a translation agency business is expected to be profitable in the coming years. Find below a detailed business plan guide on how to start a translation agency including skills, training, certifications, legalities, business names, etc.

12 Steps to Start a Translation Agency

1. Get Trained

Most people believe by just knowing a language is enough to be a successful translator. But it is not the case in reality. To make a successful career in the translation business, one needs to have adequate training and expertise with a good command of languages.

There are courses run by many educational institutes to help you in becoming an expert translator. If you have a nearby training school, it is wise to attend such courses. You can check the American Institute of Translators and choose an approved school that conducts various certified translation-related courses.

2. Do Market Research & Select a Niche

As with any other business, starting a successful translation agency business requires proper market research and an understanding of the trends and demands. If you are a beginner, it is well advised to start with a specific industry or one specific language. Check with job sites like Indeed or freelance job sites like Fiverr, and Upwork, and find the type of language and industry translators that employers are looking for.

Languages can be Arabic, English, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish, etc. After you select the language, go for in-depth study, and get fluent as much as possible.

If you want to be an industry-specific expert translator, it is extremely important to understand the different terminology of that sector.

3. Define Your Services

It is essential to decide on the types of translation services you will offer. It can be document translation, website localization, interpretation, or transcription.

4. Find Top Industries that need Translators Most

With the spread of globalization, most industries including government departments need translation services. Still, there are some industries where the requirement for translators is more than others. After some research, we have selected 5 industry sectors where there is a bigger demand for translation services. They are the following:

  • Medicine
  • Finance & Banking
  • Information & Technology
  • Legal
  • Tourism

5. Create a Translation Agency Business Plan

For a sustainable translation agency business, proper documentation of your business plan is critical. Write down your objectives, mission and vision, operating process, manpower hiring, financials, and marketing strategies. This business plan document is going to be the roadmap for your future success.

6. Name your Translation Agency

Choosing an informative and catchy name for your translation agency business is extremely important. You can read this article to learn more about the steps in choosing a proper business name. There is one piece of advice while selecting a name for your translation business.

Avoid using your personal name in your business name. As because, customers might feel, that the agency is perhaps a single-man show.  Below find some translation agency business names to get inspired from:

  • PerfectTranslation LLC
  • Jupiter Translation Services
  • Translation Line Solutions
  • Localize Translation, Inc
  • TransBridge LL

7. Make Your Translation Agency Business Legally Compliant

If you want to run a hassle-free business, get your translation agency registered. Talk to competent authorities or attorneys and select the most-suited business structure as per your resources and the scale of the venture. Also, get the proper licenses and permits required in your locality to start and run a translation agency.

If you are from the United States, forming an LLC is a better option as it provides certain benefits.

8. Set Pricing

When it comes to setting pricing rates for translation services, it is not proper to set a fixed rule. The rate will depend on several factors. The language pair is one. If the language pair chosen by you is difficult to find, then you can fix a higher rate. It is seen, that translators who are certified and experts in a specific industry like medicine, legal, or real estate receive bigger translation rates.

Pricing for translation services will also depend on the complexity of the subject, volume, and turnaround time. The common pricing methods include per-word rates, per-hour rates, or project-based pricing. It is advisable to offer discounts for larger projects or long-term clients.

9. Hire Translators

If you are starting a translation agency and want to cater to more industries and languages, hiring expert translators in those verticals is a must. Create job descriptions for the vacancies and advertise on online job marketplaces to find the right manpower.

10. Establish Processes and Tools

You need to set up efficient project management processes so that jobs can be executed properly. It includes translation workflows, quality control measures, and translation software or CAT tools.

11. Start a Blog

If you want to seriously make money from the translation business, an online presence is essential. Just creating a website is not going to be enough. To generate confidence and make customers believe that you are an expert, blogging is perhaps the best way. Nowadays, starting a blog is much easier. Anyone can create a blog with minimal time and investment. Check our detailed guide on how to start a blog.

12. Promote Your Translation Agency Business

Your entire promotional strategy as a translation service owner is to reach as many as possible prospective customers. At present, even with low money, you can attract customers with your services from all over the world. Social media marketing plays a big role in the promotion of the translation service business.

Further ReadingHow To Start Your Own Language Translation & Interpreter Business

The scope of the translation service business has expanded to all major world languages and the trend will continue in the years to come. Increasing numbers of skilled linguists will be required in the translation sector. Hence if you have a passion for learning languages, starting a translation agency business is worth considering.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a translation agency?

A translation agency is a business that provides professional translation services for clients who need their content translated from one language to another. These agencies generally work with a team of skilled translators and offer a wide range of language pairs and specialized fields.

How do I find clients for my translation agency?

There are several ways you can explore to find clients for your translation business. Some of them are listed below:

  • Online Marketing
  • Networking
  • Partnerships
  • Referrals
  • Direct Outreach

What skills and qualifications are required?

It is essential to have fluency in multiple languages, excellent writing and communication skills, cultural sensitivity, and strong project management abilities, to start a translation agency. A degree or certification in translation or a related field can enhance your credibility.