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.
10 Steps to Start a Translation Agency
Find below a detailed business plan guide on how to start a translation agency including skills, training, and certifications, legalities, business names, etc.
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 over 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 Insititute 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 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, 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. 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 of translators are 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:
- Finance & Banking
- Information & Technology
4. 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.
5. Translation Agency Business Names
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, the agency is perhaps a single man show. Below find some translation agency business names to get inspired from:
- PerfectTranslation LLP
- Jupiter Translation Services
- Translation Line Solutions
- Localize Translation, Inc
- TransBridge LLP
6. 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 scale of the venture. Also, get 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.
7. Set Pricing
When it comes to set 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, translators who are certified and experts in a specific industry like medicine or any other, command much bigger translation rates.
8. Hire Translators
If you are starting a translation agency and want to cater to more industries and languages, hiring of expert translators on those verticals is a must. Create job descriptions for the vacancies and advertize on online job marketplaces to find the right manpower.
9. 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.
10. Promote Your Translation Agency Business
Your entire promotional strategy as a translation service owner is to reach as much as possible to 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 Reading: How 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.