Creative agencies and consultancies often come to a point where expansion is the only viable solution. The sheer volume of work and clients coming through the door is too much to handle in the current state.
Since their existing services complement translation and localization well enough, this is usually the next logical step. But how can you apply translation services and a new management system to the work you are already conducting without losing your momentum?
Explore the market
Before hiring translation experts for Asia or Latin America, focus on conducting proper research. Ask yourself what the most viable sources of income are when translation is concerned. Offering random translation services without any rhyme or reason will only cost you precious revenue.
- What are the most popular languages in your niche?
- Which languages did your clients and partners ask about in regards to your projects?
- Do you have to local or online translators? Which solution is cheaper in your case?
- Review your past and present projects – which languages were you asked about the most?
Hire translation experts
Once you have a good idea as to which languages your clients would need, you can start inquiring about potential new employees. Different translators have different skillsets, job requirements as well as habits – translation is unlike your usual full-time work. This means that you should be careful as to who you hire and to what extent.
You can always find the best translation website on the internet and hire professionals to localize content for your clients. After all, your main source of revenue is still consultancy and creative work. Focus on finding translators that have adequate knowledge and education about the languages you need before blindly creating any services.
Define new services
Your newly-acquired employees should have a good idea as to how you can implement translation into existing workflow. Keep in mind that your primary occupation can’t suffer just because you started doing translation as well.
This should be an additional, secondary value for your clients. Practically, this means that you should never offer translation and localization services outright.
Becoming a full-blown translation agency is certainly possible, but your main source of revenue might suffer as a result. The new services in your creative agency should focus on translation the already-created content that was asked for initially.
Gather feedback and testimonials
Building up a reputation as a good translation service will take some time. There are many translation agencies that focus solely on translating content. You as a consultancy or a creative agency don’t have that privilege. Creating a good image as a translation service will take patience and a single slipup can cost you months of work.
This can be somewhat alleviated by gathering feedback and testimonials as soon as current projects are finished. These can serve as good promotional materials for attracting new clients as well as giving you an idea of what you can improve upon in the future.
Use the opportunity of having translation as a secondary product by promoting successful projects that don’t focus solely on translation. It can sometimes be a good idea to leave localization and translation services as a footnote that eagle-eyed clients can spot and ask for.
Keep moving forward
There is always room for improvement with new services that are added to an already existing catalogue. Just because several projects end successfully doesn’t mean that you have translation work figured out. Constantly ask yourself why you have succeeded or why you have failed for that matter.
The only way to perfect your workflow and translation management system is to keep pushing the boundaries you have set. It’s always a good idea to start adding additional value for clients even though translation might not be your primary revenue source. Once “good” becomes “great”, you will have reached a point where no further refinement is necessary.