Business growth during the COVID-19 pandemic has become somewhat of a challenge. Not only has the virus impacted our health, or the health of those around us, it has also brought great obstacles to our careers. Nevertheless, the translation industry still remains a vital one, and whilst the demand for it has decreased in some sectors due to the pandemic, the need for translation services has simultaneously increased in other sectors.
How has COVID-19 affected the translation industry?
COVID-19 has disrupted the translation industry, there’s no doubt about that. But how much of an impact has that disruption caused? As a lot of companies have had to make the transition to mostly digital, the demand for translation services has boomed as businesses try to expand their market across the globe. Therefore, companies need their marketing content, website content and other various materials translated in a variety of languages. With most of the world adapting to working from home, translators can take comfort in the fact that remote working poses few problems for providing written translation services. The situation for interpreters however is more disadvantageous. With restrictive social distancing guidelines and travel bans in place, face to face meetings can rarely happen. Interpreters have had to adapt to providing their services online via video.
So how exactly can translation companies combat these challenges and continue to grow despite the current climate? We sought the advice of 3 experts in the field who gave us their professional opinion!
Business growth tips from the experts
“The key is to be where your customers are, listen to them and speak their language.
This means for example being active on social media platforms preferred by your target customers. You can follow and engage with them, paying attention to what they talk about and what words they use. In this way you’ll be able to understand your customers better and build more solid connections. Before the pandemic, live events, conferences or trade fairs were great opportunities to meet and get to know your potential customers as well. Now, as everything is moving to the online world, you need to make sure that your translation business has a strong online presence, and at the same time can ensure personal connection and great customer experience.
Of course, you can’t grow without delivering quality services, so working only with professional and qualified translators, reviewers, project managers or editors is a must.
Creating a professional image is extremely important as well. Instead of offering translation services in all languages and all subject matters, find your niche and focus only on a few specific fields and languages. This will help you position yourself as an expert, which is an important step in growing your business.”
Dorota Pawlak, DP Translation Services
Alina Cincan, Inbox Translation Ltd
“Grow your network to grow your business. The more people you connect with, the more chances you and your services will be recommended to those who need them.
Friends and family can be good marketing ‘tools’ (especially when you start), as they definitely know (or should know) what you do and therefore pass on your name. Talking from experience here (Facebook friend and dad in my case).
Secondly, the more collaborators (or potential collaborators) you connect with (translators in my case), the easier it will be to find the right people for the projects you’re working on. Connecting with them at a more personal level makes the working relationship a smooth one, one that all parties enjoy and benefit from. I am friends (even close friends) with some of the translators I work with and it makes me enjoy my work even more than I usually do, even with difficult projects.”
“The translation industry is expanding, which offers your company an excellent opportunity to grow.
Start small and restrict your translations to the languages you can translate yourself, and once you are ready to start growing the business, look into hiring freelance translators for one language at a time. If you prefer to stick to one or two languages, consider hiring freelancers that specialize in medical translation, technical translation, and so on.
A common mistake is wanting to grow the company too fast by offering translations in more languages than you can afford or by taking on more work than you have time to complete. When you want to grow a translation business, you want to do it slowly, to make sure it does not compromise the quality of your work.”
Janni Nilsson, Resumoo