Hiring translation services years ago was only a need for big corporations that had a large international scope.
How times have changed!
Globalization, along with the rapid advancement and dependency on the internet, has led to even the smallest business owner needing to expand their horizons and potentially their customer base.
The need to reach an international audience or suppliers has to lead to the boom in translation service companies in today’s market, with the CSA suspecting it to generate up to $56 billion by 2021.
But with so much competition in the market, how can you be sure that the company you choose can fit your specific needs and not lead to more potential costs due to them being substandard?
We have come up with 7 major factors for you to keep in mind when choosing a translation service.
1. Choose A Company With Experience
A great place to start is to see if the company is reputable and has a reasonable amount of experience.
Often when deciding upon hiring a translation service, the main priority is cost. This, however, can be a major mistake. An experienced company will have clear procedures in place to ensure that your order is handled correctly and have worked out over the years ways to guarantee that their work is efficient and high quality.
How long a company has been in business and how they work should be clearly stated on their website. If these are not present, take it as a big red flag.
Knowing that you are in the hands of experienced professionals can give great peace of mind when you decide to hand over what can be, at times, extremely important information.
Given that it is such a competitive market, it is common for some providers to try to entice you with low costs. But the real danger lies in that very often. A low-cost service guarantees a low-quality product.
On the other hand, there is no point in paying over the odds for something that can be done at a lower price.
Make sure that you are comparing agency fees, taking into account not only your budget but factors like: Are their prices inclusive of proofreading and formatting, or is this an additional cost? Do they charge per word or hour? Does the language I’m translating into not have many companies that can take on the task?
All of these factors will have an impact on what you should expect to spend.
3. Translation Quality
Perhaps the most important factor is if they can produce a high-quality translation.
The best way to find this out is through references and reviews. While it’s understandable on their website, you will find favorable comments. Try to dig a little deeper.
Ask to see case studies of previous work and check out what people say about them online and via social media. Ask also about their processes, paying attention to the way they proofread and edit their work.
Additionally, any company that is willing to take responsibility and be penalized for a slow turnaround indicates their professionalism.
4. Make Sure They Have Industry Knowledge
The importance of making an impact means that having a one size fits all approach to translation misses the mark. So when you are hiring translation services, what can make all the difference is a company that knows what you type of documents you will need to be translated.
A company that knows the industry will be familiar with the trends and the language used. This has a significant effect on speed, not only for them but also for you as you will not need to waste time explaining your specific requirements in great detail.
So check to see if they have good references from other companies in your sector.
5. Excellent Local Knowledge
Particularly if you are branching out into a new marketplace, making sure translations are not only accurate but reach the heart of your new clientele is crucial.
Translation service providers should be using natives due to their mastery over the language and for their understanding of the nuances within their culture.
An additional bonus is if the company actually has offices in your desired location. This way, they may be able to give you local insight along with potentially giving tips on how to get the best out of your new market.
6. Speed and Responsiveness
Time is money, and if you hire a translation agency rather than doing it in-house, a delay in getting what you want takes away all the value in outsourcing.
Delays could be down to many factors, but some are discernable from when you first contact them.
Do they work only on weekdays or 24/7? Where in the world are their offices located? If you have to handle urgent matters regularly, then factors like office hours and time zones could lead to understandable delays.
If a translation agency needs to outsource to freelancers, this can also add time to their work.
Turnaround time should also be quick but reasonable. Bearing in mind that a high-quality translator can translate 2,000 to 2,500 words per day, if a company can guarantee all translations regardless of size within 24 hours, this is another red flag.
7. Your Specific Needs
The last area of interest is the fact that careful analysis of your requirements is vital.
Having a good understanding, not only of what your company needs now but also long into the future, will help you to isolate which provider is best for you.
For example, if you plan to expand your business into further markets, then choosing a translation service that can accommodate many different languages will avoid you having to repeat the arduous process of finding a new translation service provider again and again.
Will you have a relentless flow of documents and other items to be translated? Then you want to take into account the size of the translation provider, making sure that they have the capacity to cater to your needs.
Knowing what you need will ensure that you get what you want when you are hiring translation services.
The Last Word on Hiring Translation Services
Making sure that your message is understood in every country and language is the only way that people can develop an attachment to your company or service.
Therefore, hiring translation services that benefit your business time and time again will have a great impact on your future success. We are sure that the factors that we have shown you will help you in your efforts to find the right one for you.
Be sure to check out the other great content that can benefit your business on our blog.