Be ready to put your business hat on (and hone your skills as you develop your career).
Every freelance translator and interpreter is a businessman/businesswoman. Hence, we need some business knowledge.
That doesn’t mean that we need to know everything about business from the very beginning, but the more you know, the more resources and better decision you’ll make during your career.
Before starting up, I hated to learn about businesses. I felt that that’s not what I wanted to do; at the end of the day I’m a translator and an interpreter because I love languages. Then I realise how languages and businesses intertwine, and started to grasp every business concept and implement them in my own business. Right now, business is probably one of my strongest specialisations, and I’m still learning new things day after day.
But what is a business? (Promise I’m not going to be theoretical here, I’m going to give you practical tips that you can implement from now on during your careers.)
In the words of Josh Kaufman:
“A business (1) creates something of value (2) that other people want or need (3) at a price they’re willing to pay (4) in a way that satisfies the customer’s needs and expectations (5) so that the business brings in enough profit to make it worthwhile for the owner to continue operation.”
As you can see, there are five different fields that all businesses have in common:
- Value creation
- Value delivery
Let’s apply these concepts to the freelance translator/interpreter case:
1) Value creation: How a translator and interpreter must differentiate from their competitors.
There’s a lot of competition in the industry. I bet that you’ve heard this sentence before. However, you can make all this competence irrelevant if you differentiate yourself from your competitors.
How can you do that?
You’ll have to develop your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
Your USP is what is going to make your potential clients decide if they should work with you or not. It’s up to you to let them know what you have to offer that others in your industry can’t. Your USP is going to define what clients you should target your services to.
And how can you develop your USP? Complete these sentences:
- All translators/interpreters offer translations/interpreting that are
- Some translators/interpreters offer translations/interpreting that are
- A few translators/interpreters offer translations/interpreting that are
- My translation/interpreting services are different because
This will help you to analyse your competitors and realise what other people in the industry are doing to differentiate themselves. This will help you to come up with ideas and strategies to differentiate yourself from all of them. Don’t worry, this is a long process and I’m sure that your USP will develop as you develop your business, but it’s good to think about it from the very beginning so you can have a clearer picture of where you want to get to with your business.
To be continued. Watch this space for next weeks feature (Part 3).
A feature blog brought to you by David Miralles Perez.
“My name is David Miralles and I am aware of how languages can influence professional environments. Honing communication between two cultures has become crucial in today’s globalised world. And that is what I do by means of my translation and interpreting services. Small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs can now spread their messages through cultural and linguistic barriers and make a big impact on an international scale.”