Starting a translation agency isn’t cheap, especially if you want to control quality and manage costs. However, there are some factors you need to consider to make sure you’re making the best business decision. For one, you must determine the market size. In the past, a multilingual vendor was a large company that subcontracted out translation work to small language vendors (SLVs). But nowadays, SLVs are often made up of small teams or even individuals.
Costs of opening a translation agency
While starting a translation agency requires few startup costs, you will need to invest in office equipment, professional software, and good lighting. For your computer, you will need to have high-speed internet service and an all-in-one printer. You may also want to invest in a library of reference materials. As for your business licenses and permits, they can range from $200 to $1000, depending on your state’s requirements.
Another essential element for starting a translation agency is a honed concept. After you have a strong concept, research the online and local translation agencies in your area to determine a gap in the market. For example, your local area might not have a translation agency specializing in legal or bank loan documents. Alternatively, you can specialize in marketing copy translation and jumpstart word-of-mouth marketing.
You should also open a business bank account, as it will make filing taxes and tracking your income easier. Most banks will offer such accounts, but you should check with your preferred bank to see if they offer one. However, if you are planning to operate under your own name, you might want to choose a different business name. Besides, it is important to secure your domain name before someone else does. And don’t forget to secure your website domain name before someone else does.
Costs of hiring translators
While a translation agency may offer many advantages, their costs are still higher than what you’d pay directly. For example, if your translation needs are smaller than 350 words, you should be prepared to pay a fee of less than $100 per word. The agency’s staff can perform many translation services, including dubbing, and the cost of these services depends on the type of project you’re submitting.
Language play a major role in the costs of a translator. There are literally thousands of languages spoken around the world, and not all are equally in demand or easy to learn. The official language of China is mandarin, but the language is only spoken by 140 million people. Translation in mandarin, therefore, is more expensive than translating in Spanish, Japanese, or Chinese. The same goes for rare languages, such as Arabic or Chinese.
Translation rates vary greatly. The American Translators Association recommends a minimum price of $0.12 per word for all translations. But these rates can fluctuate based on the language, complexity, and experience of the translator. For instance, literary translators typically charge a flat rate per word, while legal translators are more expensive and often use computer-aided translation tools. You should always negotiate the rates with your translation agency if you want a consistent result.
Costs of outsourcing translation services to a translation agency
There are a few costs to consider before outsource your translation. Many translation companies try to obtain the lowest possible translator rate, despite the fact that this is not always the best option. Some companies may select translators based on location rather than qualification requirements. Other factors that should be considered include unionization. For example, vendors in the United States are likely to be members of the American Translators
Association (ATA), but vendors in other countries may have different labor union regulations. Finally, it’s best to ask a translation agency about its per-word pricing and itemized cost breakdown.
Outsourcing translation services is a good option for large companies with multiple languages. Large agencies typically outsource translation projects to smaller companies. They have more resources and can handle a wide range of projects, but their costs will be higher than a smaller vendor. However, if your company has several languages, you may be better off outsourcing to an agency that specializes in those languages. Outsourcing will ensure efficiency and provide transparency about your translation spend.
Outsourcing translation services to a translation agency eliminates the need for an in-house translation team. An in-house translation team is not suited to handle a task of this scope. The inability to manage a team will affect your business negatively. Also, there’s the risk of human error, particularly during peak translation periods. Furthermore, if a translator is absent from work, the entire translation task could suffer.