Some are there from the start, like financial management, human resources, and all the basic building blocks of any company, and others make an appearance further down the line as the company grows and expands.
One of these key moments is whether or not to expand into international markets. With all the advantages of online commerce and marketing at our disposal, this step, which has historically always been a rather complex one, has become far more manageable.
An essential part of expanding into foreign markets, and more importantly, a part of its ultimate success, lies in the relationship between a company and its translation agency. However, before this relationship begins, there are a few questions one should ask to make sure the company and the translators are on the same page.
HOW WELL DO YOU HANDLE THE LANGUAGES I NEED?
In the world of translation, there are different types of businesses that offer similar services. There are large corporations (commonly known as Multi Language Vendors) that often employ in-house translators, others that rely on freelance translators to do the bulk of the work, and individuals who are completely freelance and handle both their clients and the translations themselves.
The first two types of companies will almost always have access to professional translators with a perfect grasp of the required languages. However, there is a limit on how many languages a single person can master, so when contacting a freelance translator, make sure that he or she is a perfect fit for the job.
DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT MY BUSINESS AIMS TO ACHIEVE?
While there are a large amount of texts that need to be translated for documentation or legal purposes, there will also be a part that will be related to corporate identity, marketing, and sales. There are many ways to convey a message within the same language, and it’s important that the translation agency understands who your company aims to communicate with, and which will be the most effective way to do so.
Both corporate identity and the way in which a company markets a product or service, are hugely important shapers of customer perception and can greatly contribute to success. Make sure that the translation agency has the knowledge of the target market and the goals the company wishes to achieve within it.
CAN YOU MEET THE REQUIRED DEADLINES?
Expanding into a new market can be very time-sensitive, with a lot of moving parts that have to work in unison to get a project off the ground, which means that the need to meet deadlines is essential.
While many translation agencies will be capable of managing their resources to fulfill the needs of a client, particularly large translation projects tied to very tight deadlines can prove challenging for small agencies or freelance translators. Knowing if an agency has the capability of delivering a project on time is a must.
DO YOU PROTECT MY DATA?
Over the last few years, there have been quite a few data leaks by large corporations that have compromised the privacy of their clients or users. Translation agencies that handle sensitive information for clients are expected to be able to keep this data private.
Social security numbers, bank accounts, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, or even medical records can be subjected to privacy laws and are at risk of malicious use by unauthorized third parties. Companies should inquire about what steps are taken to protect this information.
WHAT IS YOUR PRICING?
It might seem obvious to ask about pricing as soon as possible, but companies with little experience working with translation agencies can mistakenly assume that certain rates apply across the board.
Some agencies might alter the price for certain specialized translations or languages, and some other might do so depending on the type and quantity of work. On the other hand, some agencies try to stay as close as possible to fixed rates. Every translation business is different, so making sure the price is right and agreed upon will always avoid a lot of headaches down the line.