The advantages of hiring a small translation consulting firm vs. a large agency

Specialization, human touch and top-notch collaborators

Shopping around for the right translation service provider is not easy.  There is an abundance of translation agencies to choose from, all vying for potential clients’ attention with the same assurances of high quality, native language translators and project management skills.

Most agencies choose not to specialize too narrowly in one specific field.  They tend to serve a wide range of industries, from the airlines, IT sector, food and agriculture to hotels.  And most also have a financial and legal department as those areas are typically highly profitable.

All reputable establishments that follow a strict protocol farm out the translation work they accept from clients to adequately trained translators.  So a legal document will be given to a legal translator and a pharmaceutical translation will go to a translator with the required expertise in that field.

However, smaller companies that do make the conscious decision to work within the scope of only one industry can offer many benefits:

-> Specialization creates high quality

  • Focus: Adopting a focus in a given niche means that your translation will not be relegated, last-minute, to just any translator at the end of the phone line with time to spare, if the regular specialized translator is on vacation or sick leave.
  • Educate: Rushed, halfway solutions become unnecessary because small translation boutiques are willing to invest time in educating their prospects before they start selling their services.  For example, they take the time to explain how important it is to factor in enough time for the process of properly translating a document.

-> Close relationships and solutions tailored to your needs

  • Nurture: Smaller companies pamper their clients and employees/partners alike.  They may be able to address highly personalized client requests at a moment’s notice but they also have very tight-knit relationships with their translators and work hard at keeping both happy.
  • Reach: They are so close to their clients that they can deliver CEO-level experience to everyone they work with.  It’s all about involvement and hands-on management.  Translators who ask questions are good news.
  • Surprise: Truly valuable translation service providers understand and are able to demonstrate to their clients that translation is an art.  They know the value of surprising their clients with initiative, innovation and sometimes even risk taking.   Did you think translation was for drones?  Think again!
  • Meaning: A small translation outfit will work to build a meaningful relationship.  Instead of placing focus on selling (churning out volume-driven revenue), the resulting partnership will be about connecting and understanding.

-> We bring you the best of the translation world

  • Partner: Because small translation businesses are highly specialized and operate via networks of partners in order to be able to address their clients’ specific needs, they must ensure that their pool of partners represents the best and the brightest in the field.
  • Automate: With smart use of technology, small service providers are able to ensure the same level of follow-up and service without the overhead cost of their big agency competitors.

 

[Be warned: some may still be more expensive, even without comparable overhead, given the higher level of expertise and higher overall attention to their clients.  However, this usually means that translators are also much better paid and therefore much happier with what they do, in addition to being on the whole more satisfied with their working relationships and working conditions.  Invariably, such differences will translate into a big difference in the quality of the final product that the paying end customer will see upon delivery.]

 

SOURCE: John Jantsch, Duct Tape Marketing

 

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