What Size of Translation Provider Do You Need?

January 27, 2021by Alex Owen-Hill
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You’re looking for a new translation provider. But, there are so many options out there and not all of them will meet your needs.

How can you tell if a particular provider will be right for you?

Only some providers will have the capacity to manage the projects required by an international business like yours.

Only some will give you the personalized service that you expect and be able to remain agile in the face of changes.

And only some will have the required experience working with your size of business.

Can this translation provider handle my needs?

If you are struggling to find the right translation provider, you are not alone. Sourcing translations is a tricky process that is unfamiliar to most people.

When your company is working with a reliable provider, the process is almost effortless and invisible. It’s only when the working relationship is less smooth that you really start to notice the effect that the provider has on your operations.

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to compare different translation providers upfront.

In some cases, it’s only when you experience working with each provider that you begin to understand the differences between them. However, this is almost impossible to do without investing a lot of time, budget, and heartache into the whole process.

To counteract this, people often look for easy metrics to compare the different providers. Common metrics include cost per word of translation, number of languages, number of industries, and the size of the translation provider.

These metrics can be relevant. But, they can also obscure more important factors that would let you know what it’s actually like to work with the provider.

Ultimately, the question you are asking is:

Will this particular provider meet my needs?

Why sourcing a translation provider is like finding a builder

When looking for a provider, one of the most important factors is whether they specialize in managing the large number of projects required by a business like yours and can give your projects the priority you deserve.

For this reason, you could think of sourcing a translation provider as being a bit like sourcing a builder.

Option 1 — Small and unable to scale

Imagine that you are looking to fit a new kitchen in your house.

The best choice for the job is likely your most reliable local joiner. They have a personal connection with you and they can provide service that is very comfortably within your budget.

However, your local joiner would not be a good choice for a more complicated project like building a new school or managing a large number of smaller building projects simultaneously.

They just don’t have the capacity to deal with such ongoing complexity and their internal systems would collapse completely under the strain of multiple projects. I think most of us have experienced builders who have too many jobs going at the same time and they leave jobs unfinished for months on end.

In the same way, smaller translation providers often appear to be cheaper but they are completely unsuitable for larger projects or a large number of simultaneous projects.

Such providers are fine if you just need to source a few quick translations for a small one-off job. However, for an international business with many ongoing translation projects they just won’t be able to give you the service that you need.

Option 2 — Smart enough to scale

Instead, you want a provider that works smart enough that they can easily handle the increased capacity when you want to scale.

To use our building analogy, you would look for a building company that specializes in managing and delivering on multiple larger construction projects simultaneously. One that can consistently provide high service to all of its client’s projects no matter how many jobs it has on its plate. I hear that it’s quite difficult to find a provider that meets these criteria in the building industry!

It’s also challenging to find such a provider in the world of translation. Enterprise-level translation providers tend to lose agility and transparency, which can negatively affect the service they can provide.

How can you tell if a translation provider will be able to handle all your projects and give you the high level of service that you deserve?

They should have a track record of working on larger projects and have the systems in place to manage many simultaneous projects with ease. They should also be agile, responsive, and provide a customized approach.

Translation providers in this sweet spot are rather rare, but we do exist.

When you find a provider that matches your needs and can easily handle your future translation plans, you are on to a winner.

How to pick a provider that’s the right size for you

So, how do you ensure that a particular provider will sit in the sweet spot for you and your business?

The key is to look out for the qualities that indicate the provider could be a good fit.

We have created a buyer’s guide that explains how you can find the right translation provider for you.

In it, you will learn:

  • Common mistakes people make when sourcing translations.
  • 9 reliable qualities to look for in a translation provider.
  • 10 questions to ask a prospective translation provider.

Download a copy of the eBook “How to Find the Right Translation Provider for You”.

Just click the button below and follow the instructions.

Download the buyer's guide

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Alex Owen-Hill

Alex Owen-Hill helps passion-led companies to communicate more effectively and authentically with their audiences. He has over 10 years of experience in targeted content writing for specialist audiences in a wide range of topics, including science, robotics, presentation skills, storytelling, and language learning. Through his business, CreateClarifyArticulate he empowers companies to communicate with more impact in their presentations and online content.

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