How much money I need to start a translation business?
Successful translation businesses generate a lot of revenues and hence, profits. They continue to grow. Success comes upon success.
Sure, everything is so well planned from beginning. The office location search, premise set up, team creation, marketing lay out, so on and so forth. All these translate into money and costs.
You sit down and figure, starting a translation business will require considerable financial investment. We’re talking about the kind of money you don’t have in your own tabung or piggy bank. And the real banks out there are too stingy and too skeptical to loan you some start-up capital.
So does this kind of business really require a lot of money?
Not necessarily so. When we look at successful businesses, we tend to think they were able to attain that status because they began by pouring a lot of cash. If we study carefully, multi-billion dollar businesses such as Apple, Microsoft and even Facebook started with little money and initially operated either from the back of the house or in the college dormitory. These companies generated bigger capital as they achieved smaller goals, and eventually managed to raised millions in investment.
In other words, don’t play the big money game like those with deep pockets. At least, not yet. Of course, with limited budget, there are just too many limitations that may hinder your growth and success. However, the good thing about starting with small money is that, you keep the risk within control. With the right strategy, your business will grow, and will continue to do so, albeit at slower pace. The important thing is to generate positive cash flow.
If you read the article, How to Start a Home Based Translation Business, you will understand that a translation business can easily and conveniently created from your own place, running at your own convenient time. You will save the hustle bustle of paying the deposits, rent, utility bills, worker’s salary, local council fees and whatnot. It saves money, and minimizes your risk.
Think of the most important tools that you can get to your home based translation business off the ground. On top of the head, the internet connection, a PC or laptop and a website are the three main tools to get the business running. Most likely, you already have a laptop and home internet connection. Occasionally, on top of working from home, you can get your assignments done while sipping cappucino at the nearby San Francisco Coffee. Free wifi is easily available anywhere nowadays.
Next, you need a website for marketing. These days, building a website up is no longer considered a highly technical job. There are numerous content management system (CMS) platforms that can get the job done without requiring programming on your end. Try out WordPress (easiest, and can do wonders), Joomla (may require slight programming know-how) or Drupal (not necessary unless you are thinking of building and maintaining many websites at once) for this purpose. Don’t forget to buy a proper, dedicated domain (e.g., HafizTranslation.com), rather than the one sitting on domain tumpang (e.g., HafizTranslation.Blogspot.com) with the right hosting. This costs you less than RM200 per year.
If you do not know to create your own website, the job can easily be outsourced to third parties for a cost of a few hundred ringgit (say RM500-RM800, a more professional looking website should cost more. You can create the job at freelance websites such as elance.com and get providers to bid for the job). Study some samples from the website designer before deciding to pursue with the provider. A simple, few pages website would not take more than a week to be done. On top of a website, you may also use the emerging social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to promote your translation services.
Other marketing tools include business cards (about RM30-RM40 for a set of 100. Get these cards exchanged during your networking sessions), telephone (you may use your existing mobile phone, or otherwise, if you need a home phone, invest in an affordable land line package, should not take more than RM200 set up fees) and company profile (you can do on your own, see an example how you can write a good business or company profile sample).
Good work station (desk and table) may not be the most important investment at the moment, but in case you have some surplus money, consider buying one good set of those. A good work station provides you an anchoring that would make you treat your home based business like a real business.
Also, consider the money you need to have every month to ensure all the necessary bills (internet, phone) so that you won’t wake up in the morning to your mom’s yell for pending bill settlements.
In summary, when thinking of starting a translation business, consider freelancing or home based business first. It will only take a few hundred ringgit to start. Enjoy the slow, but steady growth. At one point, when you’re ready to go for high scale business operation, you will realize you will have a lot more money that you can roll on from the success of your home based translation business.