Freelancer or Agency
Thread poster: Lubna Asmar

Lubna Asmar
Lebanon
Local time: 09:25
English to Arabic
+ ...
Jan 14, 2010

Are companies (clients) more keen to work with a "Freelance Translator" or a "Translation Agency"? Do they feel that they can count more on an Agency to be available whenever needed?

I am trying to start my own business and i was wondering whether to address clients as a Freelancer and outsourcer or as a Translation Agency, knowing that i do not have employees but i have a large network of freelancers whom i deal with?

Thank you for your help!


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Frances Leggett  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:25
Italian to English
+ ...
My guess is an agency... Jan 14, 2010

I don't really know the answer to your question as this is something I've often wondered about myself. If I really try to think of things from a client's point of view, by going to an agency they know (or think) that they are going to get a professional service because there is a process supporting it; i.e. quality control, a certain "guarantee" for a professional translation. All agencies declare that all their translators are fully qualified and experts in their area of translation - this is not always the case, but clients like to hear this and are reassured by it. Of course, I'm not saying you should start an agency and put false information on the website, but I can just imagine that a client will always think an agency is more professional than a single person.

On the other hand, if you market yourself as a freelancer and let clients know that there are a lot of benefits in having one translator to do your documents, such as personal contact, one translator building up solid knowledge of client and client's needs, etc, this can also look very attractive. In being a freelancer, perhaps you could think about setting up a network of other translators who can proofread your work so that you can offer quality control to your clients as well, which is one reason clients prefer going to agencies over single translators (and you could offer proofreading in turn).

I have only worked with agencies so far and haven't branched out to clients yet, so my response if not very informed, but I just thought I'd share my thoughts!

best of luck


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Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:25
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
I would think most of all about what you really want to do Jan 14, 2010

If you like administrative tasks and have good management skills than you may want to go for establishing an agency. If you like to translate sell yourself as a freelance translator. Just remember these are completely different careers.

Cheers
Stanislaw


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:25
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Cover their needs, and end of the story Jan 14, 2010

Lubna Asmar wrote:
I am trying to start my own business and i was wondering whether to address clients as a Freelancer and outsourcer or as a Translation Agency, knowing that i do not have employees but i have a large network of freelancers whom i deal with?

Then you plan to have an agency my friend.

My experience is that direct customers are just too busy to arrange work around our translation work, in areas like terminology management, TM management, formatting, converting to/from PDFs, etc. etc. In my opinion you should aim to cover those needs and make their lives simpler, deliver a completely finished product without bombarding them with queries and questions, and they will be happy. If you do that, they won't really care whether you are one person or a hundred.


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