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Poll: What is the best investment you have ever made for your business?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 05:55
SITE STAFF
Jan 29, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What is the best investment you have ever made for your business?".

This poll was originally submitted by DianeGM. View the poll results »



 

Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:55
English to German
+ ...
Investing in a proofreader Jan 29, 2014

The best investment was to hire a part time dedicated editor/proofreader to check my work before it is handed off to the customer.

 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:55
Hebrew to English
Networking Jan 29, 2014

...surprised it's not higher in the poll.

 

Anna Spanoudaki-Thurm  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:55
Member (2009)
German to Greek
+ ...
My chair Jan 29, 2014

I have a spinal disc herniation caused by non-anatomical office chairs, too high desks, too low laboratory benches. After I started translating, it got so bad that, at times, I suffered from paresthesia of both arms and legs, 24h a day. Sometimes it was really painful.
My chair is a refurbished Duera by Klöber with all the options. It costs ca. 1500 euro new, I bought it for 200 euro. Much cheaper than surgery and I seldom feel any pain!
Other good investments:
- a large monitor
- this: http://dromeas.gr/footrests_gr.php
- ProZ memberiship
- CATs


[Έγινε επεξεργασία στις 2014-01-29 08:48 GMT]


 

Mike Sadler  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
Proz membership Jan 29, 2014

Funny word, "best", but by far the most cost-effective investment for me has been Proz membership. Practically all my business contacts came through it, one way or another.
How you measure that against the years of experience, I don't know.


 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:55
Russian to English
+ ...
University education, Jan 29, 2014

including various extra courses that seemingly no one would ever need. A proofreader seems like a great investment too, but it is usually the clients (big companies and publishers) that provide proofreaders. Proofreaders should, however, be collaborators and helpers, not the translator's enemies, which is sometimes the case-- "the more mistakes I catch (often not even mistakes) the more important I would appear", sort of.

It is not a fishing competition, but collaborative work.

[Edited at 2014-01-29 09:13 GMT]


 

Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
Training Jan 29, 2014

Pursing specialisation was definitely the best move I ever made. It cost me lots of money and took up a lot of time but it has paid off.

 

Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:55
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
My house Jan 29, 2014

My first six months of translating were spent with a laptop on the bed or the sofa, which was terrible on so many levels. Then we moved house, and I now have a room of my own in the attic where I can sit at a proper desk and shut myself away from the rest of the world.

 

Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:55
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
University Education 2 Jan 29, 2014

Without having invested in a University education, I would not be equipped with the skills necessary to work as a translator in the first place.

 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 22:55
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Setting up Jan 29, 2014

My own office, my own work space where I can do whatever I like and not be disturbed.

However, I answered 'Software' since investment in a CAT tool is absolutely necessary if you're in technical translation. though some of you might disagree.


 

Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:55
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
apples and oranges... Jan 29, 2014

I find it difficult to determine what the 'best' investment was.
Proz membership is definitely somewhere high up, but software is also an essential for me, as is my current PC (old laptop was struggling desperately before I replaced it), and education. I don't think I could have done without any of these so which one would be the most essential is impossible to tell...


 

svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:55
French to German
+ ...
Other Jan 29, 2014

A combination of
- membership (I found some of my best clients on Proz - or they found me)
- software (using a CAT tool has allowed me to increase my output considerably and saves a lot of time when it comes to ensuring consistency)
- education/curiosity (my education plus my curiosity for all sorts of things have proven invaluable)

I don't market my services, I'm rubbish at self-marketing, and I prefer to work with good agencies instead. And I certainly don't network. In my book this amounts to using people which I find despicable.


 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:56
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Jan 29, 2014

Pretty much all of them although software and hardware are at the top of the list as I cant really do anything without them.
My office is also important. ProZ has also been / is a good investment, etc.


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:56
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I said "hardware" Jan 29, 2014

But I really mean my whole office setup: the best and fastest desktop computer I can buy (I'm on my 8th one) with a nice big screen so documents display side-by-side, a super-duper keyboard, three desks, two walls of book shelves above my workspace so I can easily reach my references, a fantastic chair (I'm on my 7th one and I've finally gotten it right), file cabinets (for contracts and tax records), and two new skylights that flood my space with sunlight.

The only special software I have is PerfectIt, which I like a lot. I bought Trados, but it always slowed me down. I never got the hang of it, and my clients don't use it.

In order of importance, I'd say:
Skylights
Chair
Computer
Keyboard
Book shelves
Workspace
File cabinets


 

DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:56
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Other ... Jan 29, 2014

I personally find it really hard to say which investment has contributed most to my business, but several things have been invaluable: Proz membership, software including CAT tools, pdf conversion tool and and voice recognition software, big screens and a good chair, training and experience.

 
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