How much of the money that comes into your business do you reinvest back into it?
If you’re running your own show then it can be incredibly tempting to cut corners and take the DIY approach for all kinds of aspects of the behind-the-scenes of your business, from your marketing to your finances.
When you’re first getting started as a freelance professional, whether as a translator or not, you may well simply not have any money to invest in your fledgeling business. Trust me, I know what that feels like. We all had to start somewhere!
But, where I think a lot of professionals go wrong is not changing that once they’re fully established. The funds start rolling in, but they’re still reluctant to plough any of that cash back into their business.
I spot lots of professionals who’ve been in the game for a long time still asking for favours or freebies or still spending hours slaving over a task that, if outsourced to an expert, could be done and dusted in a matter of minutes, for far less money then they might imagine.
Personally, in the years I’ve been working as a language professional, I’ve learned to value my time in just the same way that I do my money.
My strength is everything to do with the translation and transcreation of English into Portuguese.
I’ve been in the industry for over ten years and have built up reams of knowledge and experience, along with a wide base of regular clients. I’m very good at what I do, if I do say so myself.
But there are plenty of aspects to running my own business that I soon realised weren’t my forte. As well as the actual billed work, running a business takes maintenance, and I quickly figured out that doing that maintenance myself wasn’t the best use of my time.
Any time I spent trying to do battle with WordPress or taxes was time I wasn’t translating.
That means that, over the last decade, I’ve outsourced some of the most crucial parts of my business administration to fellow self-employed professionals.
These are a few examples of the investments I make in my business.
There are no two ways about it. Having professional photos on your website and social media accounts screams professionalism in a way that no holiday snaps can.
This is an investment you can make which is immediately obvious to the viewer and sends the right signals to your potential clients.
If your website isn’t up to scratch, a potential client is never going to hang around for long. A website needs to be responsive, fast, and SEO-optimized.
Whilst I could have spent days figuring out how to create and then creating my own website, I opted to turn to a professional.
The result was miles better than anything I could have botched together, and ready in a fraction of the time, compared to how long I would have spent procrastinating over getting round to doing it.
I think I speak for a lot of creative professionals when I say that I’m a woman of words, not of numbers. The services of a good accountant are worth their weight in gold when the tax man comes calling.
Trusting these matters to a professional also means I’m not at risk of making any mistakes that could end up in a nasty fine, so I like to think that it potentially works out cheaper in the long run!
Whilst there are plenty of tools out there these days that allow amateurs to try their hand at graphic design, I’d rather pay a freelancer to provide me with professional-looking results than spend hours trying to produce something similar.
I pay a graphic designer to help me with my social media content, my main form of marketing and it’s been a fantastic way to take it to the next level.
I’m a native speaker of Portuguese, and, as a rule, us translators only translate into our native languages. That means that I’m very aware that however good my English is, it’s always going to need editing by a native speaker to make sure it’s of the best possible quality for you, my reader.
That’s why I send all my blog posts (including this one!) and my website copy to an English copywriter before they’re published here.
Think about it: have you been trying to save money outsourcing any services to someone that pretty much wings it? If translation is one of them, let me take that off your hands. Shoot me a message and we’ll start outlining the more convenient strategy for you to set up a successful multilingual business.