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WAHM > Stay at Home Mom Work Ideas > Selling a Service > Translator Services

Start a Translating Service Business  

What you will be doing.  If you can fluently speak, read, and write other languages you can start a business as a translator.  Companies can use your skills to translate company documents.  Certain fields can use your skills to translate their technical writings, proposals, product instructions, and presentations into other languages.   

Translators are in high demand.  Few people speak other languages well enough to perform such a job.  If you have this skill, you can find work in several fields.   

How to start.  You can choose a niche market for your translation skills.  Expertise in the medical field and the associated jargon are helpful when trying to translate medical terms into other languages without skewing the meanings.  Affiliate yourself with translation associations.  If there are credentialing bodies for the particular language that you speak, check them out.  Credentials can only enhance your client’s confidence. 

Decide on pricing.  Some may charge per page or per a certain amount of words.  If the language is particularly obscure or hard to translate, you can charge per hour.  Make your prices competitive without selling yourself short. 

Starting costs.  Translators will be spending a lot of time in their home office.  Invest in a very good computer with Internet capabilities.  Also, a laser printer, telephone, fax machine, copier, and software that are equipped with the characters needed to translate your particular language. 

With advertising, website setup, and home office equipment, you may spend around $1,500.  Don’t forget to purchase foreign language dictionaries as reference materials.   

Skills needed.  Fluency in your native language and the language(s) you choose to translate is a must.  Familiarity with slang words is useful depending on the document for translation.  Writing skills are essential to phrase sentences properly so that they are coherent to the readers. 

Marketing.  Purchase ads in trade magazines, the Yellow Pages, and the local newspaper.  Mail brochures to local businesses and attach a business card.  You can focus your mailings by doing a bit of background work on the companies in your area.  Those that deal with clients in countries that speak the language that you translate would be in need of your services more so than those companies that don’t. 

A website enhances the visibility of your business.  Translating services are global.  If you have the time to devote to bigger clients, the Internet is the way to find them.  While you are advertising for clients, sign up with a freelancing outfit like Elance.com to get started in the translation field and gain exposure. 

Translators will always be needed as long as international business thrives.  Put your language skills to good use and make a profit.

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