I recently found this excellent article in Business Week about how translators can stay in business despite decreasing rates, etc. It’s an oldie (from 2004) but a goodie, and reinforces what I’ve said before about the importance of not competing on price alone. It’s in the form of a Dear Debbie column for small business owners, and the question is:
Q: My wife and I work as a team providing bilingual copywriting and translation services for the U.S. and Latin America. Most of our clients are PR agencies. We are finding that they are outsourcing their translation work to Latin America, where they can pay 5 cents a word, as opposed to the 12 cents that we charge. Should we shift our focus to clients not yet aware of freelance outsourcing over the Internet?
Even if you reckon you’ve heard it all before it’s worth clicking through for the advice, if only because it’s unusual to see a mainstream business journal address an issue specific to translation professionals in such a constructive way (you may have to ignore the slightly overdone heading though 🙂 ).