The Pros and Cons of Starting a Translation Services Business

David Madison / Photographers Choice / Getty Images

If you are fluent in more than one language and can translate from one language to another, a small business providing translation services could be the perfect small business for you. Here is what you need to know before you decide if this business idea is the right fit for you.

The Pros of Starting a Translation Services Business

Some of the benefits of choosing to start a translation business include:

  • Startup costs are low.
  • It's a great home-based or remote business because you can work via the Internet.
  • Overhead costs are low, and you have the potential to make significant profits.
  • You have a broad target market, including legal, commercial, medical, technical editing, interpretation, and more.
  • There is a growing demand for translators in our global community.
  • You can operate solo, or manage a group of translators, even if you are not a translator yourself.

The Cons of Starting a Translation Services Business

Some of the potential challenges of starting a translation business include:

  • You must have a complete and thorough command of whatever languages you plan to offer translation services for. This includes understanding slang, colloquialisms, and even cultural norms of the region the language is used in.
  • Your competition may include computerized translation programs and voice recognition technology.
  • Depending on how well you can reach clients, it can take time to establish the business. One option is to get home-based translation work for experience and references.
  • You may want to become certified before offering your services. It not only increases your credibility but also can allow you to charge more.
  • You need standard office equipment, including a computer with an Internet connection and possibly transcription equipment if you will be doing audio translation from tapes.

Recommended Resources