Keeping Your Translation Business Organized

One of the methods that translators use to find new business is to contact translation agencies. Usually there are two different methods that translators can use when contacting these agencies. One of these methods involves registering with the translation agency as a translator, usually through a form on their website. The agency typically wants to know the language pairs of the translator, any specialization the translator has, as well as the experience and training of the translator. The other method involves going to the website of a translation agency, hunting down an email address and sending that address a CV of your translation experience. The agency might have an email dedicated to receiving translators' information or they might just have a generic contact email. Whatever the method used to contact translation agencies, it is important to have a system of organizing all the information related to each translation agency. Registering with a Translation Agency When registering with a translation agency through their website, translators should keep track of usernames and passwords that they use with these websites. At first, it might be tempting to use the same username and password for each agency; however, many times the requirements for the username and password are different for each website. As such, it's especially important to have a method to keep this information organized. Contacting an Agency through Email Some translation agencies choose not to have a form on their website where translators can register. Instead, they might supply an email address to where translators can send their CVs. Sometimes, this email is a dedicated email address for this purpose, but many times, the email is no more than a generic email where you contact the agency with any type of question. Organizing the Information No matter which method translators use to contact translation agencies, the issue is how to go about organizing the information in such a way that it can be understandable and edited if needed. There are many expensive software programs that help with this type of organization, but there is no need to spend a lot of money organizing this information when it can be done with the software already installed on your computer. The best (and cheapest) way I've found to keep track of this information is to create a simple Excel spreadsheet. With Excel, translators can set up each column to hold certain information, such as the name of the translation agency, the date the translator registered or sent an email to them, any names of people contacted at the agency, and the date the translator heard back from the translation agency. What I like about using Excel is that the information can be organized precisely how the translator wants, such as alphabetically by translation agency, or the date the translator first contacted the agency. However it is set up, organizing the information in a spreadsheet can make it easier for translators to keep track of the agencies they have contacted, hopefully leading to higher productivity.

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