It seems that every day now brings a new round of bad news on the economic front. The lingering global financial crisis has been constantly worsening, creating worries around the world. The translation and localization industry, a field that highly depends on the flourishing of international business, is especially concerned on what the possible impact will be and how to deal with it.
A voluntary survey has been conducted among translators and translation companies on how our business has been affected. Some claim that the effect has been positive, as they have received more business than ever since the mergers, acquisitions, and closures that have picked up in speed are resulting in a great deal of legal, financial, and governance paperwork that needs translation. However, some also say that some plans for international business expansion have been postponed due to the uncertainty and decreased confidence in the market, which undoubtedly has lead to less need for translation.
We have no control over economic development, so what we can do is actively prepare ourselves in advance for any possible difficulties or opportunities that may lie ahead. In addition to adopting a no hiring and no investment policy to save costs and maintain a good cash flow, there are actually more things translation companies can do.
The first thing to do is to further strengthen your client relationships. We cannot afford to lose any of our current clients at this time. Take real actions to communicate and understand your clients’ situations, become more considerate and thoughtful in providing service, bring added value to help clients develop their businesses instead of just doing what you have been told to do, and make your client rely highly on you.
Although 20% of the customers generally account for 80% of the sales volume, if one of your clients contributes a good share of your total revenue, you may be at risk. To avoid the severe negative impact caused by the problem of losing one client or one industry, it is better to consistently explore more clients, expand your market, or diversify your business if possible based on your specialty. In addition, the finacial crisis can also be a good opportunity for you to extend your product lines and promote your brand names at a lower cost.
Accelerating receivables has become more important during this special period. Always remember to state the payment terms clearly in writing with the form of the contract at the beginning of the cooperation, and you can also provide some discount as an award to encourage quick payment from your clients. A company can only stay in business if it is being paid promptly.
Finally, review your business over this winter, and you will find more things you can do to make yourself even stronger to endure any setbacks you may face. The popular saying is that if winter comes, can spring be far behind? We are sure that a more beautiful and promising spring is waiting around the bend for everyone.