How I Work
I have managed to build up a bastion and paradise for myself. Work comes in by email, I forward a document to a translator, who translates it and sends it back, to be forwarded to a proofreader, and all the other process involved. I am also good at programs. I make macros to automate certain tasks, have designed my own accounting system in MS Access, and have managed to avoid hiring a secretary, streamlining and automating every operation. Right now I can handle all the work coming in myself, but I am working on putting a website together from which translators can download their file to translate, and upload their translation to a certain folder. Once they have successfully uploaded their file, an email is automatically sent to the proofreader informing him or her to download the file. They in turn upload their completed proofread to another folder and the vettor (the person who compares the translation against the original to make sure nothing is missing and that the formatting is correct) is informed they can download the file. This will save me much time as well, and speed up the process since I will not have to manually forward the various documents, which I cannot do when I am not in the office or when I am asleep. In time, once my workload is great enough, I plan to have project managers located in different time zones who will manage projects, correspond with translators and customers and supervise projects to their completion. In this way, I will effectively become a 24 hour agency. Since my customers are located all over the world (America, Europe, Asia), technically it doesn’t matter what time I work, but I really enjoy the flexibility and think the world would be a much happier place, without stress, if everyone could work in the same manner from the comfort of their own environment. All I need is my laptop and an Internet connection and I can work anywhere. My latest dream is to own a van in which I live and work to slowly make my way around the world, perhaps making friends in youth hostels who own an international driving licence, so I can sit and work while watching the world go by.
Not only do I feel that my creativity allows me to lower costs, not to mention the location where I live, but my strategy of seeking direct contact with translators in different languages helps as well. I find many translating agencies in the west farm out their work to other translating agencies, such that I have often found myself as the fourth or fifth agency in a long chain before handing the work to the actual translator. Each link in the chain drives up the costs and my research tells me that the average translation agency in the US charges between 20 and 30 cents a word, which is significantly higher than the 5 to 8 cents that I charge.
Below is picture of the small terrace my landlord built for me on the top of my penthouse flat, where I like to work occasionally on sunny afternoons.
If you would like to check out my company, which I have dubbed Kenax (spelt in a way that Czechs would pronounce Canucks – a little joke of mine), or would like more information about services offered, click here.
On my roof with internet connection and all on a nice pleasant working day.