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Manage your translation services budget like a boss

By Neil Gauld, 

Managing your translation budget doesn’t have to be an uphill struggle. Whether you hold the purse-strings or are an influencer in how your translation services budget is spent, these best practice tips can help you make informed decisions and improve your budgeting skills. In no time, you’ll be managing your translation services budget like a boss.  

1. View translation services as an investment, not an expense

Strategic investment in localised translations services can make a big impact on your bottom line. Research shows that people respond much better to marketing if it’s in their native tongue or local language – for example in Search or Google Adwords. 

Localisation is an indispensable translation service, helping you to:

  • Penetrate local markets
  • Improve your global customer experience
  • Widen your company’s (or clients’) brand exposure
  • Increase global revenue

2. Align your translation budget with other stakeholders across your business

According to a survey by analyst firm Common Sense Advisory, a mere quarter (25 percent) of respondents own a centralised localisation budget. More often than not, your budget will be split across marketing, HR, product management, customer services and so on. So involve them – and your finance team – in your translation services budget planning and management.

3. Track your translation budget and ROI

If content is king, then data is queen. So make sure you track your annual translation services budget on a monthly and annual basis. Align it with your campaign or project ROI, so you can clearly see how your translation investment is working for your business and where any gaps exist, so you can continue to improve on your investment.

4. Use translation memory for cost-savings

Work out where you can save on costs. Translation memory technology, for example, will ultimately reduce the cost per word of your translations. Track this, so you can clearly demonstrate back to the business, how your translation services investment is impacting your bottom line over time.

5. Remember, cheapest isn’t always best

For a rough draft or some forms of internal documentation, for example, cheaper machine translation might suffice. But it won’t cut the mustard or butter the bread when it comes to high-end marketing campaigns, for example. Critically, it could do more harm than good for your brand. Check out this blog: Why machine translation still can’t replace human translation. 

6. Make allowances for unforeseen projects

In business, we all know that planning is one thing, but the unexpected always crops up. A product recall missive, for example, that needs to be communicated globally and urgently. Or a new piece of legislation that crops up within your financial year, which affects your marketing strategy. So allow some wiggle room in your translation budget planning so you don’t get caught with your pants down. 

7. Avoid unnecessary costs 

Two easy ways of escalating the cost of translation services, are to invoke rush jobs and to make last-minute changes to translated copy. Careful planning and good communications with your translation services project manager should help you avoid these as much as you possibly can. 

Harking back to tip number two, involving all key stakeholders in your translation services planning should help you centralise your translation services spend, avoiding duplications and time issues, for example. Like the budgeting boss you are, you’ll save everyone money and a few headaches.

8. Best practice summary 

In summary, there are seven key best practice behaviours that you should follow: 

  1. Consider translation services as an investment, not an expense
  2. Align your translation services budget and planning across your business
  3. Track your translation budget for a solid understanding of ROI
  4. Make sure your translation services partner uses top-end translation memory technology
  5. Avoid false economy and brand damage that can come with machine translation
  6. Prepare for the unexpected
  7. Avoid last-minute changes and rush jobs

Congratulations. You can now be the official translation budget boss!If you’d like to chat about your translation services requirements, including how we can help you make the most of your translation budget, please get in touch – we’re here to help.

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