Let’s talk about growth: going beyond the one-man band

I am hugely excited to be attending this year’s Elia Together conference, which will be held in Berlin on 23rd and 24th February 2017. Together is a two-day event organised by Elia (European Language Industry Association), the premier trade association for the European language services industry, embracing more than 200 members in Europe and beyond.

I will be taking part in a panel discussion entitled ‘Beyond the one-man band’ alongside Carol Bereuter from BioCell Translations, a freelancer collective specialising in French<>English biomedical translations, and Josephine Burmester, vendor manager at WIENERS+WIENERS, one of Germany’s largest translation agencies.

The discussion is aimed at freelance translators who aspire to grow their business beyond the ‘one-man band’ setup. Of course, there are many different ways to grow your business as a freelancer; whether that’s collaborating with other freelancers, employing other people (translators or otherwise), or a combination of both.

The main objective of the panel is to provide an insight into possible growth models and to discuss the pros and cons of each approach.

Carol will share her experience of setting up a collective with three other translation colleagues, the practicalities of working as a united team and how BioCell Translations offer that added value for direct customers with their niche translation offering and expert knowledge. (Hint: it’s not just about the translation!)

As a freelance manager for WIENERS+WIENERS, Josephine knows a thing or two about how to nurture successful working relationships, both with in-house staff and her extensive network of freelance translators. She will challenge you to think about how to choose the right person with whom to grow your business. (Another hint here: it’s not just about the skills on paper!)

I will be discussing AJT’s ‘hybrid model’ of employing both in-house translators and freelancers. We have experienced a phenomenal growth spurt over the last 12 months, doubling our turnover and tripling our number of employees. We have found that a combination of both in-house staff and freelancers allows us to keep a tight control on translation quality while maintaining the agility to scale on demand when we work on big projects with short turnaround times. A hybrid approach is not a proven science, but certainly for our company, it has provided an opportunity to grow our business in a sustainable and manageable way and to react quickly to market demands.

If you would like to learn about different options to grow your business and gain real-life insights into how to achieve growth, Carol, Josephine and I would love to see you there! Our session will be held on Day 1 (Thursday 23rd February) at 12.35pm – do come and join us for interesting discussion and debate. For more info about the ELIA Together conference, visit the ELIA website.

If you’d like to read a summary of our panel discussion at Elia Together 2016 in Barcelona, check out the blog post ELIA Together: Talking about business growth and ethics.

Elia 2016