Managing a translation agency

Managing a translation agency

What does one need to handle when managing a translation agency?

Each job description usually contains a precise range of duties which will be entrusted to a particular employee. In case of any management job, though, such scopes tend to be surprisingly flexible, often challenging one’s work experience and expectations for the future. In case of a translation agency, management can technically involve anything – from being a one-man HR department to finding a solution during internal conflicts. Manager’s responsibilities largely depend on the CEO of the company and the enterprise’s structure. In some of the cases the manager is responsible for simultaneous handling of accounting issues and customer service; in the others, they are strictly devoted to supervising the work of project managers and other company departments.

Ensuring best quality – managing translation projects

Timely and reliable order execution is the cornerstone of every translation agency. Successful completion of the projects involves harmonious cooperation between translators, proofreaders, editors and – in some cases – native speakers. With multiple projects underway, quote requests, phone calls (let us not forget about arranging interpreting services, often requiring equipment preparation and an additional trip to the venue in order to check the working conditions) and clients arriving at the office, things may easily turn into frenzy. While the debate on multi-tasking is still very heated, an ability to focus on multiple duties at the same time is very much required. Project manager is responsible for one of the most challenging steps on the way to successful order completion – after accepting the order, they have to create a team perfectly suitable for a given translation. This requires thorough knowledge about education and experience of translators and proofreaders cooperating with one’s agency; one has to bear in mind that someone specialising in literature won’t necessarily provide a reliable legal translation.

Tackling bureaucracy and formal issues of managing a business

Managers responsible for complex maintenance of a business are in for slightly more duties and responsibility. Their scope of work usually also encompasses activities related to tax issues, accounting, carrying out recruitment and assessing employees’ performance, task delegation and quality assurance. Mundane as these assignments might seem, they are necessary for efficient company operation; in some cases their timely execution is of crucial importance for further activity. While there are many bright sides to this work and there are lots of gratifying moments, managers are also responsible for tackling rather unpleasant issues – such as complaints and negative feedback.

Responsibility and reliability – the foundation of manager’s work

The range of manager’s responsibilities might be slightly overwhelming – just as the set of skills defining a person perfect for this post. While this job is a perfect blend of challenging, complex projects and mundane, formal tasks, it never ceases to surprise and provide stimuli for personal development and improvement.

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