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Does Translation Company Size Matter?

In the process of choosing a translation company to support an organization’s language requirements, clients typically weigh numerous factors in the process of making a selection. One consideration might be the size of the translation company. So are larger or smaller translation companies a better choice?

The answer will depend on the client of course. For many clients smaller translation companies offer advantages that might tip the scale in their favor. Some of advantages on the side of smaller translation companies are:

1) Every Client Matters

Small translation companies value each and every client more if for no other reason than the fact that they have fewer of them relative to larger translation companies. No small translation company wants to disappoint (or heaven forbid lose) even a single client. As a result smaller translation companies will likely more often go the extra mile for clients.

2) Close Knit Pool of Translators

Managing a smaller pool of professional translators allows project managers to more effectively utilize translator resources so that just the right translator is assigned to each new project. In larger operations the first translator to respond to a project availability announcement might automatically be assigned. Or due to larger translation project volumes in bigger companies the project-translator matching process might not receive as much thoughtful attention. Better matching a translator’s specializations with translation projects will over time undoubtedly result in higher quality translations.

3) Greater Client Familiarity

Regular clients of smaller translation companies develop a relationship with the company’s personnel. Project managers and translators become familiar with clients and their organizations. When the occasion comes up when a client needs a favor or special consideration (e.g., we really need this 10,000 word project back by Friday this week), having an established relationship can carry a lot of weight.

4) Smaller Companies Specialize

Small companies are often not large enough to offer every category and variation of language services. Instead they specialize and do a smaller set of things especially well. So when the choice is a language specialist or a language generalist, the best choice is nearly always the specialist smaller company.