Build a Better Translation Agency by Paying Vendors Quickly


Are you sure that as a translation agency, your payment practices do not turn away translators? This article explains why you might need to adjust your approach in order to be more successful in dealings with freelance linguists.

Paying quickly: Winning is about building great relationships with vendors.

The cornerstone of a sustainable payment policy is paying translators quickly. By making your payment policy more translator-friendly, you will be a more attractive client for your translation partners. This will help you build partnerships with more and better translators, giving you an upper hand to secure more business and serve clients better. By contrast, an agency lacking strong relationships with excellent translators invariably misses opportunities. This is an investment in developing your capacity to do more business.

Paying quickly: Translators will appreciate your attitude.

When a translator knows that you treat her as a partner who needs money just as you do, she is more likely to go the extra mile for you. For instance, she may agree to do a challenging project—one she would never accept from another client with less translator-friendly payment practices. By designing your payment policy with your linguists’ best interests in mind, you will become their top client. Who would not want that?

Paying quickly: Higher linguist availability

Will a linguist with a temporary cash shortage be more interested in working with someone who pays quickly or someone who takes 60 days to pay? The answer is obvious. People who find themselves short of money will prefer your project to anyone else’s. Having many linguists available to your agency means you will spend less time assigning jobs and be forced to look for new translators less frequently.


Make sure to avoid payment delays. Not only will such malpractice turn away linguists, but it may also damage your reputation, if an angry translator leaves negative feedback about you on the Internet. If delay is unavoidable, it is very important to contact your translators and warn them so that they have peace of mind and know that you take them for who they are—your business partners, not your servants.

Pay transaction expenses.

Do not make translators pay your money transfer fees, such as bank fees. Among other things, this will it make it impossible for you to work with top translators, because it is they who set the rules, and it is highly unlikely that those rules are in favor of the translator paying clients’ fees. Many people are also very keen about fairness: they will consider paying your fees unfair and will not work with you, even if other benefits of cooperation well outweigh this minor loss.

Further reading

If you also have in-house translators, make sure to read the article “Motivating In-House Translators Using Compensation.”

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