Your business plan

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According to Wikipedia, a business plan is a formal statement of a set of business goals, the reasons why they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals. It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals. Read more at wiki/Business plan

Should you write a business plan?

If you own an agency with several employees and a large cash flow, you probably have a business plan for your company and are familiar with this tool.

If, on the other hand, you are a freelance language service provider, you are not likely to be familiar with this concept and to disregard this kind of tool as something not related with language, and therefore not interesting to you.

Think twice! As a freelancer you are your own company. Writing a good business plan will teach you about the strong and weak points of your business.

It may help you understand where you are, where you want to be, and how to move from here to there.

This can be useful when the sun shines and it may be essential when the rainy season arrives.

A well-written business plan is another way of showing your professional seriousness and it could also help you get a loan, form a partnership or help you gain access to a well organized corporate client looking for service providers having this special "difference".

What should be included?

There are many sources of business plan templates, some are free, some are sold by commercial web sites. You should get a template and adapt it to the particularities of your business.

As an interesting source of information you may visit, for instance, the US Small Business Administration's Small Business Planner

There is considerable flexibility regarding the content of a business plan, but you should consider as a model the fields described below.

Consider writing an internal business plan with all the details and a public, abridged version to share with external stakeholders.

  • A summary of the plan, including:
    • A statement of your goals as a business
    • The factors that make your business special
    • Current status and plans
  • A description of your business, including:
    • A brief description of what your business does
    • Your business' location
    • Your professional qualifications and certifications
    • Your legal and fiscal status
    • Your business organization, including employees (if any) and relationships to external players (such as freelance translators or other professionals)
    • Your technological infrastructure including CAT tools
    • Professional organizations you belong to
  • Your competitive position in the market, including
    • Situation of the local and international markets
    • Position of your business in the market, specialization, key selling points
    • Customers, classification, customer-risk evaluation (distribution of your business among your clients)
    • Marketing and advertisement, web page, profiles in online sites
  • A SWOT analysis, where you will evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your business, learn more about this at Wikipedia.
  • Your administrative organization, including
    • Procedures for pricing and quotations
    • Terms and conditions
    • Quality procedures
    • Invoicing procedures
  • Your financial situation, including
    • Overview of last fiscal year(s)
    • Forecast and expectations
    • Rate policies, see a related article
  • Your risk policies
    • Risk evaluation of potential customers {article needed: Risk management - Should I work for that outsourcer?]
    • Insurance policies
    • Contingency reserves {article needed}

Further reading

KSL Berlin's article on Business plans for translators

Payday Loans

Discussion related to this article

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Your business plan

3ADE shadab
Local time: 08:07
Hindi to English
+ ...
Good. you have cover everything!!Apr 6, 2011

This is really good information given by you, which covers almost everything related with a business. I doubt we translator make any such plan but yes at least iam going to do so from today onwards

Hindi translators

[Edited at 2013-03-28 10:50 GMT]


Eveline Krause Identity Verified
Local time: 03:37
Member (2010)
English to German
+ ...
Business PlanApr 7, 2011

Inevitable in Germany. Thank you for this information. In high cost countries such as Germany it is paramount to every small start up business to have a clear plan outlined on how to actually master coming months without no or small income and how to foster growth until the-one-man business is smoothly running. It also opens eyes to the possibilities of financial and non-financial support available for those who dare the endeavour of entrepreneurship. With regards, Eveline EN-GER-EN translator


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