20 lessons learned in 20 years of business
As EVS Translations UK approaches the celebration of its 20th anniversary in February, its founder and CEO, Edward Vick, joins us on the blog each week to speak about the business and life lessons learned from the UK chapter of his international business.
EVS Translations has grown by an average of 15% every year of the last 30 years. That growth has drawn interest from within the translation industry and from outside of the market but do these interested parties always share Edward’s passion and more importantly, his vision?
“Our once very niche industry of translation has been enjoying a strong and sustained period of growth over the last decade, for us, even longer. Picture the nerdy kid who no one was interested in but who grows up and turns out to be a lot slicker than other people once remembered.
In an increasingly globalised economy, where information and communication is critical, this is our era. From Netlix to law firms, language has become a key part of any ambitious business with a genuine internationalisation strategy.
Global audiences crave an authentic experience. By all means, call the marketeers but you’ll also need an integrated language strategy to seize this opportunity – an opportunity that is not lost on many people.
The language of disruption
Currently, there are a lot of translation companies eating up other translation companies. But there are also advertising companies eating up translation companies or tech companies eating up translation companies. Or was that the other way round?
People are getting fat on a diet of competitors and market share. There are whispers of the translation industry disrupting the advertising industry. With all this activity and hype, which direction do you choose?
A lot of business owners will appreciate this feeling: how to grow and move the company forwards? Many a night’s sleep can be lost to this line of thought. I’ve built a company and an international team which puts the focus on human talent. The art of translation which delivers businesses killer content, effortless global communication and seamless information exchange.
Quality is not as simple as ‘plug and play’
The business has to grow into the 21st century, but in a way which allows you to stay true to your undeterred vision of delivering a quality product to your clients.
This intense pressure is on SMEs in any industry or sector. For some, the answer is acquisition. Or to be acquired. Trade publicly if you’re big enough. But for some business owners it’s not as simple as the quest to grow fat on success. It’s about something you created and nurtured, which delivers a level of quality unmatched by businesses focused purely on the bottom line.
That brings an acute feeling of ownership. This business is my family. The employees are a team. They have made this company a success and they are not going to be told what to do by a board of directors which knows a lot about chasing profits but virtually nothing about the industry.
At a certain level of growth, people begin knocking on your door. Do you dilute your offering to satisfy the short-term goals of someone else’s balance sheet or follow your vision? I’ve learned to keep my ear to the ground, but not let myself get too distracted.”