Making Good People Better

How gto find your dreamjob

How to find your dream job in 30 days

If you are one of the 80% of knowledge workers that feel stress on the job, you may also be one of the 14% that had felt like striking a coworker in the past year but decided to not do it. Instead, you may have looked for another job.

Here is how successful professionals manage to leap to a dream job that fuels them with energy, inspires them for personal growth, and helps them to contribute to a cause much bigger than themselves.

To get there, you will need to design your own path to success. You will need to do things differently. You will need to implement a new process of finding your dream job.

There is a lot of literature out there that is designed to help you get found on job boards like Monster.com, Indeed.com, CareerBuilder, and others as well as here on LinkedIn.

You can read how to best use their sitemaps and search features to find job-listings that are best matches for you. There are plenty of blogs and even paid services available that help you write and organize your resume, use keywords and buzzwords, and stand out against other candidates.

Job boards promise to get your resume in front of so much more employment opportunities than you could ever find on your own. But there is also a flipside. Like when the early bird catches the worm, it is also true that the early worm gets eaten.

Job boards make it harder, not easier to find a job

Because more people find them, employers now also attract much more candidates for each of their job listings. Job seekers have much more competition. That makes it a lot harder to stand out; and hence, chances of being noticed fade.

To manage the deluge of applications, employers have increasingly automated the selection process with tools, such as:

  • Applicant tracking software
  • Recruitment automation for resume screening
  • Software that enriches resumes by using public data sources about your previous employers and your social media profiles
  • Chatbots and
  • Technology that records your interviews and assesses factors such as your word choices, speech patterns, and facial expressions to predict how well you fit the role

These technologies have one main purpose: filter out all applicants that do not match formal hiring criteria. And if the technology is not available, someone in HR will do it manually at a speed of 6 seconds per application. As a result, 88% of resumes that employers receive for a role are considered unqualified.

You can be the most qualified person for the job, but the hiring manager will never see your resume for two reasons:

  1. Underqualified: You may have only four years of experience – and the system will filter you out because it wants you to have five. You may have a Bachelor of Arts, but the company wants a Bachelor of Science or a Masters degree. You will be deemed under-qualified based on formal evaluation criteria instead of your true knowledge, experience, motivation, and ability to do the job.
  2. Overqualified: You could be the best person for the job, but deemed overqualified because you already have seven years of experience. You may have a Masters of Business Administration degree and the formal requirement is a Bachelor’s degree.

The lists are long. The irony is that there is no rhyme or reason why a company sets certain minimum job requirements. These are mostly made up. Arbitrary preferences from the hiring manager or the company’s HR policies define these formal job requirements.

As Forbes Contributor, Liz Ryan notes in her article ‘Ten Reasons To Hire Someone Without A College Degree’:

“Any hard-and-fast hiring criterion is a waste of talent, money and other resources, but most companies build their recruiting processes to be mechanical and uniform — not human, smart or cost-effective.

[…]

Lazy shortcuts like “We only consider candidates with four-year degrees” are a vestige of the outdated Machine Age” – and merely signs of disengaged HR professionals that have lost their passion or humility.

If these hiring criteria were so great, why then would most managers fire half of their staff if they had someone to replace them with? Why do 39% percent of CFO say that bad hires had cost them productivity and fewer sales? And why do 41% of hiring managers and HR professionals estimate the financial costs of bad hires are equal to 30% of the employee’s potential annual salary?

Understand that formal job requirements are mostly made up.

This then, begs more questions: Why are employers requesting five years of experience? What’s the science behind it? The answer is that there is none. It’s all based on personal assumptions, philosophies, ignorance or arrogance.

That’s why you find job listings that require you to have two years of experience with using a technology that has been on the market for a just a few months.

To be fair, sometimes those formal job requirements are based on prior experience with former employees. Someone with only four years of experience was not able to get the job done. Or a former hire with six years of experience got bored too fast and left the company early. Who knows?

Beat the messed up hiring system

What is important for you is to know that it’s not you whom a company rejects, but everybody who came before you. But you know that you are different. You have that special gift and a personal conviction that the world needs – and you want to put it to work. You’ve got to beat the system.

You will shun job databases. You won’t allow human resource departments to discriminate against you for all the people that came before you. Instead, you will use alternative and more rewarding ways of getting your resume and face in front of a decision maker.

You are also not concerned with whether or not your target company has an actual job opening, knowing that most manager would let go off several their team members if they had someone to replace them with. Job openings are often just acts of desperation because a hiring manager’s real needs have not been met before.

Hiring managers are always looking for options to enhance their teams, even if secretly and quietly. Your task is to contact them directly and help them to see that you are that best option.

The four steps to finding your dream job

I do not have a college degree. Yet, in my career I have been headhunted and hired for a position at the World Bank – one of the globe’s most prestigious institutions – that formally required a PhD or MBA.

I worked as a consultant for the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit with top-secret clearance to support anti-terrorism activities. The parent company of Scientific American, and one of the world’s most respected publishing houses, Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck (Holtzbrinck Publishing Services in the US), hired me as head of their global digital media division and then promoted me to General Manager for North America for their electronic publishing arm.

And the leading language services provider at the time, Berlitz, successfully relied on my expertise to turn their division in Central and Eastern European profitable after nine previously failed attempts from executives with a college degree.

At the time of writing, I am teaching a Masters of Professional Services class at the University of Maryland. With no college degree to show for, how can that be? Am I a fraud?

Obviously, I must know something. The FBI does not spend about $80,000 on a security clearance for someone who makes faulty claims. The World Bank does not bend its rules and tweaks its HR system to onboard an imposter. The multi-million-dollar company turn-around at Berlitz was a feat. Nine people with a college degree failed before me, yet it only took me five months to save the company and about 40 jobs. These are hard, verifiable facts and accomplishments.

I am not sharing this with you to impress you, but to impress upon you that employers will want to work with you if you know your stuff, have a personal conviction and can prove that you have both. Here are the five steps that you can use to convey your unique gift that only you can bring to a hiring company.

Step 1: The 5 WHATs you need to answer to find the job you want

1.    What’s the industry that you want to serve and how?

2.    What’s the role to you want to play and why?

3.    What are your natural ways of working if given the freedom to be yourself?

4.    What is the preferred location for your work?

5.    What are your personal criteria of success?

A good way of starting is to understand your natural strengths. Kolbe Corp is the leader in assessing your conative skills. You can take the assessment here: https://goo.gl/5FjJDB

Step 2: How to find the best matching hiring manager

Once you are clear about what you want, you are in an excellent position to narrow down 20 employers that fit your profile. You will under no circumstances send your resume to human resources. HR are not your friend. They are not supposed to be your friend. Later, yes. But not now.

In fact, you will not send a resume at all. Instead, you will send an invitation to meet or speak directly to the hiring manager. Here are few ways to get to find and get them:

  • Referrals: Hiring managers are five times more likely to engage when you get introduced or referred by someone they know.
  • LinkedIn: Get a premium account for Sales or Business (not for Career). These give you 15 to 20 InMail™ messages that enable you to start meaningful conversations with hiring managers of the companies that fit your needs.
  • Conferences: These events feature many hiring managers. You can reach out to them by visiting the exhibition booth or engaging speaker after their presentation.
  • Lexis.com: Has the most complete, current and accurate contacts gathered from a variety of sources and compiled by Dun and Bradstreet.
  • Meetups: Join meetups, but go to the events for decision-makers. Skip the meetups for professionals. Most people are there to either get new business or a new job. Hiring managers a rare at these events.
  • Let them find you: Today and in the future, hiring companies will continue to use the internet as the premier channel for pro-actively connecting with potential employees. Interestingly, they are more interested in the people that are not actively looking and have a compelling story.

Step 3: Contact the hiring manager directly

The worst mistake you can make is to begin a conversation with you, your experience and your story. Instead, begin with a topic that is meaningful to THEM.

A compelling introductory message has five components in a distinct order:

  1. A key challenge in a hiring manager’s industry, profession or team
  2. Your compassion about this challenge
  3. The solution that you have in mind
  4. Evidence that you are qualified to prescribe this solution
  5. Invitation to speak or meet

See illustration below

A sample introductory letter to a hiring manager

Dear [Hiring Manager]:

[Element 1: Key challenge]

Your article on the quality of marketing specific translation was spot on. Multiple versions of product names can be a challenge – and often to a point where customers and salespeople alike are confused.

[Element 2: Compassion]

In my case, it caused physical pain. Instead of using a procedure in which an artificial joint would be cemented with a shank or shaft, doctors implanted it without any cement. Because the term ‘non-modular cemented’ was wrongly translated as ‘zementfrei’, which means ‘does not need cement’ in German. So the surgeons put in the knee loose, and I needed a second surgery.

[Element 3: Solution]

I then decided to do something about it. No one should have to have unnecessary surgery because of mistranslation of a term.

I decided to dedicate my life to helping the medical industry to be crystal clear and accurate in their communication. I found a way to manage critical medical terms and make their correct translations available in all marketing material from web content to product brochures and white papers.

[Element 4: Why you]

Today, I am one of the leading experts. With over ten years of experience in managing terminology, I was able to help major life-science and medical device companies increase the success of new product introductions by up to 67% and brand recognition by up to 89%.

[Element 5: Invitation]

I am hoping to learn from you how you address this challenge today and what a perfect world would look like for you in 3 years.

Can we talk?

Step 4: Ace the Interview

Hiring managers, as well as business owners, love to talk about themselves. An interview is like going on a first date. Meeting someone new is always about the other person, never about yourself.

You can start a conversation with two questions:

  1. What excites you the most right now about your business/program/team?
  2. What gives you the biggest headaches right now.

You can carry a conversation with one simple follow up question (use it as often as possible):

  • How do you feel about that?

Remember that the most successful candidates are not the ones with the right answers, but those that have the right questions.

From then on, your formal qualifications are, well, just a minor formality. You either ace the meeting get hired eventually or you fail it.

Either way, your resume and formal qualifications have lost their importance at that point.

From Clashing to Collaboration

Get From Team Clashing to Collaboration

14% of knowledge workers felt like striking a coworker in the past year but didn’t. If you are a technical writer, chances are that you were a potential target. Collaborative authoring comes at a price. It is also at odds with 87% of employees worldwide that are not engaged at work and 35.5 million European workers that report mental ill-being due to beating tight deadlines.

How, then, can we effectively author in collaboration with diverse professions and personalities? Some people tend to be precise; they naturally seek detail, correct errors, define terms with exactness, and question thoroughly. How can they manage stress when working with someone who generalizes, jumps to conclusions, makes changes without reasons, and races the clock?

You will find first answers to these questions in this webinar.

How to (1)

How to (not) kill a project and/or client

Did you know that according to Gallup 86% of buyers would pay more for a better service experience, and Forbes magazine reports that only 1% of them feel that they are getting it?

As a result, they ask for reductions in rates, increase in additional non-paid services (more Excel reports anyone?), and they complain more often about the quality of deliverables – most often with change requests that are preferential.

The impact on your bottom line? You are missing a big chunk of additional revenue and lose what you already have. Happy customers spend an average of 23% more of their budget with an engaging localization vendor and between 1 and 18% less with the rest.

The graphic below shows how that process works in a profession called translation and localization as an illustrative example. In it, disengaged clients become more demanding. They may ask for a reduction in rates for individual services, an increase in the scope of projects without wanting to pay for it, and they voice concerns over the quality of deliverables (in this case translated documents).

If you grant those requests, you will experience losses in either real revenue (18% on average) or opportunities (23% on average).

In turn, your operations will be stressed even more, leading to yet less client engagement. And so, the circle of death continues. Little by little you will kill your client account.

As a small business owner, I have felt the impact of both an 18% revenue loss with a client and increase of 23% with the same account. It’s the difference between doing very well and struggling to make ends meet. It lets your thoughts sway from ‘I can do anything I put my mind to’ to ‘What was I thinking? I can’t do this!’

The impact on operations and project teams is horrific

According to the American Institute of Stress, 80% of workers feel stress on the job, nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress. 14% had felt like striking a coworker in the past year, but didn’t.

It’s not just an American problem. In a recent study funded by the European Commission, 55.6 million European workers report that their mental well-being had been affected by stress. 62 % state that beating tight deadlines is one of the reasons.

The cost to European businesses: €617 billion annually – resulting from absenteeism (€272 billion), loss of productivity (€242 billion), healthcare costs of €63 billion and social welfare costs (€39 billion).

How do businesses and staffers respond? Often we are just throwing things against the wall and see what sticks. We pretend we have it all together for long enough hoping one day we actually will.

Until then, we face countless setbacks – lost clients, overly demanding ones, quality disputes with vendors, increased competition and pressure to lower rates. Until we get to the point where anyone will jump take our phone or reply to our email. Along the way, project managers break down or leave, which makes it harder to create the experience our clients so want and need. Ask any buyer of services when a project manager that they love moves on. If they could, they would rather follow the person than be staying with the services provider.

I have observed services providers from all angles for over 20 years: as managing director, as a client, and as a consultant. There are two reasons why they kill a client.

Reason #1: They operate like a black box

They bother a client as little as possible with the good intention of offering ‘turn-key solutions.’ But if not implemented well, this approach backfires. The client simply does not feel engaged and slowly but surely drifts away.

To the contrary, successful localizers and translators

  • Proactively reach out to share queries from project stakeholders and resolve them effectively.
  • Ask customers for additional information and resources, such reference documents, product info, organizational charts, etc.
  • Communicate progress, manage expectations and make the work easier for the next person in the process.

In other words, engaging your clients well is the key factor to winning and growing more business.

This insight may go against what some project managers observe. I often hear push-back to the idea of client engagement. They believe that many buyers of \ services are not willing to do what it takes to get better deliverables, but instead, want the least number of requests and queries from their service provider.

I call this kind of thinking the ‘monkey house.’ To speak with Tim Gunn: “I have this refrain about the monkey house at the zoo. When you first enter the monkey house, you think, ‘Oh my god this place stinks!’ And then after you’re there for 20 minutes you think, ‘it’s not so bad’ and after you’re there for an hour it doesn’t smell at all. And anyone entering the monkey house freshly thinks, ‘this stinks!’ You’ve been living in the monkey house.”

Keep in mind that 86% of customers are not engaged – and we all think it’s normal. In fact, it stinks. Thus, it is also true that if you do not engage your clients, they will not do it for you. A disengaged client is one that easily leaves. A quiet client often builds new capacity or develops new vendors in covert operations.

Reason #2: They work against the grain

Many project managers think that being smart, nice and hard-working is enough. But that thinking only addresses two of three parts of the mind, the cognitive and the affective. But it’s how project managers act on the conative parts of the mind that cause them stress, strain or conflict.

The conative part of the mind sits in the primal system which also controls life functions such as the autonomic brain, breathing, heart rate and the fight or flight mechanism. It is concerned with fundamental needs such as survival, hoarding, dominance, mating, and basic emotions of love, hate, fear, and lust.

Our instincts sit here as well, and we get mental energy from them. Drive, urges, necessity, innate force, and talents all originate here. All our decisions are made in the parts of the limbic and primal parts of the brain where there is no language. We know from neuro-science that the brain begins preparing for an action a few hundred ms before the person is conscious of their desire to perform that action.

How we naturally work is deeply ingrained into our conative part of the mind that has no capacity for language but drives our decision-making nonetheless.

Good for us, Kathy Kolbe developed a system that gives a framework and terminology to describe the conative mind. It helps us understand our four basic action modes and the instinctive strengths that drive the way we would act of given the freedom to be ourselves.

Watch my keynote speech on education reform for language studies at the 2017 Monterey Localization Forum at MIIS earlier this year for a more detailed explanation.

Successful project managers organize their time and energy according to their natural mode of operating (MO). In particular, they:

  • Take down time to re-energize
  • Cut their losses when it isn’t working for them
  • Save time by doing things ‘their way’
  • Initiate action to fully use their strength

Do you want to know what your natural MO is? Head over to the Kolbe page and take the assessment.

I am using Kolbe assessments in my workshop ‘Manager Better Projects in 30 Days.’ It has made a dramatic increase in the effectiveness of the program. At LocWorld in Barcelona this month, all participants said that the training exceeded their expectations. But what is most meaningful to me is that they deemed it to be life changing and a milestone in their lives.

So, don’t wait and find out about your instinctive strengths and natural talents in about 20 minutes.

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Sink or swim? Swim.

The Out-Localize 2017 Program is here!

Here’s why I am so passionate about this new training program.

When I first entered the localization business, I saw that many project managers were highly talented and full of potential – but not trained.

They did not feel like extensions of their clients R&D teams, enablers of their marketing message and branding, and  strategic partners for their international market success. They felt degraded by mere file-pushing.

To this day, the path from college to client crisis is short. Very often first-jobbers get shown their desk and computer, and then they need to figure things out by themselves

It’s sink or swim from there on out. If lucky, they will get a brief introduction to clients, workflows, and technologies. But often, there is even no time for that. Price-per-word, turn-around times and quality scores dominate life.

I have seen everything from interns managing key client accounts to temps preparing quotes for complex projects and accountants proofreading documents because they happened to speak another language. And more so with larger service providers than with small ones.

When I entered the localization business, I remember feeling incredibly confused, overwhelmed and alone. My background was in electronic publishing.

In localization, I have had to learn a new business, develop new relationships, and manage people with professions that I did not even know existed – with a shout-out to my friends that are localization engineers.

Worse, there was no one around that I could lean on for support or advice.

If you ever feel like this, I want you to know that you CAN take control.

Fast forward to now. Localization has not only become my bread and butter – it is my life and my life-style. I found my wife here and many of my best friends. It brought me to some 50-plus countries. I dined with government officials, debated with thought leaders, and toasted with billionaires.

20 years of non-stop learning and growth tends to have that effect!

But I am most proud of the many people I have helped kick-start their careers into high gear. Even after 20 years, people still share with me how my teachings have changes their personal and professional lives.

That is the only thing that counts. Revenue, profits and clients are important, but they are only necessary vessels to a better life for you and the many people that you serve.

I’m grateful that I was able to figure out a way to turn my worries about making it in the localization business into positive action. And I am proud to say that I have since helped hundreds of localization professionals to do the same.

So what’s this got to do with you?

If you’re a project manager or owner of a localization services company, you can now profit from the very best of all my training programs. I have organized them in my new Out-Localize program. These teachings turned localization coordinators into global team leaders in some of the world’s best companies. All of them are increasing profits and revenue for small and large companies as you read this.

Most importantly, they help people around the world gain physical and mental health, respect, sensuality, sense of belonging, or self-esteem. By providing localization and translation services they help to invent, build, design, work, compose, interpret, co-operate, plan, or take care of something to make the world better.

You can be one of them.

You are probably aware of the thousands of development and training programs that are run by the public, social, and private sectors. Some are excellent; others, not so much.

Many offer PMP and CAPM certification. Some MOOC platforms provide well-made courses. But how relevant are these? Ask yourself what level of specification do you actually need in localization project management?

Since many of the learnings in generic project management certification training do not directly apply to their work, they tend to be boring for localization professionals. That’s even true for the professional ones that cost $3,000 and more. And most programs have no positive effect at all on the career of a localization professional.

Not to mention how massively overwhelming your work can pile up when you are out on training. When you come back to your work desk after a day or two, your inbox is flooded with new project or change requests, complaints about quality issues, scope creeping inquiries and so on. The moment you are back at your desk, your new learnings are being crushed by deadline pressure.

That’s why I created practical training that you can implement immediately.

It’s better to go an vacation and return to an empty email inbox than going on a training program and be crushed by crisis upon you return.

Therefore, from the very beginning of my Out-Localize Program, you will learn how to best spend your time. Everything I teach has been proven and modernized over 20 years. You can implement learnings on the same day and it will have an immediate impact on the quality of your work and life.

All training units are packaged in videos that you can read during your commute, while enjoying a cup of coffee to clear your mind, and before/after lunch to help you decompress. It’s so much more rewarding than the latest office gossip. There is no falling behind, either. You watch when the time is right.

How much would you like more time for personal development, planning, strategizing, friends and family?

You can watch the free introduction to time management below to learn what’s holding you back.

There will be two more videos coming over the next week — but since they are a preview to the full Out-Localize 2017 program, they won’t be available for long.

Of course, if you get value from what you see, please comment and spread the word.

I’d be honored to help you become a Rockalizer in Localization.

slaying DTP monster

Slaying The InDesign Multilingual Monster

When international adhesives, sealant & surface treatment manufacturer Henkel implemented a one2edit translation workflow, the company’s localization costs decreased dramatically.

Henkel is the market leader in the adhesive, sealant & surface treatment industry. Its high-performance Loctite products, for example, are widely used in automotive, aerospace and other demanding applications. Because the company operates in 32 countries, doing business in 25 languages, localization is a critical business function for a wide array of its electronic and printed documents.

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Download the full case study

One2edit - Case Study from Henkel 1.97 MB 144 downloads

When the international manufacturer of adhesives, sealant & surface treatment,...

How many QA Cycles do you have after translation?

You probably feel the pain everyday. Managing multilingual Desktop Publishing is full of manual labor, from sending PDF files to managing the project by email. Did we mention the multiple QA cycles, each of which introduces new mistakes? What this video to see if you can relate.

One2edit simplifies your life

One2edit eliminates the need to send PDF-files around and then consolidating feedback from multiple reviewers. It offer a central production and review platform instead. No more reviewing text in tables first and then go through multiple revisions in the ‘typesetting’ phase.

Get a glimpse on how you can do it in one go.

Do it all with zero budget

If you want to know how we can make one2edit work for you, send us a note. Very often, the savings from fully using one2edit pay for the implementation within the remaining fiscal year. So, you may not need to ask for an additional budget in the first year, and reap the all the savings in the next.

How is that for being a hero in your company?

How one2edit helps you control your international branding

This company saved 90% on DTP cost – so can you

 

1

Are you paying too much for localization?

Finding a service-oriented localization vendor with best value pricing is a challenge. How are you fairing?
You might have difficulty to tell. Every vendor has a different way of quoting. Just to name a few:

  • Project management fees included in word rates – or not
  • Translation, editing and proofreading quoted separately – or not
  • Savings from translation memories passed through – or not
  • Charges for in-context matches – or not

By now, I have spent 20 years negotiating prices for localization services. My efforts were mainly focused on the buyer side, but I have also helped several language services providers to win contracts.

My free workshop on winning test translations has been all the buzz this year.

And now, I am pushing the bar a little bit higher and will share with you my pricing matrix for localization services – along with sample rates (English as source) that vendors have actually agreed on.

These are not list rates, or self-reported prices. These are best value rates.

(if rates are not showing, try refreshing the page)

I am not a price shopper. In fact, I do not believe in cheap labor in localization. I believe in the value of translation professionals that fully use the power of technology. These are the guys that tend to deliver full value at reasonable rates.

I never look for lowest prices. Instead I want rates that give my clients best value in terms of quality, service level agreements, project manager engagement, and service guarantees.

Service Levels Matter.

All my negotiations include:

  • Business days and hours in each relevant time zone
  • Handling of local holidays and backup
  • Project management responsibilities and workload leveling
  • Program / account management and escalation path
  • Complexity of content or subject matter expertise
  • Vendor localization team responsiveness and turn-around times
  • Terms and conditions for rush/express services
  • Quality management and issue resolution
  • Operational reporting and business reviews
  • Deliverables and acceptance criteria
  • Vendor ability to perform (check my LSP Health Meter)
  • Technology savviness and ability to innovate

Any of these negotiation items may influence your best value rate. For example, support from project management for 24 hours a day, in all time zones, and 365 days a year is costlier than getting the same service from 9-5 in just one time zone.

So, if you are out there for the cheap, this is not your place. But if you are looking for best-fit partners, this pricing matrix is a good starting point.

I will not disclose what individual vendors have quoted. For one, I will always protect each vendor that I am working with. So, do not ask me how your vendor compares with specific others. I won’t tell.

I will share with you, however, how your vendor’s pricing compares to the average best value rates. Individual quotes may be lower or higher depending on several factors listed above.

If you are a buyer of localization services, Team Lawless will work with you to achieve the same rates.

If you are selling services, my team and I are there for you to help you become more competitive in both, pricing and customer service.

Just send me an email and I will be back in touch with you shortly.

Andrew Lawless

5 Keys To Successful Vendor Management

5 Keys to finding and keeping the right vendor

Last week Andrew shared access to the LSP Health Meter. And since then, we have received consistent feedback from those who used it:

Having access to the right vendors is the #1 challenge to grow and run their business profitably.

These are familiar sentiments from LSPs that tried our Health meter:

“We get beaten by lower cost competitors. How can we stay competitive? We have not increased rates in years.”

“Our profit margins are dwindling. We need to find more cost-effective vendor solutions.”

“Clients are pressuring us for better quality and service. But how can we do that without jeopardizing our net income?”

“We cannot really pay our vendors on time, because clients pay us late.”

Having managed vendors for over 16 years, I know that facing these challenges can be overwhelming, frustrating and disheartening. They can drag you right into the mental abyss from loving what you do to questioning everything.

But the good news is that there are solutions. As Marie Forleo says “everything is figuroutable”. So, here are 5 proven strategies that produce results.

  1. Reverse engineer your buy-rates

Many companies determine their billing rates to clients based on how much vendors charge them for their services. Successful vendor management reverses the process. It begins with the market conditions and what pricing to your clients will keep you competitive and attractive. From there you can determine the price for services that you want to buy based on your business model. Most localization companies are striving for a 50% direct margin. You may be in good shape with less, you may need more. Every business model is somewhat unique. Find out here how your business model is working out for you and then determine which changes you will need to make to your vendor pricing: https://lawless.guide/check-your-financial-health

  1. Scope the market

In business as in life: The world is full of great people, but only a few are a match for you. Many outstanding vendors are busy with other projects the very moment you need them. Others are available, but you may not fit their profile of an ideal client. The art is to find the ones that are a good match and are available. It’s a matter of pro-active outreach, messaging and looking in the right places. You will also need to have a way for potential vendors to learn more about your company and your vendor management practice.  Have a web page that shows them how they will work with you. It’s a process. Some vendors may not be available the very moment you are reaching out to them, but they may come back to your website when they are.

  1. Define your vetting process

Many evaluation processes rely too much on test translations and formal requirements. To be sure, education and professional backgrounds are important. So is a verification that a vendor understands the basics of their profession. Equally important, though, is to determine the potential of a vendor relationship. How well will you work together, especially under time pressure and in times of crisis. How consistently will the vendor deliver? How compatible are they with your culture and your clients’ culture? Build a vetting process that gives you answers before you onboard a new vendor. You do not want to find out the hard way – and upset your clients.

  1. Pay on time

The best resources for localization and translation services are in high demand, so they naturally gravitate to those buyers that are most reliable and rewarding to work with. It’s just as much about transparency and the quality of the business relationship as it is about negotiated rates. Measuring the quality of a relationship is not as straight forward as negotiating pricing, but some aspects can be clearly assessed: Are you paying on time? Are you paying fast enough? How much do you delay vendor payments to manage cashflow? If you do not have the answers to those questions, here is a useful tool that gives you clarity: https://lawless.guide/check-your-financial-health

  1. Work hard, be nice!

As we like to say here in Team Lawless, “Work hard, be nice!” People of all backgrounds and cultures appreciate hard work and great attitude. Vendors will go out of their way to help a Project Manager who always treats them with courtesy and respect, and who gets into the trenches with them in difficult times. They are also more likely to invest in relationships with LSPs that collaborate with them on tools, training, process improvements, and who openly share their own success stories.

I would love to learn more about your vendor management practice and in which areas you may need help. Leave me comment below.

2

Check Your LSP’s Financial Heath

I am guessing that you are working hard on reconciling and closing your books for last year, or that you have just finished.

So, naturally, I have a few questions for you:

  • How well is your company doing?
  • Does your gut tell you that your company could perform better, but you cannot put your finger on it?
  • Even worse, are there hidden time bombs that may go off in the future?

I have had the same questions and, therefore, developed a Financial Health Meter. It gives me absolute clarity by only entering eight data points.

You can now use this nifty tool yourself. And it’s FREE.

There is no catch. No login, no optin, no storing of data, no cookies. Nothing, but only my desire to help you be successful.

The other good news is that it’s FAST and instant. You will only need to enter eight data points from your financial documents into the LSP Health Meter.

It only takes two minutes to complete. Analysis is instant.

It will tell you how well you manage your vendors, how productive your project managers are, how well your clients pay you – and if you are likely to run out of cash, soon.

But mostly, it will enable you to look in the right places where you can fine tune your business for better financial and operating success.

After entering your data, the LSP Health Meter will produce clear text guidance as well as the data analysis behind it.

It’s Safe and Secure

I am totally aware that your data are confidential and sacred to you.

Therefore, none of your data in this LSP Health Meter will be recorded or submitted.

I do not even provide an option for you to submit data to me. Neither do I impose a requirement to log in with an account to use this calculator.

You cannot be identified

All your data will be deleted once you leave or refresh the page. Pinky promise.

To be EXTRA sure, I have implemented a variety of additional security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information, such as the use of a secure server.

In general, all supplied sensitive information is transmitted on my website via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology, but none of your information that you will enter in LSP Health Meter will be stored on our servers, anyway.

If you do want to share your findings with me or discuss any aspect of your analysis, I am of course available to you.

So, check it out and make the rest of this fresh year 2017 count!

Be good to yourself,

Andrew

Automate today

5 Reasons you Need to Automate Today!

5 Reasons you Need to stop waiting for a reason and automate today:

drawing a graph

  1. More Growth:

    • As a small business, growth is HUGE.  When most people think about automation they think about the time, effort, cost, and change management that come with it.  Really, it’s where the growth is at.  The latest small business success came from their focus on automation.  Akorbi, a largely growing LSP for Global language, technology, and staffing services, was able to grow their business by 758% in only three years. Just by taking automation into their own hands and making it a priority for them.

      Business team analyzing income charts and graphs with modern digital tablet. Top view photoshoot.

  2. More Projects:

    • This might seem rather obvious but think about it.  As an LSP your goal is always more business.  How many times have you had to turn down a small project here or there, because you didn’t have the capacity? It may have been a small project, however, those little projects have the tendency to grow into valuable long-term relationships. Being able to do the manual mundane tasks FASTER allows you to free up more of your time to accept those projects, bring in more revenue, and more customers. Instead of looking at automation as a potential job eliminator, view it as a job generator.  With more free hands to help generate revenue, the faster projects go, and the more revenue you bring in.Hand put coin to money ,Business idea
  3. More Revenue:

    • Expanding more on the point above. How many times have you or your team had to say no to a potential customer because you couldn’t integrate with the automation they had? Or perhaps you didn’t have the technological capacity to produce the work they desired in the allotted time? You’re not alone. LSPs fall into this rabbit hole all the time. It’s too expensive to automate, but too expensive not to.
    • Investing a little money up front to automate your processes or update your technology to easily integrate, can have a GIANT impact. Once customers get word of your ability to handle the toughest of deadlines and projects, they’ll come knocking on your door, instead of the other way around. Which brings us back to point two, with more hands on deck, you’ll have more time to take these projects on.
  4. business-partnerMore Partnerships:

    • When working with technology, getting to the point where everything can properly talk to each other can often take a while.  A lot of times, this fact deters smaller to medium sized business to wait until a customer request.  Instead of waiting for a customer request, you can use automation to pro-actively reach out to a technology provider yourself.  Work with them to implement and create an avenue for customer referrals, and when the occasion arises, both of you can leverage your relationship as an opportunity to work closely, and directly with a customer.  Working out all the kinks directly alongside the technology will not only make your joint customer happy, but the end result will open up a relationship for continuous collaboration going forth.
  5. ea-blog-712x394-successMore Success:

    • At the end of the day, your main goal is to make your customers happy by producing stellar work. You want to deliver quality work, on -time and on-budget.  It’s unrealistic to think that hiccups won’t happen.
    • Utilizing partnerships or collaborations mentioned in the point above can help  alleviate the potential for these pitfalls helping you create a successful environment for the first test run of your automation process. But it also goes beyond that. The faster this initial process goes the faster you can continue to automate, putting you even further ahead of your competitors. Put yourself on track for more success faster.

Want to know how to start simplifying the process of automating now?

Click the link below to download our standard Technology Automation Map. Use this diagram to map out your current Technology Architecture and tune into our FREE automation webinar “How to Grow your business 758% in three years – Pushing files to Engaging Clients” on December 6th @11am EST.

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR FREE AUTOMATION MAP
This webinar will dive into how to automate efficiently to grow your business fast, cut time on mundane tasks, and handle more customers more effectively. Featuring two of the industries tops companies, Akorbi, one of the fastest growing LSPs, and Plunet, one of the industries most sought after technologies, don’t miss this thought leadership webinar.
For more information and to register for this FREE webinar visit our web page here.
 
See you December 6th!

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