At this time of year, so many enterprises may have money left to spend, but it’s “use it or lose it” before the new year. How can you use leftover money to your advantage? Remember, time is of the essence, and often finance requires delivery before the end of the year in order to pony up. Below we offer you some suggestions for spending that budget, whether you have a lot to burn or just a little.
If you have up to $50,000, consider:
- Business Process Excellence initiatives such as setting up Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Has it been a while since you’ve audited processes for efficiencies? Or are you suspecting waste? Have an industry expert do a survey of your current processes, flag suspicious areas, and put some investment there.
- Evaluating content readiness for new markets. In 2017, will your content be translated into more languages? Do you know if your source content is in good enough shape for ease of localization? Get a jump-start on next year’s growth with an evaluation of your content.
- Conducting trainings such as global English for writers or internationalization for engineers. This an excellent way to gear up for any new initiatives by getting you and your team ready.
- Investing in terminology #1: terminology management software. Are you getting a high amount of reuse and consistency through terminology control? Purchase a software solution for terminology management and plan to tackle your terms to improve your content consistency and clarity in 2017.
- Investing in terminology #2: terminology cleanup. Terminology easily falls out of date: terms are replaced and new terms are introduced all the time. Make sure your terminology base allows for maximum consistency and clarity in your source and translated documents.
- Buying industry dictionaries to incorporate into authoring and/or QA tools. This can go a long way in ensuring accuracy…and increasing translator productivity.
- Adopting a query management tool to ease query resolution by centralizing all questions and answers.
- Creating or updating your corporate style guide. Has your recent merger or acquisition blurred your brand voice? Update your brand guidelines by investing in this important living document — one for each market. It will put guardrails around your style and preserve your brand.
- Translation Memory (TM) cleanup. Are you suffering from too many errors coming back from the field? Are your in-country review teams constantly giving you the same feedback? These could be root causes of a Translation Memory problem. It’s time to look at getting your TMs cleaned of duplicate and incorrect entries.
- Assessing whether to enter a new market. You may have a hunch that your product would do well in, say, Thailand, but some competitive research and sales projections will help you make a good business decision.
- Investing in Knowledge Base (KB) content to enhance the user experience of your current global sites. Many users these days look for help online before calling anyone. Be where they are with useful information.
- Machine Translation. Do your stakeholders keep mentioning Google Translate every time they see a bill from the LSP? Are there loads of content you just can’t get to because of budget constraints? Invest in MT. Think of non-branded, straightforward content (online help or technical materials) and get your feet wet in MT to save time and effort.
And if you have over $50,000, you should ponder:
- Investing in a Content Management System (CMS) to create and manage your digital content. Are you at the beginning of your journey with content management? Does your team struggle to keep on top of all of your content? Or have you been down the road with a piece of software that’s just not growing with you? A CMS can be an excellent way to set process improvements and savings in motion.
- Purchasing a Translation Management System (TMS). Is your LSP hosting your TMs, but you can’t see the savings you are expecting, or the transparency is not there? Would you like to put multiple LSPs into a system to bid on your projects? Invest in a TMS to build a marketplace and a new level of business intelligence into your translation program.
No matter the size of the purse, know the rules of the road with your finance department. Don’t let a bill for a big-ticket item accidentally carry over to your 2017 budget (been there, done that!). Be in touch with the finance folks to make sure they are aware of any end-of-the-year major purchases. They get very busy this time of year while they try to close the books.
Happy spending! (And Happy Holidays).
Note: We published a similar set of recommendations for end-of-year spending for anyone working in the Life Sciences industry. If medical devices or pharmaceuticals are your thing, check it out in our Life Sciences blog.