METM22 presentation

Building a future-proof translation business

Michael Dever, Charmey, Switzerland

Changes in the language services industry are shaking up the lives and livelihoods of freelance translators. No one is immune. As far back as 2017, The Economist stated that, “Until recently, a decent translator could expect a steady, tidy living... But the industry is undergoing a wrenching change that will make life hard for the timid.”1

So how do we get out of our shells and boldly develop the personal touch needed to survive and thrive in this industry? 

In this session we’ll be discussing some of the best practices that I believe are foundational to achieving lasting business success as a language service professional. For example, we’ll be looking at why it is vital to function as a team if we want to target the high end of the market and how this works in practice.

Exploring these practices will take us closer to our ultimate goal: to be considered as part of our clients’ teams; not just simply basic service providers, but business partners with a keen understanding of their needs who know how to respond efficiently and effectively. 

This session will be tailored to newcomers but will also serve as a useful “temperature check” for long-time business owners. My aim is that each person will go home with at least one idea that they can then implement, thereby enhancing their value proposition.

1“Why translators have the blues”, The Economist, 27 May 2017, retrieved online on 13 April 2022
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About the presenter

Michael Dever has been translating (and sometimes editing) financial documents of all kinds for over 20 years – first in Paris, then in Geneva. His client portfolio contains several leading wealth managers as well as investor relations departments of French and Swiss companies. For more information, visit