Starting an Internet Business? 10 Free Tools You Need

Just because you are starting an online business does not mean you have money to waste. Free tools can help save you expense, hassle and help you get into making money online faster. Plus these tools are great to have on hand, some make great replacements for tools that come in handy regularly.

1. Audacity

If you want to create an audio product or audio blog post this free office tool is what you need. Fade in your audio, edit and then fade out. Cut, paste, and convert your audio into the format you need.

2. CamStudio

Perhaps you decided to create an instructional video on how to do something online. Maybe one that teaches people how to use a piece of software. This program allows you to record your screen and your voice.

3. Evernote

Better than a note pad, your product creation ideas, online business ideas, things you like online, and much more can be saved. Use screen capture to record confirmation numbers, use your phone camera to take pictures of a business card. You can access your notes on any computer, any phone or device you like.

4. GIMP

Many photograph editing programs are expensive. GIMP is under the GNU license giving a free tool to edit photographs and create graphics.

5. MindMeister

Add structure to business ideas, product creation ideas, and other ideas. Map Mapping can help you take thoughts and organize them in graphical representation.

6. Open Office

This open source software gives you a complete office package. Rather than spend hundreds on office program, you can get this and have a word processor, spreadsheet, database, presentation, and PDF creator.

7. Skype

This is a multifunction tool for conversations via computer. You can chat with one person or groups. Skype can be used for conferences, both audio and video. People can be across town, across the country or even across the globe from each other.

8. TweetDeck

Twitter is a great way to grow your business by getting fairly instant information and feedback. With TweetDeck you can access multiple Twitter accounts and keep track of topics in which you are interested. Your deck offers multiple columns to organize information.

9. Windows Live Movie Maker

Polish your videos and convert various formats into.wmv, Windows Media Video. You can add background music, title, or credits. Make transitions and more.

10. WordPress

Create a blog or a website with this powerful open source software. WordPress.com is for people who are not ready to host their own blog. If you need something more powerful or before you spend money with their service it is time to add the WordPress.org version to your website.

Upgrade to Windows 7 With SCCM, the Easy Way

SCCM is a great tool to roll out Windows 7. Microsoft provides a large amount of documentation, in fact so much documentation that it becomes hard to actually know what should and should not be done. To keep things simple, I’ll concentrate on a very simple, but also very common scenario:

Windows 7 is installed on new hardware, or hardware which is re-used. In the process the whole PC is wiped clean and a new OS is installed. I am not focusing on data migration. I am working on the assumption that all data is backed up to the network (because of roaming profiles or folder redirection).

Here is explain a fairly simple and effective method to use SCCM to roll out Windows 7.

For this you need:

Windows 7 enterprise (this the volume license version. While most of this works with retail versions as well, the activation and license issues are different).
a working SCCM installation (you can use PXE boot points, etc but I won’t go into details how to set this up)
Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010. You can download this from Microsoft. You don’t strictly need this, but some of the tools are really quite useful. The methods explained here do not rely on the MDT 2010.
The required drivers for all hardware
All software installation packages ready and tested.

When doing Windows 7 rollouts, keep the following in mind:

standardisation is key: try to avoid creating to many different configurations. It will save time and effort in the rollout, as well as reduce support burdens if everyone (as much as possible) has the same set of applications and configurations.
group policies: if you can configure something using group policy, configure it that way. It is easier to manage and can be changed in the future.
hardware: make sure all hardware is recent, has at least 2GB of RAM. Also, avoid having too many different models. Again, standardisation is key. Also, hardware from major manufacturers will be easier to use as they have better driver support.
base image: create the base image on the most basic piece of hardware (or even better a VM in VMWare) you have access to. Also, this image should only contain the OS, some patches and perhaps some customizations. Nothing more.
User state migration. While the USMT is a great tool to migrate user’s data and settings it also has a bug with a particular hotfix (which is installed on properly patched XP, Vista and Windows 7 machines), which requires another hotfix on each computer, on the server and during the installation. On top of that USMT is configured using XML files so this is something which requires a lot testing to get it to work the way you want it to. If you can avoid it, preserve your sanity and do that.
documentation: Any change you make to the default image should be documented. Every step in the process should be documented. I try to keep things simple, but for manageability purposes it’s important that the whole system is fully documented. I cannot stress this enough.

Creation of the base image

I like creating the base image on VMware because it allows me to take snapshots along the way and I can actually keep it on the server as a basis for future images (for example and updated image with SP1 on etc).

While the MDT provides a task sequence to build and capture. I prefer the following method. It’s not that much more work, more flexible and has in generally proven to be more stable as well. As stated before, I like to do this on VMware, but that’s not a requirement. It’s best to use the most simple hardware (preferably desktop, something without a lot of exotic hardware requiring drivers) for this.

Install Windows 7 from installation media. During the selection of the partition, delete all existing partitions and create NEW partition. Do not have the installer create the partition for you (by selecting the free space to install). In that last case, Windows 7 will create 2 partitions and this will complicate the whole process. It’s simpler with one partition and for that you have to create it.
Follow normal installation. Do not join to domain. After the installation is completed, enable the admin account and log in with it.
delete the initial user account that was created during the set up process.
install security updates, service packs etc.
If required, clean up the start menu. This is done in 2 places. c:programdataStart Menu contains the “All Users” start menu. You will need to remove the deny permissions to be able to edit it (put them back afterwards). Also edit the C:usersdefaultstart menu. This contains the default user start menu and whatever is listed here will be included for every new user who logs in. You want to delete the shortcuts to programs that you don’t want in the start menu. Don’t delete the whole folder structure! For example you may want want to remove the shortcut for “Windows Media Center”, “Windows fax and scan” etc.
Create a text file in the Windows folder. For example: imgv1.0.txt. This would be my version 1 image. Why do this? This file can be inventoried by SCCM and that way you can run reports and find out which version of the image is used. When you make changes to the image, you should also increment the version number on the image. It’s not required, but very helpful.

We are now ready to capture. For that we use the SCCM capture disk. Here is how to create it:

login to SCCM, and open the ConfigMgr console.
right-click “task sequence” under Computer Management – Operation system deployment. Select “create task sequence media”.
select “capture media” as the media type. Click next.
select whether you want a CD/DVD or USB stick. In case of USB stick you’ll need a recent, completely empty USB. In case of CD/DVD you will need to specify where the ISO file will be stored. Click next
Select the boot image. It shouldn’t matter whether you pick x64 or i386 for this. The boot image will need to have the required drivers to run the network on your image computer. If you use VMware, the standard boot image as it is supplied with SCCM works just fine. For distribution point, just pick the closest.
Next, a couple of times and you’ll have a CD (or USB stick). If you are using VMware, mount the ISO file (as if it was a CD), otherwise, insert the disk into your image PC. Normally, you should be offered to run the capture wizard.

This wizard is pretty basic and easy to understand. Just one thing, where you are asked for the path for the image provide a full UNC path to the server AND include the image name (use.wim as the extension for the image). Obviously provide a username and password with access to the share on the server. Finish the wizard and it will capture the image. This usually takes at least about 1 hour and involves sysprep and a reboot. Just let it do its thing. Don’t touch the machine. It’s also a good idea to create a dedicated folder on the server specifically for these OS images.

Creating the OS image package

After you have captured the image you need to turn it into an actual package.

go to “computer manager – operation system deployment – operating system images”. Select “add operating system image
provide the path to the wim file. This should a UNC path. The file should have a.wim extension and file name should be included in the path.
next next a couple of times and you have an OS image. Don’t forget to replicate this to your distribution points. (no need to add this to the PXE points in case you are using those. The PXE points only need the boot images).

Creating a task sequence

Now we are getting to the most important part: creation of the task sequence to install the image. The MDT manual instructs you to create an MDT taks sequence which is very powerful and handle a very wide range of scenarios. It’s also difficult to understand and troubleshoot unless you actually know what each step does. Hence, I prefer to keep it simpler because it makes it a lot easier to troubleshoot.

under “computer management – operation system deployment – task sequences”. Right click “new – task sequence”. Do not use the “create Microsoft Deployment Task sequence” (you can do that in the future, once you are a master at task sequences).
Select “install and existing image package”.
Give it a name: “standard Windows 7 deployment”. Add a meaningful comment explaining what this is for.
select the boot image. In many cases the built-in SCCM boot image will work fine. Make sure you select the same architecture as the image you are installing. If you captured a x64 image, make sure to select a x64 boot image as well. The boot image needs to have the drivers for network and disk (SATA) or it will fail. The current one included with SCCM works fine with most brand hardware and will only give you problems if you have something really new. You’ll find out soon enough in testing whether it works or not. Click Next
Select the image. You should also specify the license key and if you want to test an administration password you can set it here as well. (you can change all these settings later on as well). Click Next
Here you can join to a domain, so specify where to add the account and specify a username and password to join the computer. Best practise is to add the computer account in a an OU that has all require policies assigned (the final OU so to speak). Do not add to the “computer” folder, that is a legacy folder that in a modern Active Directory installation should be empty. For the user account, avoid using an admin account. It’s best to create a dedicated account that only has the required permissions to add computers to AD but doesn’t even have permissions to login to any machine. Click Next
Select the installation package for the SCCM client. (if you dont’ have this package you will need to create it. However installing SP2, R2 or R3 on the SCCM server will also create this package.) Click next.
uncheck all the capture check boxes. This is only run in case you would advertise this sequence to existing computers. This requires a lot of extra testing and is outside of scope of what I am trying to do here. Click next
Select “don’t install any software updates”. This may seem contradictory, but it actually will make the build faster (also most likely your current settings for updates wouldn’t work with this anyway.). Make sure the updates are installed soon after the build is finished though. Click Next.
Select the software you want installed. You can only select programs that have the tick box ticked for “Allow this program to be installed from the Install Software task sequence without being advertised” and can run whether or not a user is logged in or not. Click Next
Click Next. The task sequence is now created.

Right-click the task sequence and select EDIT. You should see a fairly short task sequence and it will be quite clear what each item actually does.

The items in bold are group entries and don’t actually do anything themselves. However, you can disable all tasks in a group by disabling the group entry. More useful is that you can have group entries run based on particular conditions. For example, you could create a a group called “laptop software”, under options add a condition that this should only apply on laptops (which is a chassis type) and add all laptop specific software in that section. Similarly you can use that install software to a particular model of hardware, computers in a particular subnet (regional differences), etc. It’s very powerful, outside of scope of this article, but by using groups and conditions you can create a task sequence that can address most situations.

Another thing to keep in mind is the following: the “Setup Windows and ConfigMrg” installs the SCCM client. After that, your OS is mostly installed and thus the software installation actions should come after this point.

Deploying the task sequence

Let’s get this onto a computer.

Again, I’ll focus on the easiest method:

create a new collection. I call it “image deployment”, but you can call it whatever you want. Make sure it’s empty.
select the task sequence and advertise it to this collection. You can make a mandatory advertisement but you don’t have to. If it’s not mandatory then you’ll have to select it during the build process (which is an extra step). This is useful if you have multiple task sequences (for example during testing). Otherwise, once the roll out starts, you should make it mandatory.
right click “computer management – operating system deployment – computer association” and select “import computer information”. You will need the MAC address or GUID of the computer and add it to your collection you just created.
right click “computer management – operating system deployment – task sequences” and select “create task sequence media”. Select create “bootable media” and follow the instructions.
Boot the new PC using the task sequence media or USB stick. If the advertisement is mandatory it should be completely unattended. After about 30 to 45 min you should have a fully built PC.

Further refinements

you may use a PXE boot point. In that case, you do not need to create task sequence media, but you will need to select the “Make this task sequence available to boot media and PXE” when advertising.
use the “unknown computer support”. For this you enable the “unknown computer support” in the PXE point settings, and advertise the task sequence to the “unknown computers” collection. In this case, you will be asked to provide a PC name.
you can change the background picture in your boot image to something branded for your computer. It’s not much, but it’s cool nonetheless. You’ll find the setting in the properties of the boot image. You’ll need to provide a bmp type file.

All of this should get your started. It is very useful to learn how to use conditions in your task sequence. There is a lot of information about the hardware that is provided during the installation and this can be used to further refine your installation. I may address that in a future post, however it’s easy enough to find by Googling it.

In case you wonder what the MDT 2010 is used for. Well, for starters not everyone has SCCM in their environment. So, together with Windows Deployment Services, MDT can be a solution in those cases. MDT will also be useful when you want to pass specific information to your build process. This is important when for example creating complex sequences that need to address regional and language differences, language pack installations etc. MDT is also used to create OEM builds.

I’ve tried to keep things as simple as possible. This walk-through will get you an image and allow you to install it on a machine and that in just a couple of hours. Most likely you will need a lot of customizations and it’s all in the task sequence.

Social Media: A Mine of Business Opportunities

SOCIAL MEDIA GOING BUSINESS

Over 25% of the Fortune 500 companies have public blogs, 35% have an active presence on Twitter. – University of Massachusetts study

According to an estimate top 10 Social Media advertisers got more than 20 billion impressions in the year 2012.

One of the companies that were in the above list commented that soon people will stop talking about it as it will become such a common expected communication channel. Some of the early birds who realized the unlimited potentials of the concept in the business world and implemented it have already started reaping the benefits.

Social Media is all about co-creation of the content in an interactive manner by a group of people who are connected to one another though some channel. Web 2.0 facilitated development of its platforms (e.g., Facebook and Twitter etc.) where people can create such contents, have discussions, express ideas and post other media elements (photographs and videos etc.) and build virtual communities where these contents can be shared and evolved. Business organizations can leverage this platform for creating brand identity, fostering collaboration, creating knowledge pool and finding resources etc. more efficiently.

Notes: There are different opinions regarding the definition of Social Media and Social Networking, and their scope overlap. This document considers Social Media as a larger concept and Social Networking as one of its prominent implementation channels. Social Media itself covers the other channels, e.g., blogs, virtual communities etc. as well.

WHAT IS IN IT?

Primarily goal driven organizations are leveraging the Social Media for achieving one or many of the following objectives:

Productivity improvement
Operational efficiency optimization through collaboration, communication and feedbacks
Innovative and creative products, solutions formulations and problem solving
Business Relationships improvisation- customers, employees, business partners, suppliers and other stakeholders

Most of the internet users spend a significant amount of their internet time on the Social Media sites. That makes it an excellent medium for advertisements and promotions. Although total advertising expense on it is relatively low when compared to the overall advertisement spending over the internet but it is growing and will soon catch up. A lot many companies are using it for creating brand awareness and promoting their products.

Since people interaction is at the heart of the Social Media, news here runs through the word of mouth. And this provides an avenue for acquiring new customers based on the recommendations of another happy and satisfied customer. Many companies have already started considering surveys as a thing of the dead past and use it for getting customer feedback and satisfaction levels. Interestingly it provides an opportunity listening to the feedbacks given to the competitor’s products as well that can be a good value-add; and it is free. This same set of feedback can be compiled and analyzed for getting the market trends, product comparisons and so on.

Organizations have successfully created consumer communities where the members not only share feedbacks but also share ideas for improvisations, find innovative solutions and solve each other’s problems. Such communities not only foster customer relationship and innovation but also save cost. Taking a step further many companies have started getting engaged with their customers individually as well by listening to their grievances and providing a personalized response.

WHAT IT WILL BRING?

Advent to Web 2.0 made the Social Media happen. As its wave is catching up and its unlimited potentials are being realized it will have a huge impact the way technology advancement happens. In a way so far it has adapted the way technology was going, but now the trend has reversed and the technology has to adapt itself to the needs of this social platform. The boom of hand-held smart devices that are already enabled for the required features and capabilities is no happenstance and more will follow. Windows 8, the latest OS version from Microsoft, by design support integration with Social Media with a click of mouse.

As the wave catches up organizations that are reluctant to open their gates for this change eventually will have to consider the adverse consequences and gradually move away from that stand.

Here content is mostly unstructured data and making sense of them is not a simple task. Getting valuable information from this pile of data necessitates tools that will facilitate capturing, monitoring and analyzing the data. There are already a good number of products, both free and licensed doing so. But their number will grow and capabilities and scope will increase in the future.

WHAT TO DO?

Given the wide range of innovative possibilities it has something to offer to almost any business scenario. But due to the ethereal nature of things over the web it is not always easy to make a successful implementation. Organizations that are taking a strategic approach towards their Social Media implementations clearly get an advantage over those who don’t.

Not all the businesses target it for the same results. First good place to start is putting a plan. The plan should set specific and rational business objectives in relation to it. It is important to find metrics that will measure the progress and success. It should also access all the risks involved and a mitigation plan should be there in place in advance.

Understanding the underlying dynamics and managing it for meeting the stated business goals needs very specific skills. Identify the resources that will be responsible for making it happen and setup a team. If any training is required arrange for the same. If the business intends a large number of its employees to participate in the process they all may need some kind of awareness training.

It thrives on connecting people and getting them engaged for a fruitful interaction. Each business will need to target a certain group of audience. There is every possibility that there will be sub groups within those audiences having different preferences. It is very important to understand the intended audience and setting up both the content and the strategy accordingly.

Once the right content is in place and things start moving monitoring becomes the most crucial aspect. The planning should entail the details of what should be monitored, how the monitoring will happen and how the responses will be adjusted depending upon the flow of the wind. There are many licensed and freely available tools in the market that should be accessed prior to implementation to find a best fit. Here is a list of 25 freely available monitoring tools:

How to Solve Common Problems With Windows Operating Systems

Windows has produced over 10 operating systems that have become very significant in today’s world. Although many of the OS versions are already rendered obsolete, most computer users still prefer Windows operating system due to numerous convenient reasons.

Windows 10 is the latest OS that Microsoft has to offer. This program was officially introduced in September of last year and was then released for consumers last July 29, 2015. This Windows software is offered for free for users who are currently using authentic and eligible Windows 7 and 8 editions. Windows 10 is described as an improved version of the old Windows 7 where users will be able to enjoy its easy to understand features and functionalities. This latest Windows OS is created to provide users a harmonious experience expected to result in fewer instances or none at all of internal glitch or problems.

However, as much as Microsoft would want to do away with these issues, Windows 10 users have already reported a few problems with this new operating system. What’s good is that just like any Windows related problem; there are easy solutions that users can follow.

Prevalent Windows 10 Problems and Solutions

Windows Installation Problem

There are instances when Windows 10 users may experience installation problems accompanied by a pop-up message that says “Something happened.” The only option for users experiencing this error is to close the window so the installation will be terminated. It has been reported that the issue will occur when the user would choose to create an ISO or when they are using a burned USB or DVD while installing Windows 10. So before you install Windows 10, check the Language and Region settings on the control panel first and see if US English is selected. If not, then all you need to do is to install the US English Language pack on your computer again. Another option is to utilize the “Upgrade This PC” feature with the use of the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.

Wireless Networks are Not Seen

This can be a very annoying problem wherein even wired Ethernet connections may also be affected. The first recourse you can perform in case you encounter this problem is to restart your computer and then reset your Wi-Fi router. This would usually solve the problem but if your computer still does not detect any Wi-Fi connection, then the next step is to see if you have any VPN software that is installed. If your VPN software is not compatible with Windows 10, then you need to uninstall it. Another fix is to disable your firewall and see if that works.

The Usual Windows 8.1 Issues with Resolution

Windows 8.1 which was codenamed Blue is an upgrade to Windows 8. This better version of Windows 8 may have received mixed reviews but it was regarded as an upgrade from its predecessor. But this Windows OS also have its share of problems and of course their corresponding fixes.

Start Menu

Many Windows 8.1 users have reported that their Start Menu is missing. The most effective fix for this problem is with the help of 3rd party solutions. Just Google which 3rd party fix is best for your problem and you will then be able to solve the mystery of the missing Start Menu.

Multiple Copies of Same Files

Your hard drive will be filled with redundant files because of this glitch in Windows 8.1. The best way to prevent this issue from occurring is to disable the default back up service using a reliable 3rd party system.

Common Windows 8 Concerns and Fixes

Windows 8 was released to the public on October 26, 2012. Windows 8 is known for its major changes in the user interface as well as the OS’ platform so users will be able to have a better experience with Windows when they are using other devices other than computers or laptops such as tablets. And just like the previous Microsoft OS versions, Windows 8 also has its shares of glitches which are fortunately still easy to fix.

Apps do not Close

Once a user launches an app, it remains open until the operating system decides to stop or close it mainly to save CPU cycles. The common solution for this is to close apps using ALT + F4, although this command does not work with the regular builds.

Turning the Device off

Clicking the Start button would traditionally give users the option to shut down or restart the computer. However, Windows 8 has a different setup so users have to click on the Power button to shut down or restart the computer. Another technique is to hover over the Start button, go to Settings, Power and then select the option.

Let’s face it; the Windows Operating System is not perfect. It has its flaws, temperament, glitches and all sorts of issues. However, the good side about such problems is that Windows can learn from them and eventually create a super OS that will beat all other OS and eliminate common concerns.

5 Factors To Consider When Hiring A Reliable International Cargo Shipping Company

You should find a reliable international cargo shipping company if you’re moving overseas. That is, if you hire the international shipping services of the right provider, the process of sending your household goods abroad can be easier. Otherwise, it could become a complicated and tiresome undertaking. Here are 5 simple tips for hiring a reputable and reliable international cargo shipping company:

Listen to feedback from other customers. Can the company deliver your goods safely and on time? Are they efficient in their facilities and delivery? What do other customers say about the international cargo shipping services offered by the company? Is their staff friendly and caters to your needs as a customer? How was the experience of other customers when they hired the company? Be particular about these things so you don’t have to waste time doing business with the wrong company. Read through the company’s website and read reviews, testimonials and forums about them.

Get an easy-to-understand freight quote. Look through the website of the company and get a simple freight quote. Don’t be misled by hidden fees. See to it that the company is clear about their charges. Get a computation of all the pricing needed for transporting your household goods abroad. A reputable company offers a free quote tool in their website for the convenience of their customers.

Does the company utilize a shipping tracking facility? Ask if the company has a cargo tracking tool as part of their equipment. Shipping tracking is very important if you’re shipping your household goods to another country. It will be very comforting if you know the whereabouts of your items while waiting for them to be delivered to your doorstep. You have to be in-the-know if your cargo is being shipped via the right route. Pick an international cargo shipping company that offers a cargo tracking tool.

Do business with international shipping experts. Does the company understand all the ins and outs in terms of international ocean shipping? Is their staff able to guide you about the necessary documentations and paperwork for transferring your cargo overseas? The company should be an expert in dealing with the rules and regulations of the Federal Maritime Commission and custom’s clearance, among others so that there won’t be hitches in transporting your household goods.

Consider your options in relation to your situation and budget. You’re normally presented with a variety of options if you’re shipping your goods overseas. You’ll have to choose from different varieties of container sizes and types along with shipping and delivery choices. If you want your car to be shipped to another country for instance, you can either choose a roll on-roll off service or you can have it shipped via a shipping container. It depends on your budget and particular situation. Is it more efficient to hire a door-to-door service or a port-to-port delivery? Consider the difference in logistics and cost for your options. You need to make the right decisions in relation to your time, budget and situational needs.

Picking The Right Translation Company: The Key to Go Global

A research conducted by IBISWorld, an Australian research company, revealed that the translation industry is thriving by leaps and bounds, and by 2018, it is likely to reach $37 billion. Likewise, the U.S. bureau of Statistics has predicted a 42% growth of the translation service industry by 2020. Currently, the USA is the leading market for professional translation services.

Translation companies are in huge demand because-

(a) They play a significant role in the global expansion of your business.

(b) Guarantee reliable and precise translation of your business documents.

(c) Allow you to communicate accurately with your target audience around the world.

In order to stand out in the global economy, it is highly imperative to convey your brand message precisely to your global customers–including the non-English speaking customers. This is possible only if you can spread your message in various local languages to reach out to your target audiences across the world. Numerous small and large businesses have realized the importance of translating their brand message as an effective marketing tool, and this is the key reason that has led to the growth of professional online services for translation.

Translation service companies across the globe generate their business from both private industries and the government sector. The services offered by translation service companies include –

(a) translation of written materials; and
(b) interpreting services in multiple dialects and languages.

Translation of written materials indicate translation of paper documents, digital documentation, and translating website content into different languages so as to drive global web traffic by enabling people from various countries to easily comprehend the content of your site.

While choosing a translation service company, you should take the following factors into consideration –

1. It is advisable to choose a multilingual translation service that can translate your documents into different regional languages.

2. Conduct a bit of thorough research to make sure the translation company is reliable and reputable. You should always pick agencies that are certified or officially accredited.

3. Always consider agencies offer quality work at a quick turnaround time.

4. The company should have native speakers in its team to guarantee technical as well as the cultural accuracy of the translated content.

5. The translators should be well-informed about the industry that your business falls under so that they can provide you with accurate work. For example, if you want the translation of legal documents, the translation service company should be qualified in legal translation.

6. Ensure that the vendor provides a smooth service by allocating a proficient Project Manager to supervise the translation work assigned by you.

7. Make sure the translation company protects your privacy by guaranteeing the confidentiality and security of your documents.

8. Check if the website of the company features informative blog posts or articles in that particular niche. At the same time, look at the client feedback and references available on the website; this will help you understand the quality of translation service provided by the company.

9. Find out if the company provides an easy to use cloud platform that facilitates easy submission and archiving of documents. Cloud APIs enable you to share content with the vendor’s systems thus, allowing the vendor to share the translated materials back to you.

10. Last but not least, the company should provide clients with round-the-clock customer care service to cater to the queries received from global clients.

How to Go About Selecting the Right LSP for Document Translation Services

Since the advent of globalization, the gains, as well as challenges for the new-world companies, have increased manifold. There are new segments, new demographics for every kind of product under one’s wings. There is ample room for experimentation, creativity, and expansion. All this has become possible because of the way the world has changed.

At the same time, with the rise of this new economy and with digital forces dissolving boundaries, there are so many concerns too. Like:

How to ensure that products and communication are understood in the right way by new segments?
The pitfalls of misinterpretation when it comes to marketing communication.
The possibility of documents being construed in a wrong or a vague manner by important stakeholders in the entire chain.
Regulatory question-marks and compliance requirements.
Managing websites, apps, product manuals, instructions and social communication in a coherent and clear manner.
Handling ambiguity with important documents, especially legal ones.

In order to ensure that all such concerns are handled in a proactive manner and without damaging the plans and strategies for a global game, one has to rely on that missing piece of the puzzle called – Translation.

Language Translation is not merely something oriented at language parts, as one often perceives. It is an overall strategic element that can impact more than what one usually thinks. This is a mechanism that will handle more than the documents and linguistic parts if one approaches a professional and experienced LSP (Language Service Provider).

Good LSPs make sure to iron out every small or big wrinkle that approaching a new and strange market may involve. It is like striking out many goals with one stroke. This is where one can take care of document translation services, be it an instruction manual or a legal document, with ease and confidence. They bring project management skills, precision, a good grip on the document compliances required by different countries.

Such professional LSPs can also cover multiple needs w.r.t documents that a company may want immediately or in the course of the global strategy. Like:

Website translation
Document Translation Services
Document management and lifecycle supervision
Typesetting
Glossary composition
Proof-reading
Post-editing support

The range of documents covered usually include,

Legal documents like Contracts, Agreements, Court Orders, Immigration documents
Financial documents such as Policies, Terms and Conditions etc.
Medical documents such as patient consent documents etc
Business document translation such as Business Agreements, Memorandum of Understanding, Articles of Association, Annual Reports,
Marketing documents such as Press Notes, Dealer agreements etc.

Many of these documents are quite time sensitive. So language translation has to be done within a specified time after it arrives on the desk of the LSP. This means that the LSP you hire needs to have enough language resources like native translators, proofreaders and other support functions like designers etc. if required. Apart from native translators, it is always preferable to have industry-specific translators or also called as subject matter experts (SMEs) who can get the industry-specific jargon correctly and thus achieve accurate translation. Lastly, for a company that is global, the number of languages being dealt with by an LSP matters. So you can save time by getting language translation done in all the target languages at one go with one service provider.