One might ask the question, ‘Why in the world would you start an interpreting agency in Los Angeles?’
It’s a logical question given the circumstances. After all, Los Angeles is quite possibly the largest market in America with a diverse foreign language population. Furthermore, the demand for interpreters has created a very healthy supply of interpreting agencies. Some of these agencies have been operating in the Los Angeles area for decades and that makes it very difficult for a new agency like mine to get noticed, let alone thrive. You might call it downright masochistic.
Let’s rewind for a moment to give a little backstory. Bare with me and it will all make sense soon.
I’ve been a certified medical interpreter for some time now. As the certified interpreting industry goes, most agencies contract people like myself independently. It’s an effective way to grow the roster of interpreters certified in the various industries needed. Because of my certification, I provided translation for patients with work related injuries (worker comp claims) as well as patients who have a language barrier with medical professionals. Of course there are the other industries. In law, there is a healthy need for certified legal interpreters within the various fields of law. In business, interpreters are needed for translation as well as transcriptions in this global economy. There are multiple certifications needed to be a certified education interpreter. Lastly, the media/film/television industry is in constant need of translators. I could go on, but these are the main fields with high demand for language services. It’s a low profit, high volume business and it would be a struggle to have certified interpreters in all languages to serve all of these industries. Therefore, independent contractors are the way to go.
When it comes to medical interpreting, the majority of the calls come from managed care consortiums. These companies are great for interpreting agencies as they can funnel an enormous volume. The tradeoff, however, is in the fee. This is contributing to the high volume, low profit nature of the business. This is a very important part of the business, so no complaining on this end. This is just an observation of sorts.
Now to explain our desire to build G Interpreting. Through my years contracting with various agencies, I’ve noticed a major commonality in the industry at large. In order to meet the high volume demands, there has been a natural sacrifice in the way of professional service. It seems that there is a general acceptance of the idea that you might get a quality interpreter and then again you might not. Like some sort of crap shoot on your service level. To G Interpreting this is an unacceptable idea. When we designed our organization, we built every part of our structure on top of a foundation of professional service. We breed this in our environment. We infect our people with the idea. We leave no area unexplored for the prospects of better service. This translates to our every client and defines us as an entity.
I’m sure you’re wondering what our methods are and how we guarantee this. Stay tuned for the next post . . .