Tongue Tied

Use your sales and marketing expertise to build a home-based business with translation franchise Tongue Tied and become part of the team that helped bring the Olympics and Paralympics back to Britain. Adam Browning reports

WITH companies such as Air Miles, American Express, IBM, and The Body Shop among its blue-chip client base, Tongue Tied is securing its place as one of the most successful translating and interpreting service providers.

With 25 years of industry experience, a team of over 4,000 specialist translators and a growing portfolio of business services, Tongue Tied is offering a unique opportunity to franchisees wishing to sell first-rate services. 'There is no need for a franchisee candidate to possess any foreign language skills or operate a serviced office,' states co-founder John Shouler. 'This is a pure sales and marketing opportunity for professional business builders.'

While many companies provide only a limited number of languages, or are not able to provide technical interpreters, Tongue Tied offer a wide range of services including translation, typesetting, interpreting, conference organisation, desktop publishing and print services, recently adding a brochure and marketing design division to this portfolio.

This comprehensive service was recently demonstrated in Tongue Tied's work with the London 2012 Olympic bid. In translating the final presentation into various languages for the IOC delegates, Tongue Tied had the privilege of working with messages and speeches from The Queen, HRH the Princess Royal, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Sebastian Coe and the bid team members.

'The UK market for outsourced translations is growing,' says John. 'Our seven offices around the UK have won contracts with over 500 clients. With such a vast database of professional translators and interpreters, Tongue Tied can match the right professional with any company, ensuring speed of response, accuracy and reliability of translation and competitive prices that offer value for money.

'This is a home-based business with good profit margins and low overheads. The minimal capital requirement for franchisees is an initial investment fee of £9,995+VAT and a working capital of between £5,000 and £8,000. Operating within the proven Tongue Tied business model, company projections indicate a first year turnover of £70,000.'

For this investment franchisees gain access to Tongue Tied's vast operating knowledge, three days of training in sales and marketing, financial records, computer system, support via a hotline, regular financial reviews and an invitation to the annual conference.

'This franchise is suited to sales and marketing professionals or people with experience of the translation and interpretation markets,' reveals John. 'Another alternative is for a printing, technical documentation or typesetting company to take on the Tongue Tied franchise to expand their offering, as has been done with some of our offices.'

Tongue Tied is stepping up its national franchise expansion programme, targeting areas in the Midlands, the North East and Central London as priority areas as well as Ireland. John concludes:

'Candidates should have good communication skills, be hard working, self-reliant and possess a genuine desire to be self-employed.'

Richard Hale launched his Manchester franchise five years ago after a career in sales and marketing.
"In terms of winning contracts, you stand and fall by the quality of the translators. About 60-70 per cent of my business is from repeat customers, which shows the quality of the Tongue Tied service."

The Piper Group PLC in Bristol invested in a Tongue Tied franchise six years ago as a bolt-on service to its technical document creation.
"We realised translation services would provide added value. We have secured more business through having Tongue Tied as an option."

Janet Davison previously ran a language software business before launching her East Anglia-based franchise.
"It's been growing steadily month-on-month and we're hoping to continue to grow and take on some bigger clients."