Small businesses have a big job. Not only do we account for 99.9% of all companies in the US, but we also employ 48% of the country’s private sector workforce. And we do this with fewer overall resources and bodies than our large counterparts.

It’s about Service as much as Language

We get it, language services are not exactly mainstream. At River Linguistics, we often have small business clients knock on our virtual door with no more than the knowledge that the file in their hands needs to be translated into another language. Before that moment they hadn’t considered the existence of a translation industry, let alone how to buy a translation. (Count yourself among this group? Check out these useful tips before you get started.)

These are some of our favorite clients because we get to be a true partner in their efforts to reach new global audiences. It’s our job to provide language solutions, and these clients afford us the opportunity to do that job to its fullest. We don’t just get to become a link in their supply chain, but we get to help determine how our link can best serve all of the others.

Birds of a feather

As a small business ourselves, we understand the challenges faced by the owners and operators of small businesses. The stack of proverbial hats on our heads is high indeed. We don’t have the luxury of becoming experts in the many needs of our operations, or of hiring such experts internally. This is why, when we look for service providers to fulfill one of those needs, we want to know that the person or company we’re working with can not just fill, but also help identify the gaps in our knowledge, and do so in a way that is sensitive to the unique dynamics of a small business.

For us “smalls,” our size is an asset. It means we can be flexible and respond quickly to unexpected and unfamiliar situations. This also means that our own situation can change quickly, and we need partners who can respond accordingly. It’s for this reason that smalls work so well together.

It’s personal, and that’s great!

The other reason is that small business is so often a very personal endeavor. Every aspect of it holds great importance to the people running it, and we want to know that those we work with understand that importance. We may sign contracts with companies, but it’s people that we work with, and people that can take our hands and walk with us through a new challenge.

At River our work is language services, but our joy is the many people we get to do that work with. In honor of National #SmallBusinessWeek, we want to give our appreciation to the millions of small businesses that make our work enjoyable. We speak the language of small business gladiators, and love every word of it!

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