15 questions to the owner of the SUPERTŁUMACZ® translation agency for the Company’s 15th anniversary

We are publishing an interview with Mr Tomasz Muszyński, founder and owner of our SUPERTŁUMACZ® translation agency, which proudly celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. Mr Muszyński shares with us his reflections on the time that has passed, the challenges he has encountered in his professional journey and his vision for the future of the translation industry.

It is an inspiring behind-the-scenes look at the day-to-day operations of an office that is passionate and committed to building bridges between cultures and languages. Learn about the history of our company and the people who contribute to its success every day!

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1. What were your motivations for setting up a translation agency?

From an early age, I was fascinated by foreign languages and the diversity of cultures they represented. As a young child, I learned about letters with curiosity and read everything possible, even the lettering on candy wrappers, and this delight quickly turned into a love of the written word. But this was not the only factor that guided me. Even as a teenager, I was interested in the economic events happening in our country in the dynamic 1990s.

This fascination with dynamism and unpredictability ultimately led to the founding of my own company in 2008, which gave me the opportunity to combine these passions. Additionally, as I naturally enjoyed taking matters into my own hands and enjoyed the trust of others, I felt that running my own business was a natural step for me.

I also wanted to experience the freedom and independence that comes with being able to work independently of a particular location, and the translation industry proved ideal for this. All these elements came together to create an unstoppable driving force to set up my own company.

2. Describe the transformation your company has undergone over the past 15 years. What were the key stages of this metamorphosis?

My translation agency has evolved very dynamically over the last 15 years. A key moment was the hiring of the first employee. This has enabled me to focus on the more strategic aspects of the business. Another milestone was winning a major client, which definitely increased our credibility and taught us how to manage larger projects.

Implementing new technologies and investing in staff training has, in turn, allowed us to stay on top of industry trends. All these stages, together with learning from our own experiences, have helped to shape our reputation and strong position on the market.

Today, with a mature team, clearly defined roles and a solid reputation, our focus is on improving the quality of our services, developing our people and building long-term relationships with our clients. This 15-year journey has been extremely inspiring.

3. What adversities and difficulties have you had to overcome over the past 15 years as a translation agency owner?

15 years of running a translation agency has undoubtedly been a challenging journey. At the very beginning, it was primarily the lack of financial capital and experience in running a company that posed a considerable challenge. Over time, I have come to understand that it is crucial to constantly learn and adapt to changing conditions, especially in the face of rapidly evolving technologies.

Finding and vetting high-calibre professional translators required a lot of time and energy, and the company’s high growth rate generated organisational difficulties. The translation market is saturated, which presents us with the constant challenge of remaining competitive, both in terms of quality and price. On several occasions, unfortunately, I also encountered expressions of unconstructive criticism on social media from competitors who were striving for similar successes.

However, through sheer ambition and a willingness to do even the toughest tasks, I have managed to survive all this and make our office a company I am proud of. The difficulties taught me patience, perseverance and the art of management, all of which are essential to running a successful business.

4. How is your translation agency different from others on the market? What are you attracting customers with in this competitive space?

The basis of my translation agency’s work is an individual approach to each client. The belief that every translation project is unique and requires a specialised approach has allowed us to develop an offer that is attractive. In turn, our long opening hours and the flexibility of our services mean that we enjoy the trust of even the most demanding clients.

Our team is made up of highly qualified employees who are fluent in at least one foreign language – including Arabic, a rarity in our industry. Our internal structure allows large, complex translation projects to be carried out simultaneously by several translators and proofreaders, ensuring consistency and uniformity of translation.

Customer service, skills and technological resources are our greatest assets. They are what set us apart from our competitors.

5. How do you deal with the clash with large translation corporations that have been on the market for decades? Do you have any unique strategies?

Facing the big competition, that is the translation corporations that have been on the market for many years, I realised that our most important advantage is precisely that we are not a big corporation. As a smaller office, we can provide greater flexibility and a quicker response to clients’ needs. We easily adapt our services to the requirements of each client, offering high-standard translations that always meet individual needs.

What sets us apart from our competitors is understanding of our client’s needs – we always try to step into their shoes, understand their industry, expectations and needs. Empathy and excellent service are paramount to us. We also maintain close relationships with our translators, which is visible in high quality translations. It is often the case that large corporations lose this personal touch.

6. What valuable lessons have you learnt from your experience in these 15 years of running a translation agency?

Firstly, I realised that the most important thing is the team. People who are ambitious, ready to grow and who have the same mission as me. Providing them with development opportunities is one of the most effective strategies for a long-term success. Secondly, I understood the importance of building and nurturing relationships, both with our translators and with our clients.

They form the basis for a sustainable success. Thirdly, I have come to the conclusion that the ability to listen effectively to the other person is also a key to success. Listening to our clients, listening to our team, listening to the world around us. Only then are we able to understand and meet all expectations, while adapting to changing conditions. And finally, regardless of achievements and successes, I realise that there is no end to the learning process. In the world that is constantly changing, continuous learning and adaptation to new conditions is the key to sustainability and innovation.

No matter how much our business has grown, there is always something new to absorb. There will always be some new way to meet challenges and maximise our opportunities. This is the basis for our continued evolution and long-term success.

7. Have you noticed any significant changes in clients’ expectations over the last 15 years? How have these changes affected the way you run your business?

Definitely! Changes in clients’ expectations over the last 15 years have been noticeable and have had a significant impact on our operations. When I started, one of the most important decision factors for clients was a price. Today, in the age of digitalisation and an accelerated pace of life, I have noticed that for many, even more valuable is… time. Our clients are increasingly aware of the value of their time and expect us, as a translation company, to understand this.

That is why we try to invest in modern technologies that allow us to deliver translations faster, but without sacrificing quality. I have also noticed that there is a growing demand for consultancy services. As companies become more global, they increasingly look to us not only for translations, but also for advice and support in growing on foreign markets. We strive to meet these expectations by developing our knowledge and skills in this area. Finally, although our office opening hours have increased, this has not affected the dynamics of our staff’s daily duties.

Thanks to technology and the ability to work remotely, we can provide customer service for extended periods of time while maintaining a healthy work-life balance for our team. This approach benefits everyone.

8. Looking back over the 15 years of the office’s existence, which of its achievements do you consider to be the most important?

We have served tens of thousands of clients, both individuals and businesses. We have won the trust of leading Polish companies and institutions. We have implemented modern technology, improving the efficiency and quality of our services. We have expanded the team to a dozen permanent staff, dedicated to the highest quality of service.

We have established a network of more than 200 translators who work with us on a regular basis. We have improved control and management in the company, which has allowed for more effective planning and development. All in all, all these achievements add up to our 15-year success story, which would not have been possible without an unrelenting passion for translation, steadfast determination and the constant pursuit of excellence.

9. Could you describe a typical day in your translation agency?

Every day at our translation agency begins similarly. Already at 7 a.m. we are tuning up like an orchestra before a concert. We answer emails, take phone calls, plan tasks – all this creates a seemingly chaotic atmosphere, but over time this apparent chaos turns into an organised activity. Like a musician in an orchestra, each of our employees puts all their energy and skills into what they do to create a harmonious whole for our clients.

I, as the conductor of this orchestra, make sure that everything goes as planned. As the day progresses, the intensity of the work does not diminish, but takes on a well-structured rhythm. It is this rhythm that allows us to successfully carry out our tasks and meet our clients’ expectations.

At the end of the day, we look at the list of tasks completed and are pleased with what we have achieved. This is exactly what daily life is like in our translation agency – from initial chaos, a harmony full of professionalism and commitment is born.

10. What are the main challenges currently faced by translation agencies?

By far one of the key challenges is the increasing price pressure and client expectations regarding the speed of translation projects. More and more people expect translations of excellent quality, as we say, “for yesterday”, which forces us to constantly look for new, efficient solutions.

In addition, technological advancement is generating new requirements, not only in terms of the knowledge of new tools, but also in terms of the need to understand the specifics of different industries. A translator needs to keep abreast of trends in his or her field in order to perform work at the highest level. Another major challenge is human resources management.

Finding and retaining the best employees and translators requires translation agencies to constantly improve their motivation and talent management strategies.

11. How do you think the development of artificial intelligence will affect the translation industry?

The development of artificial intelligence will certainly affect the translation industry, but I would not see this development as a particular threat. In my opinion, AI technology will be used as a tool to assist translators, speed up processes and increase work efficiency, rather than completely replacing humans. This is important because, although technology is growing in strength, human understanding of context, linguistic and cultural nuances is irreplaceable.

Artificial intelligence may be applicable in the areas of standard translations, where grammatical rules and vocabulary are clearly defined, while complex and creative translation projects, such as those involving fiction, will still require human input. In my view, the development of artificial intelligence should be seen as an opportunity to improve the quality of services and efficiency of work.

Instead of replacing translators, technology should act as a kind of partner to support translators in delivering the highest quality service. Such collaboration will provide a balance between the effectiveness of machines and the unique skills of humans.

12. What are the plans for the development of your translation agency over the next decade?

When considering the development of my translation agency for the next 10 years, I am focusing on a few key areas of growth. The first is the constant emphasis on the quality of our services. Achieving this involves both deepening relationships with existing clients and raising the quality control standards of the translations produced. We want every job that leaves our office to be a testimony of our commitment to linguistic and translation mastery.

The second area is speed. In the digital age, time is extremely valuable to our clients. We strive to continually improve the speed of our translations by using modern technology and optimising our processes to ensure that our clients receive their translations in the shortest possible time. The third pillar of our strategy is development. I firmly believe that the future of the translation agency lies in continuous development – both of our services and of our team. We plan to open up to new markets and introduce innovative services. I also intend to invest in employees by increasing their competences and enabling their further professional development.

I would like to attract more translators, including native speakers, who can help us to launch consultancy services. I would also like our translation agency to play an important role in raising the standards of the whole translation industry. I am considering the possibility of launching a new project that will offer unique opportunities for our translators to develop and share their experiences. In summary, looking to the future, I see our translation agency as a leader in quality, speed and innovation, actively shaping the future of the translation industry.

13. What should clients considering choosing a translation agency look out for?

Choosing a translation agency to work with requires several important aspects to be taken into account. The most important are: the company’s experience, which demonstrates its stability; clients’ feedback, which gives an insight into the level of service; and the quality of service, which includes listening to clients and respecting them regardless of the size of the order.

Working with a translation agency is particularly valuable for larger translation projects that require the coordination of translations into multiple languages. With such a demand, managing translation processes alone can be time-consuming and complicated. Translation agencies are also ideal for entrepreneurs who want to focus on developing their business and gaining foreign clientele, leaving the administrative and implementation work in the hands of specialists.

The translation should be quick, invisible to the businessman and not be a headache – a well-organised translation agency is able to provide this.

14. What advice could you give to young entrepreneurs who are just starting out in business?

If you are starting out on your business adventure, first and foremost trust your instincts – remember, you are the one running the business. Believing in the fulfilment of your dreams is the key to success. Dreams are the greatest motivation, they are your drive. Be brave but also considerate – a risk is a part of the game, but always act ethically, with your head and respect others on your path. Knowledge is your superpower.

Open your mind to a diversity of perspectives. An open mind is a treasure. Draw your own conclusions, but remember that you are responsible for your decisions in the end. Learn to lose and do not give up. If you face adversity, focus on the opportunities, not the problems.

Get up and start again, like a child who falls over but moves on. And remember to enjoy the little things – these are the little things that make up your big success and provide the daily joy of doing business.

15. Is there a motto or principle that you follow on a daily basis when running your translation agency?

In the simplest terms, my approach to running a translation agency can be put this way: Never stop learning, work hard while caring for your loved ones and those around you. I believe that the constant pursuit of knowledge and development of skills is the key to success, both personally and professionally.

This allows me to manage the business effectively, understand trends and adapt to the dynamically changing business reality. However, no amount of knowledge or hard work would bear fruit without total commitment and passion, which cannot be sustained without looking after your wellbeing and close relationships with people.

This is why I emphasise the importance of taking care of your surroundings – both those closest to you and your entire team, which is integral to the success of our translation agency. This principle is a signpost that helps me every day to make decisions in line with my values.