Case study

“Just Do It!” – Eurasian Linguistic Services Ltd

Katerina Burgess, Director, set up Eurasian Linguistic Services Ltd in 2011 as a logical continuation of her previous business founded in 1995, where only one language combination (Russian / English) was on offer.

By changing the brand name and corporate ID, they focussed on both their geographical area and specialism, i.e. providing legal and financial translation and interpreting services to the City and the Legal 500 clients. It was a timely move, as history proved since.

My business experience was virtually non-existent – I majored in philology and Russian linguistics at Moscow State University, and after a brief spell as a language teacher, I changed career worked as a financial advisor for 10 years. The sales, research and  communication training and customer care skills I obtained  in the financial services sector proved to be very useful in building up my client base when I set up my first language business in 1995.  However, I had to learn the hard way how to recruit and retain people for the back office, set up CRM systems, comply with ISO creteria, sell our services and manage cashflow etc.

Image previewEurasian Linguistic Services provide specialist legal and financial translation and interpreting services to top law firms and government institutions (Embassies etc) in the UK (and some other countries), covering over 40 languages but with particular emphasis on the former Soviet republics. They are a thriving B2B business, and position themselves as a “boutique” service provider, with an exceptionally personal, prompt and high end service. Their clients both need it and appreciate it. The company has three ISO certificates – for legal interpreting, general interpreting and general translation services, from the UK’s Association of Translation Companies.

Their clients are top law firms, and get 95% of their business from return orders or referrals. They have a small marketing budget and currently use it for brand awareness campaigns, aimed at their “ideal customer” (whom were profiled in the last 6 months, as a result of a very useful webinar run by Berkshire Growth Hub).

As Katerina was running her business solo, there was no one to turn to at a strategic level, therefore had a lack of KPIs, business planning and targets with no review of strategic objectives. Being self-funded, there was a huge challenge on cashflow and working capital requirements. Katerina was assigned an advisor, Andre Arundel, in late October 2023, and never looked back since! With his invaluable support, Katerina was able to access regular mentoring and access to information, completely free of charge.

We are a micro business, with our main competitors being very large, global translation companies. We do not compete on costs, our differentiator is a service level, reliability and flexibility. We are trading despite the technology revolution and the onset of machine translation and other AI innovations. Our big clients trust us to deliver the best value for money and not to cut corners.

No alt text provided for this imageAndre, one of our Berkshire Growth Hub business advisers, helped Katerina with HR, cash flow and her vision and business planning. She found her experience with the Berkshire Growth Hub very positive and useful, leaving feeling very supported.

It is an incredibly cold and lonely world for a small business owner, out there, and we need to have regular contact with each other. It is very reassuring and inspirational. Every email I received after the online consultation is full of very useful links and contacts. I no longer feel alone and am planning ahead.

For more information on how the Berkshire Growth Hub team can help support your business, through masterclasses or one to one support, please contact them here.


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