My name is Curtis Cox. My wife, Elsa, and I had been earning extra money for many years by translating documents of various kinds between Spanish and English. In 2013, we felt that it was time to turn our side sources of income into a full-fledged business. So, in March, of that year, we began E C Translations. the “E” is for Elsa and the “C” is for Curtis; plus, it sounded like “easy.” Not knowing how that was ever done, I looked for help at our local Small Business Development Center, and I’ve continued to go there regularly ever since.
In the beginning, our intention was just to translate documents between Spanish and English. We had been doing so for many years. As we networked with people and businesses, we realized that there was a demand for verbal interpretation. When we included that to our business, things really started to take off. We primarily interpret for workman’s compensation cases, which involves attending doctor’s visits, therapy sessions, and other medical appointments – even surgeries. We also provide interpretation services for early childhood intervention. Here we interpret for therapists and families, in their homes, with children from newborn to three years old who have special needs. Although the majority of the appointment are medical-related, it is not the only type of appointment we have interpreted for. We have interpreted for graduation ceremonies, parent/teacher conferences, community events, business conferences, and even church services.
Interpretation and Translation Services
The interpreting branch of our business can be considered the “bread and butter” source of our income because it has been more consistent. While the translation branch is the “cherry on top.” It is more lucrative, but it is not consistent. This year, we are seeing a larger and more consistent volume of translations jobs than in previous years! I have to credit SBDC with assisting is seeing that type of growth in our business.
Since we began in 2013, we have been able to help people with their Spanish translations needs in 10 different countries in North, Central, and South America. The translations branch can be further divided into two categories – individuals and businesses.
For the individual, we have helped many with the immigration process by translating their birth certificates, marriage licenses and other documents that are required of them. This has been not only for individuals who immigrate to the United States. We translate for individuals from the United States, who are planning to go to Spanish-speaking countries. This type of translation is common for us, but it is not the only way we have helped individuals with their translations needs. We have helped people by translating simple letters to entire books!
For the businesses, we have translated a range of items. We work on marketing materials to help our clients reach out to those in the community who are primarily Spanish speaking. We’ve also worked on employee manuals for businesses that have workers who are predominately Spanish speaking. E C Translations provides a discount to organizations that serve the community – such as local museums. For many years we have translated pamphlets into Spanish for the Greeley Museum to offer their visitors to enhance the experience at exhibits. On very special occasions, we have even offered to translate or interpret between Spanish and English pro bono.
Working with the SBDC
As an owner of a small business, you are basically accountable to just yourself – not counting the clients of course. Going to the SBDC has given me a certain degree of accountability – which I need. It is not in any official way, but it is embarrassing to go to the next appointment to see Kyla, our SBDC consultant, and have to admit that I hadn’t completed my “homework!” Throughout the years, with the help of Kyla, we have been steadily growing as a business. A key area in which Kyla has helped us is to better promote our business and have a larger footprint online, which seems to be the most common way for our clients to find us. We have recently reached a point where we are able to transition from a basic partnership to an LLC! We look forward to what the future holds for our business!