Friday 3 May 2013

2Inspire Business Profile: Wolfestone Translation Ltd

In this fascinating interview we meet Anna Bastek, Co-Founder of Wolfestone Translation Ltd, a multi-award winning UK Language company.

Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
I clear my emails in the morning before work, so when I get to the office I can be more productive and spend more time talking to staff.  A lot of my time is taken up by meetings, reviews, interviews, setting up and reviewing action plans to drive the business forward.

What made you start the business and how did you get started?
I was tired of working for someone else and not having the flexibility and time to travel and visit my family in Poland. Setting up a business seemed the ideal option.  I started off by working in the evening and weekends and initially didn't have any spare time but I gradually built up the business so it can run itself without me being there every day. It was very hard work initially and I had to make sure I covered all aspects of the business as the resources were very limited and outsourcing wasn't an option. I really focused on sales and marketing to drive the business forward and all profits were reinvested to grow the business.

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
After winning several titles of Woman of the Year I was also recognised nationally as IoD Director of the Year in 2012 which is dominated by male directors. It crowned off the previous six years of my hard work. It represented a big milestone of achievement for me especially as a young woman from another country.  I've also been recruited by the government to be an entrepreneurial role model in schools and now encourage young people to consider starting their own businesses as a career option. 
I'm also very proud of winning clients such as Coca Cola, RBS and AXA, this means that even though we are a young business we are competing with the well established multinationals. We are also the youngest translation company ever to be on the council of our trade body (Association of Translation Companies) and now we also chair it.
What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
The biggest challenge has been the stress of knowing so many staff are dependent on your decision making for their livelihood.  Luckily, Wolfestone has been really successful and grown every year, and I have created a lot of jobs.

What are your future plans for the business?
We plan to expand into new countries, and increase our UK market share.  We are developing a network of sales agents globally.  We have recently launched a new service transcreation which is designed for adapting marketing messages to other cultures.
We are also developing our own technology which is unique in our industry and will significantly increase our capacity. We will be launching it shortly.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would be a bit more careful with recruiting the right people and testing their attitude better. Some people come across very well in interviews but their attitude doesn't match their skills when they actually start the job. I'm a positive person and I can only work with people who have a can-do attitude. Now I have a really good recruitment process which ensures we only recruit the right staff.

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
I think it’s important because a lot of young women often think entrepreneurship is a man’s game. It's quite evident when I go to schools and talk to young people about starting a business. But it isn’t just for men, and I believe the opportunity is there for anyone who wants to take it and women have the drive and focus that needs to be utilised.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
Start small, don't spend money on fancy offices, understand your customer and manically focus on marketing and sales. And the most important thing, be positive and don't give up.

What or who inspires you in business and why?
I find Richard Branson really inspirational.  He is not afraid of failure and is a very positive and inspirational leader who sees opportunities not problems. His attitude really appeals to me, and it’s an ethos I try to follow every day.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?
Back to Richard Branson:  Screw it, just do it.

Contact Details:

Wolfestone Translation Ltd
Follow on twitter @wolfstone 

1 comment:

  1. I am glad you shared this interview. I got lots of useful ideas from this one. And what really retained in me is that if you want to start a business, start from a small one and don’t focus on making your office over fancy. And this is really true.