Nicholas Natalie is an entrepreneur with a passion for reading and education. He discovered his love for business when he was in school and spent his free time creating and sharing ideas with anyone who expressed interest. Shortly after, he launched his first business, where he sold pet products online and learned bookkeeping, inventory, procurement, and customer service. He still holds on to the memory of his first sale- a blanket he sold for $14 and the thrill he got from the sale.
One of his significant accomplishments is establishing his own translation services company, which earned him much success. He is the brains behind several digital agencies offering web-based services such as Summit Rank, eCommerce Translations, and Publishing Translations. The companies have since grown to serve clients from different corners of the globe with an impressive portfolio ranging from individuals, startups, and corporate giants. Some of the services they offer include website design, text translation, website translation, Technical Document Translation, Software Localization, Foreign Subtitling, and Mobile App Localization.
Nicholas attributes his successes to a willingness to learn new skills by interacting with others more experienced than him and motivation and positive influence from his mentor, friend, and business partner, who is ten years his senior. One of the ways that he stays productive and in good mental and physical health is by taking breaks when he needs to and working regular hours. He is also a philanthropist and regularly donates to courses he is passionate about. As someone who likes reading and believes that education is a basic need, one of his favorite charitable foundations is the Book Aid International, which builds libraries and donates books to libraries, schools, universities, refugee camps, hospitals, benefits, and prisons worldwide. He also loves to spend time with friends and family.
How did you get started in your industry?
I got interested in business in my teenage years. When I went to study business education at the university, it felt like the right time to try out some of the business ideas I had been entertaining. I started my first business, an online pet product shop, and it gave me the confidence to keep going. It also taught me valuable business lessons like customer relations, bookkeeping, inventory, procurement, and finding reliable and reasonably priced suppliers.
How do you make money in your field?
I make money by charging my clients for the services I provide. I offer services such as website design, text translation, website translation, Technical Document Translation, Software Localization, Foreign Subtitling, and Mobile App Localization.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
It took about three months to become profitable. We experienced some setbacks but managed to pull through. There was also much competition in the industry, so we had to make sure our services were different to attract clients. The startup costs were also significantly high, so it took the business a while to break even and make a profit.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I never doubted that the venture would succeed, even though we experienced a couple of challenges. I consulted with my mentor and people who had experience in the industry, and their advice helped me navigate the obstacles smoothly.
Do you remember how you got your first client?
Yes, I do. My first client was someone within my network of friends who I’d known for a while, and I reached out to them immediately I set up. I had reached out to as many people as I could pitching my business to them, and he signed up with me for my services. He was delighted with our services and has become a longstanding client. He has also referred other clients our way and has been of tremendous help to us.
What is one marketing strategy that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
My most crucial marketing tool is digital marketing. It is cost-effective and has exposed my business to enormous audiences globally. I also love it because the content is designed to address different demographic segments making them much more effective. It’s easy to track and monitor how many people have been reached and how successful our marketing is, which is important as it helps us know what works and what needs to be changed. It also works really well for my company because my business is web-based
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in your professional life?
With the impact the pandemic has had on the global economy, the business has taken a hit. One of the hardest decisions I have had to make was to downsize and lay off some of my staff to help keep the company afloat. However, thanks to the internet, more businesses went digital, and there was an increase in demand for our services. With a steady flow of revenue, I was able to keep my entire team, although we all have had to contend with fewer benefits.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
One of the reasons behind my success is that I’m always willing to put myself in situations where I am the novice and interact with experts in specific situations. This has helped me to stay humble and learn from the best. I’ve also benefited a lot from the people in my life, such as my partner and mentor, who has been a positive influence and helped steer me in the right direction. Years of hard work and gaining the necessary experience have also been instrumental. I also think that maintaining a healthy work-life balance has helped me stay productive and healthy physically and mentally.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
In my first business venture, my first sale was a pet blanket which I sold for just $14. I felt a great sense of accomplishment and it helped me stay motivated in all my other ventures.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would advise my younger self to create more networks with like-minded people. I have learned so much from other people in the industry on a wide range of topics which have helped grow my success. I would also advise myself to take more risks and embrace failure. Not all my ideas have succeeded, and even those have been faced with challenges and setbacks. The lessons I’ve learned from those challenges and failures have pushed me to be innovative and grow professionally and personally.
What business books have inspired you?
I like Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. It gave me some useful insights when I was starting out in business. It also gave me some great ideas on generating more income, including some great passive ways to earn an income.
I also love Deep Work: Rules for Success in A Distracted World by Cal Newport. It helped me understand how focusing on the most critical activities can help increase productivity and increase efficiency. It helped me identify some of the common distractions that are normal in the workplace that go unnoticed.
Finally, Business Adventures by John Brooks was a great read and gave me some useful insights into the lives of successful business people I look up to.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I am excited about the prospect of expanding our services to offer more language translations to help more businesses bridge language barriers and reach out to global audiences. The business’s success also means that I can pursue my philanthropic interests further and help more people access books and education.