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Tell us a bit about you and your business.

My name is Mark Alford and I’m the Managing Director of Managed Language

Managed Language is a multilingual communications business. We specialise in providing marketing translations in 36 languages.

Key to our business is providing these solutions which are people-powered through a trusted global network of native speakers and professionals. We’ve delivered over 10,000 projects in excess of 100,000 executions and 2 million words on an annual basis.

Who are your customers?

Our customers are advertisers, marketers and direct brands.

What’s your biggest business achievement so far?

Definitely surviving during COVID-19.

The advertising industry has been absolutely decimated by COVID-19. A lot of conventional business has stopped and rapidly moved online. This means that the skills and remit of the typical agency is no longer relevant. All agencies actually were challenged because go-to-market strategies had stopped.

We decided to pivot by focusing on markets where we could still work in such as the USA. June and July were our worst months but we improved a lot during August. In September, we’re almost back to our pre-COVID levels of finance. The reality though is that it’s been a difficult time.

How was Rocket Lawyer able to help you?

I’ve used Rocket Lawyer a few times over the years. I used the Ask a lawyer service during a litigation situation I had which Rocket Lawyer helped on.

I use Rocket Lawyer mainly for terms and conditions and I’ve used the service on several occasions, albeit on a needs be basis.

I find Rocket Lawyer very easy to use and self-explanatory.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned since you’ve started your own business?

There’s so many. 

I think what I really learnt is that the reality of any business is that you’ll never get it right all the time. The lessons are there when you make mistakes so if you don’t make a mistake, you won’t make anything.

You’ve got to be prepared to fail in order to succeed. 

What are your plans for the future?

My own strategy is to get out of the business in the next 3 years and retire. Everything I’m working on now is an exit strategy and what would a succession look like.

That being said, the company isn’t going anywhere. Managed Language has the capability to grow dramatically. Whilst COVID-19 has posed its challenges, we’re in the best position in terms of market strength and market growth. This is because COVID-19 took down all the marketing barriers for a UK business to expand into another market eg having feet on the ground. Now, the only barrier for UK businesses is language and that’s what we do.

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