Translation Link—which offers translation services as well as marketing, document editing, consulting and other services in a variety of languages—hit the market and took off. After signing its first client in January 2007, by year two the company showed growth of 1,300 percent.
"Through the Internet, we found a local mentor Greg Hoffman," Alina Mugford explains. "First of all, I was new in the country in terms of how to go on doing business in the U.S. My experience in business is long in Venezuela. He helped me to do things here in the U.S. business-wise and all the steps that you should do to start a company. He also helped to narrow down my target market. I wanted to start big. He made me rethink my target."
After learning that there was a terrific need for translation services in Florida's Manatee and Sarasota Counties, Alina began investigating business resources to help start her own service. She learned about SCORE through her local Chamber of Commerce, and also went online to find a mentor
"The company just took off on year two. It was something unbelievable," Alina says, noting that the success came "after very hard work; 24-7 is not an understatement."
Alina was nearly 50 when she immigrated to the United States in 2003. Although she had extensive business experience in Venezuela and was a college professor, the Cuban-born Alina didn’t know a lot about doing business in the U.S. "I don’t want to sound trite but I’m a good example of the American dream," says Alina, who became a U.S. citizen 1 1/2 years ago. "Hard work, hard work, hard work pays off. When you put your body, your heart, your soul into what you want to do, you can do it."
"When I was 44-years-old, I had a stroke. I immigrated to the United States when I was turning 50, and I started all over again," she says. "Having faith, vision in the future, internal spirit; I see it as a driving force within myself. No obstacle is insurmountable. If you set your mind to it, you can achieve it."
Translation Link is the recipient of the 2010 SCORE Award for Outstanding Small Business Launch by a 50 Entrepreneur.
SCORE mentor Greg Hoffman helped me understand the steps needed to start a company in the U.S.