Business Language Services

Origins

Founded in 1991 by four graduates, the aim of BLS is the provision of high quality English and foreign language training to business people in Wales. Through existing contacts, the firm started training programmes for multinational clients such as British Steel and Lucas although these were quickly supplemented by other clients. Within the first year, demand was rising for a quality translation and interpreting service and, by the end of the third year of trading, translation and interpreting sales exceeded the language training business. The main challenge BLS faced in the early years was to educate businesses that it was no longer acceptable, with the advent of the ‘Common European Market’, to assume that people outside the UK would be prepared or content to conduct business just in English.

Success Factor

The hard work and commitment to the business of its staff has been a major factor in the growth of BLS in recent years. BLS now has eight full-time staff, some of which have been with the company for over 10 years. Since the start of the company in 1991, no permanent employee has ever left the company. There is also a commitment to quality in all the work the firm produces. This is vital as the translation industry is a competitive, global industry and, without a commitment to quality, the firm would never have succeeded. The directors also decided, early on in the life of the company, to invest in new technology, and the latest computer and telecommunications hardware and software enables the firm to provide clients with a quality service in the format they need and on time.

The Future

In the short-term, BLS plans to build on its current business relationships with clients so, as their export business grows, so does BLS. The majority of clients are still based in Wales or have premises within 50 miles of the Welsh border. Therefore, the firm plans to develop our business more in England and also within specific regions of Europe where it has existing contacts. The fastest growing sector of the firm’s business over the last three years is interpreting (especially for conferences, training courses and workshops) and BLS plans to put efforts into expanding this side of the work.