First of all, decide what service you need. You don't want to end up paying for services you don't really need. Are you after a quick draft translation, or does your project consist of several documents that need to be localized for different markets? Put a brief together with your requirements and the aim of the project. If you're not entirely sure which services you will need or you would like more information on the options, put this in the brief too.
Next, select a number of translation partners who you would like to receive quotes from (refer to What's the difference between a translation agency and a translation company?). Websites are a great source of information on translation providers' quality processes and the areas they specialise in. It's a good idea to call around and see which companies are most helpful and knowledgeable. They should be more than happy to give advice on how to go about your translation project.
Once you have received quotes, determine which one offers the best value for money for your project. Things to take into consideration:
When you've made your decision, make sure the agreements on deadlines and cost are clear and confirmed in writing to avoid confusion or disappointment.
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