Why Is Transparency So Important For eLingual.Net?

Language is my profession and passion, so of course not many people know that I also co-own a small local auto body shop with my husband in the city of Van Nuys, within the Los Angeles County.  
Last week a situation involving our auto shop reminded me of the importance of transparency and I will share that short story with you.

A few weeks ago, Jaider (my husband) and I talked about working on SEO (search engine optimization) for our little auto shop's website but never really decided what action to take.  

I was able to build us a simple drag and drop website using a popular web-builder platform a few years back (it's a work in progress).  

Since we are a small shop on a street crowded with other big auto repair shops, it is hard to stand out off and online.

Transparency is key in business relations.
My auto shop in Van Nuys
Around the middle of last month my husband hired a so called 'SEO expert' from a not-so-available-SEO, over the phone, paying a setup fee and monthly fee upfront from some guy who kept calling and emailing about his services.  

Long story short, we decided to use another service provider and cancel.


As I read over the emails this SEO guy sent my husband, none had a name or contact information.

I searched his site and again, nothing, no name, address or at the least a P.O. box.  I simply had the city, state, fax and phone number.

Sadly my husband forgot to do his homework and I was a bit disappointed.

We were finally able to find an address in the purchase order, then we wrote a notice to cancel and asked for a refund.
Lesson learned:  I was reminded how important it was for a business to be completely transparent (especially online).  Since an online business has no offline storefront, it is crucial for people to establish trust with an online company in order to be able to work together and establish lasting business relationships.

In my case, I founded eLingual.Net, a 'bootstrap' style start-up website with a fellow colleague and we are not ashamed to say it.

Currently we are a virtual company, which means the three of us (co-founder, developer and myself), mainly work from home.  

We do not have an official office we can call our own.  We have been sharing offices with my auto shop since we launched.

Business meetings are conducted over the phone, via skype or at local coffee shops.

Eventually as we grow we will need to find a good home or our own, here in Los Angeles, preferably with an ocean view but we'll settle for any office with a beach themed calendar on the wall.

How does this apply to a member of our network?

We want our members to build trust, lasting relationships, and a strong community.

This means everyone needs to be transparent and that is the reason why we verify all (translators, interpreters, and clients) our members profiles.

Another reason why we verify our members is because we want to deter unethical and unprofessional businesses and individuals from joining our community, those who do not believe in, or practice our core values, principles or high standards would not fit in with our unique community.

So what does that mean for eLingual.Net now?

It means that we at eLingual.Net are entrepreneurs, we wear several 'hats', do several jobs, adapt, and are resourceful.  

Just like the majority of the members in our translation and interpretation community, we are freelancers, who work from home or from the local coffee shop.

Of course it would not be wise to disclose everything about our personal life, like our home address, but enough to gain trust and build true relationships.

So, as for eLingual.Net if that means to remain a virtual company for a couple of years and continue to share the auto shop's office space and home office, so be it.

If you think about it, many companies started off from their founder's garage or basement, in our case it's my auto body shop.

"From Amazon to The Ramones, many great American staples have come from garages.  

It just goes to show you can never underestimate the power of an American garage." 

I got that quote from a cool Cadillac commercial, you can see it here: http://ispot.tv/a/76nQ .

My two boys playing by the shop
Now that I made you curious and if you Google our shop, which I have done already here for you (our shop is the one at the very end). 

You can go on any give sunny afternoon after business hours and you might find us spending time shooting some hoops on our makeshift basketball court, throwing a BBQ with the neighbors or chasing our kids on their bikes (in a designated area of course).  

Oh and yes, before I forget if you live in the Los Angeles area and if you need any collision repair or what to restore your classic car, we are your guys.

What do you think about transparency? 

 Do you feel it's important?  

What experiences have you encountered? 

Share your comments below, I would love to hear from you :)

Please if any of my blogs inspire you, give credit where credit is due.  Let's be fair, honest and professional. Let's help each other be great and stay great!

As always, thank you for reading and sharing my posts.  Feel free to connect or email me, Carmen Arismendy.  I'm a professional Spanish interpreter-translator and founder of eLingual.Net.  I started the eLingual Network because I could not find a fair, no middleman, no job bidding, ethical, and transparent meeting place for translators, interpreters and clients online.  The website is in beta phase and by no means perfect but it's a step in the right direction.
eLingual.Net's mission is to spread happiness worldwide through happy translators, interpreters, and clients.
For the professional translator and interpreter, this means no middleman, no job bidding, the freedom of setting their own fees, having control over their services, and who they choose to work with.
For the clients, this means working directly with ethical and professional translators and interpreters committed to quality and value.
Join our happy community, let's work together!

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