After wrecking my head for a few weeks with trying to figure out websites, domain registration, hosting and all of that, this evening I finally made a step forward. Two really. I have registered the two website names that I wanted (one simply my name, one with a translations focus) and I've signed up for hosting. A few people suggested self-hosting but from what I've read about it, it would be beyond my current capabilities and I simply don't have the time (or inclination) to do that at the moment. The five euro a month charge for hosting will be more than worth it to me. A web developer friend has offered to build me a website at a substantially reduced rate but that will have to wait until the business has made enough money to cover the cost. Until then I'll figure out something very basic with my contact information and that will do. The main thing will be getting the email set up. Once I've done that, I will go ahead and order business cards. And that will be more than enough outgoings for one month.
So things are slowly moving forward. I got a rush job in from a contact who runs a translation agency late last Monday and stayed up very late doing that. Need to meet him soon to confirm rates and payment but it was a good opportunity as it was a new client for him and if they were happy with this job, they would be moving all of this particular business to him. And he, in turn, would give me the largest part of that work. I'd be happy with that. I approached him at an event during the summer to see about getting some work and offered to do a test translation for him. He phoned me a few weeks ago to see if I could do a short legal paragraph, again at short notice. I offered to get it done during my lunch break that day and did so. When we met a few days later and he said we should talk about money, I told him the first one could be free so long as he gave me a second one. So that piece of cheekiness seems to have worked out so far. We'll see how it goes. Working for an agency doesn't generally pay well at all and working directly for clients would pay nearly double what most agencies offer but starting out it's certainly an easier way to build up experience.
I'm now also registered with the national association of translators and listed in their directory, which will hopefully bring in work, too. Side-business seems to be officially up and running.