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Is it better to work for an agency or directly for customer?
Thread poster: Jirina Nevosadova

Jirina Nevosadova  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 01:25
Member (2007)
English to Czech
+ ...
Jul 27, 2003

In my oppinion, it is better to work directly for my customer, not for an agency.
1/ In case of doubt, I can consult the problem with them. Agencies are not willing to give you any contact because they do not want to lose their customer.
2/ Although I am usually cheaper than the agency, I get more money. Agencies usually pay very little (in CR).
3/ It is less risky for the outsourcer, because he/she knows the person who translates his/her text, so confidentiality is better ensured.
4/ Being accurate and meeting the deadline can establish good basis for my professional career.
Of course, very large projects are exceptions.
I think this is not new for translators. But how to explain it to our customers? Jirina


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Robert Zawadzki  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:25
English to Polish
+ ...
Tell them Jul 27, 2003

In Poland, you can shorten your presentation to 'I am cheaper'. The problem is that if do not want to sacrifice quality, usually there is someone who uses the same phrase, but does not hesitate.

On the other side I prefer to be loyal to an agency that finds a customer, negotiates the contract, handles the payment issues and generally reduces non-translation work I need to do.

Once an agency did not do it's job and told me to negotiate something with a customer. That was too much for me and I negotiated a direct contract.

Sometimes (well, usually) an agency wants too much. But it is a free world - you do not have to agree.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:25
English to Spanish
+ ...
No need to ask. Jul 28, 2003

You just explained it quite well with the points you mentioned. I would also add:

5. You have a guarantee of uniformity, consistency and EXCELLENCE. (The latter, of course will be established by you in your work).
6. You will have someone (me) who is familiar with your operations and the area(s) in which you work.
7. Pricing will be consistent.

Those are what I can think of at the moment but I'm sure others can contribute more.

About the only downside I can think of for the client is that you are only one person and your time and energy are limited and your workloads can vary. We also hope you can take vacations now and then, so therefore you cannot do anything they may need any time they may need it. However, you can do almost anything if consulted ahead of time so you can plan, and delivery times can be negotiated.

I always emphasize to my clients that I am a one man operation, I'm often busy and at other times I take a lot of time off. Since they know I deliver on all the other points they will wait for me.

It's the best of all worlds but it takes time to develop that direct client base. Once you have, you'll never go back!


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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:25
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
It depends on... Jul 28, 2003

whether you have a wonderful agency (to name a few of the great ones - I hope that I am allowed to do it from this spot International Translations (California) and JMG Translations (Canada), they are a blessing. They get you the work, organize things, contact the client in case of doubts and pay you on time. I do not mind at all sharing some of my earnings with them.

On the other hand, there are some that you have to haunt for money and this takes so much time that it is annoying.

I do not mind dealing with different individual clients (some have become very good friends) but if you have quite a number it can be time-consuming.

So, I do not think that there is a clear cut answer to give you. I for one, am very happy with my agencies and will continue to work for them.

Lucinda.


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Jirina Nevosadova  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 01:25
Member (2007)
English to Czech
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Holiday is not a problem Jul 28, 2003

Henry Hinds wrote:

You just explained it quite well with the points you mentioned. I would also add:

5. You have a guarantee of uniformity, consistency and EXCELLENCE. (The latter, of course will be established by you in your work).
6. You will have someone (me) who is familiar with your operations and the area(s) in which you work.
7. Pricing will be consistent.

Those are what I can think of at the moment but I'm sure others can contribute more.

About the only downside I can think of for the client is that you are only one person and your time and energy are limited and your workloads can vary. We also hope you can take vacations now and then, so therefore you cannot do anything they may need any time they may need it. However, you can do almost anything if consulted ahead of time so you can plan, and delivery times can be negotiated.

I always emphasize to my clients that I am a one man operation, I'm often busy and at other times I take a lot of time off. Since they know I deliver on all the other points they will wait for me.

It's the best of all worlds but it takes time to develop that direct client base. Once you have, you'll never go back!

I think that holiday and similar things are not a problem. My customers usually know well ahead about larger projects and very short things can be done from your holiday. This is disadvantage, of course. It is good to have RELIABLE colleague, too. Jirina


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