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Regular client: negotiations
Thread poster: Natalya Zelikova

Natalya Zelikova  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 00:39
Member (2003)
English to Russian
+ ...
Jul 14, 2006

One of my very good regular clients asked me to cancel my minimum fee and actually refused (through explanations) to raise my standard rate, even though I have told them that my normal rate is already almost two times higher than the rate for them (in fact it hasn't changed since the year I started to work for them - just a little).

The point is that the most of their orders is ongoing translations of very small amounts (below 10 eur or even less).

I am not sure what to propose since I don't think I am ready stop working for them - they sometimes have rather interesting jobs (though really rear and almost never considerable in volume) and there are other factors too. But the thing that irritates me when I see the next eur 6.66 order in mailbox is that after I hear that I am good, reliable, etc. I am in fact asked to lower my rate by cancelling minimum fee.

I just would like to here other points of views.


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xxxsarahl
Local time: 14:39
English to French
+ ...
Monthly billing? Jul 14, 2006

Hi Natalya

Have you considered adding up all those small jobs and billing this particular client by the month, or when your consolidated invoice reaches, say, €100?

As for lowering your rates, that's always bad news imo. If I were you, I would consider dropping this one client asap.

Just my two cents.

Good luck!
Sarah


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Richard Creech  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:39
French to English
+ ...
Not Unreasonable Jul 14, 2006

A minimum fee is not unreasonable, as very small jobs could otherwise result in a loss if you take into account (as you should) the administrative overhead of e-mailing, invoicing, record-keeping, etc. Your current minimum doesn't seem very high, though, if you are getting payments for 6 Euros.

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Natalya Zelikova  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 00:39
Member (2003)
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
... Jul 14, 2006

6 euros was just an example of what I am proposed now after cancelling my minimum fee. Sometimes I get few (mainly 2-3 orders) per day, but even if I get only one, the total amount can be below 2 euros...
Also I do not get these orders every day - sometimes a week of these mall orders, sometimes a month without any order for this particular project.


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Elizabeth Adams  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:39
Member (2002)
Russian to English
+ ...
just a thought Jul 14, 2006

You could suggest that they deposit money in your account equal to what you would earn on their projects in 2-3 months. You could then do away with your minimum fee and simply keep track of when they need to "refresh" their balance with you. That way you would both get something good (they get cheaper small jobs, you don't have to fool with waiting for the money).



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Natalya Zelikova  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 00:39
Member (2003)
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
billing period Jul 14, 2006

sarahl wrote:

Hi Natalya

Have you considered adding up all those small jobs and billing this particular client by the month, or when your consolidated invoice reaches, say, €100?


The point is that I already bill the client after the amount reaches some noticeable volume. And when I applied my minimum fee the billing period was in average 1.5 month.
Actually the speed of payment is not the problem here since they always pay and I am not worried about receiving money quickly.

The problem is that this was a good cooperation so far, but now I often want to put these jobs off after I finish others, since I don't see them as interesting any more neither as a text, nor as earnings.


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Hynek Palatin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 23:39
Member (2003)
English to Czech
+ ...
Regular client: negotiations Jul 14, 2006

...I don't see them as interesting any more neither as a text, nor as earnings.


It sounds like you are ready to drop them. I would support that decision.


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:39
German to English
+ ...
Career development Jul 14, 2006

Hynek Palatin wrote:
...I don't see them as interesting any more neither as a text, nor as earnings.

It sounds like you are ready to drop them. I would support that decision.


It seems to me you are at a decision point in your career.
Are you going to stay with clients like this and allow them to dictate your terms and drain your motivation? If that is your choice, you can continue to work for this client (on their terms) for the next ten or twenty years.

Or are you ready to move on to other "pastures"?
What stage are you at in other areas of your career? (Areas like developing specialisms, acquiring other clients, advertising your services.) Can you find other work in times when this client has nothing to offer? Or are they your only lifeline?


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Levan Namoradze  Identity Verified
Georgia
Local time: 01:39
Member (2005)
English to Georgian
+ ...
As soon as... Jul 14, 2006

Natalya,
On my mind, as soon as you have a substitute, you should give up with them. Until then, if I were you, I would keep working for the lower rate.


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Ana Cuesta  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:39
Member
English to Spanish
minimum orders and deadlines Jul 14, 2006

Natalya Zelikova wrote:

The problem is that this was a good cooperation so far, but now I often want to put these jobs off after I finish others, since I don't see them as interesting any more neither as a text, nor as earnings.


Actually, since the point in applying mimimum orders is to compensate us for the burden of dropping everything else to work in a small text and do all the admin involved, you could make minimum orders contingent on their deadline. What I mean is that if the client wants you to translate a few words for the end of today or for tomorrow, your minimum order would apply, while if they are happy that you postpone the work until you have some spare time between other jobs or can deal with all their orders together at your own leasure at the end of the week, you could then charge by the word (of course, if you perceive the word rate you are getting as no longer worth it, that's another story

Best of luck!


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Andraca
Spain
Local time: 23:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not worth it Jul 14, 2006

Hi,

From the info that you have provided, it sounds as if you really are not as interested in them as you thought initially, and you may still be hanging there out of loyalty??

In any case, I think that you should stay firm re your minimum fee, specially if they were aware of it from the very beginning. Then they should abide by the initial rules. And if they don't, stop your work with them.

Best of luck.


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 23:39
French to Dutch
+ ...
Higher your rates and apply a minimum amount Jul 14, 2006

and the problem will be solved. Your client will only ask you if nobody else is available. Of course you can do this only if you have enough work for other clients.
Don't worry for your client, he or she will find another victim.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:39
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Never drop your minimum fee for any client Jul 14, 2006

You should never drop your minimum fee for any client, and always keep it as high as possible, at least EUR 20 or EUR 30.

I used to do small jobs for an agency that found my word price too expensive (even though I was charging them a low average rate). As I had no minimum fee, however, they came to me (only) every time they had a very small translation. And why?

Because most other translators would charge them a minimum rate! Therefore, if all the other translators they approached charged EUR 20 as a minimum, and I reckoned a word price that added up to EUR 13.13, then suddenly I was cheaper!

And that is precisely how much loyalty agencies have towards their translators!

Astrid


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