Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
What do you do when you have reached your max capability?
Thread poster: skyblue

skyblue  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:45
Member (2006)
English to Korean
+ ...
Feb 13, 2007

What do you guys do when you have enough regular clients? Do you stop accepting more clients? Or do you raise rates and drop those who refuse to accept your new rates? (I am already charging my clients higher than market rates. So I am not really sure how many of my existing clients will be able to pay me even higher rates...)

Or do you become an outsourcer yourself to outsource some of your excessive work?

Is there any benefits to declare a business as a translation agency?

[Edited at 2007-02-13 06:11]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:45
German to English
+ ...
Intrigued Feb 13, 2007

Skyblue, I'm intrigued. According to your profile, you are charging US$0.12/word. What makes you think that this is "higher than market rates"? Or are you now charging a lot more than your profile suggests?

Marc


Direct link Reply with quote
 

skyblue  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:45
Member (2006)
English to Korean
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I thought Feb 13, 2007

Dear Marc,

I thought that was higher than market price. It isn't? Most of my regular clients are paying me per hour, though. My current hourly rate is slightly higher than I declared in my profile.

I am trying to figure out if it makes sense financially for me to stay as a freelance translator. It's a good news if it is possible to go higher than $0.12 per word. (Of course, in special cases, I know that the rates can go much higher. But I am talking about normal cases.) I thought that was pretty much a ceiling.

[Edited at 2007-02-13 06:30]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mulyadi Subali  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 15:45
English to Indonesian
+ ...
opt for outsource Feb 13, 2007

i'm thinking the same thing. my preference is to outsource, but my concern is quality assurance. any idea for this?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

georgina singh  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 14:15
Tamil to English
+ ...
Pretty good idea! Feb 13, 2007

Skyblue, if you think you have reached your limit, then its a pretty good idea to go out sourcing.

If you have a strong team with you then it would be the right thing to do, but if not, it won't be worth the trouble.

Best regards,

Georgina.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:45
Flemish to English
+ ...
Supply and demand Feb 13, 2007

I used to outsource the surplus of work. To my surprise, I got demands if I could translate from Japanese>English and from Korean>English. The market-niche for spezialised translation into Korean is very narrow. Apply the laws of supply and demand. Little supply, high demand means high rates.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Veronica Coquard
France
Local time: 10:45
French to English
Definitely outsource! Feb 13, 2007

By outsourcing you can help those who do not yet have a solid client base (I know I appreciate this kind of collaboration) while picking up a bit of commission (which is normal).

You can always check for quality before handing the finished translation over to the client.

Good luck!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:45
French to English
+ ...
Raise your rates Feb 13, 2007

If you are getting more work than you can cope with at your current rates, then you are not charging the market rate for your particular market.

Raise your rates, become a little less busy, earn the same or more. Then it'll be easier to outsource any surplus as you'll be able to offer your outsourcer a better rate.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:45
Italian to English
+ ...
Compromise solution Feb 13, 2007

If you're worried about losing clients by raising your rates, only quote higher rates to potential new clients. That way, you have the change to get higher-paying clients on board before risking your existing ones.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 19:45
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
What do you really want to do? Feb 13, 2007

Hi Skyblue,

What is it you really want to do? For the last week in the forums you've talked about becoming a court interpreter and then about whether or not you should go back to working in-house full-time.

I think if you've got to the point where you cannot accept any new jobs because your current clientele are keeping you swamped then it sounds like you're doing fine freelancing.

Raise your rates for new clients and then after they're established raise your rates for old clients. In the meantime I'm sure you can find some highly proficient Korean translators to outsource to, who don't look outside of Korea for work and will be happy with the local market rates, leaving you with a very big profit margin.

I'd say work on getting a good, reliable team together to take on the excess and you'll be really successful:)

Good luck,
Mark


Direct link Reply with quote
 

skyblue  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:45
Member (2006)
English to Korean
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Quality Control is the problem Feb 13, 2007

Dear Chinese Concept,

Yes, I am trying to figure out what is best for me. If I cannot find ways to overcome my limited capacity problem wisely, I may not be able to stay as a freelance.

Translating between Korean and English is like a creative writing since the language structure and everything are so different between two cultures, thus I think it takes more hours to translate between Korean and English than between a roman language and English. Still, rates for Korean are lower than for other western languages.

I think it makes sense to try to raise rates while looking for other Korean translators who can help me. Actually I already tried, but the quality was so poor, I ended up doing everything all over. Contacting him and testing him was just waste of time for me. The rate I offered was not too bad. I am skeptical finding other good Korean translators.

Maybe I will approach other Korean translators in Proz and establish a relationship so they will help me with my excessive work and vise versa. The commission will be declared up front in a transparent manner. So if I got this project and am giving work to translator A, then A knows how much commission I get. A will do the same if s/he has excessive workload.

Probably, the best is declaring a business as an agency and recruiting my own translators.... That will take a long time, though.

[Edited at 2007-02-13 15:26]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
outsourcing versus raising rates... Feb 13, 2007

Skyblue:

A word of warning about outsourcing. It sounds as if you have very high standards (or I doubt you'd be swamped with clients). Be prepared if you outsource for frustrations with the people who are either less experienced than you are (and who need a lot of tutoring) or people who simply set a different set of standards for themselves (and who therefore are "incompatible" with you). This is not necessarily a route to go down that will lead to less work for you...I think it will mean MORE work.

Before trying to change the structure of the way you work, I would simply try to increase rates incrementally and see what happens.

Another possibility would be to specialize (rejecting any work that isn't in your specialist area). That would provide a justification for increasing your rates, would narrow the pool of potential jobs, and might provide you with work that you find to be more interesting.

Good luck!
Patricia


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:45
Member
English to French
An alternative: Increase productivity Feb 13, 2007

Voice recognition software, file management tools, business/accounts applications, CAT tools, quicker hardware, search tools, touch typing training, dual screen, ultrafast connection...
Together with periodic rate increases, you should increase your turnover every year.

My motto: If I can save a mouse click, I will save it, 200 mouse clicks a day saved means maybe 10 minutes gained, or 4 invoices created and printed (using TO3000). Or even 10 more minutes with the family...

As regards subcontracting, I discarded the idea: It requires time to reread and it's boring, plus you can only make a limited margin if you work for agencies only. Not worth the trouble. My policy is to increase rates when I feel the demand gets out of hand (such as turning down 45000 words [or at least part of it] just like today).

The bottom line, as I see it, is to make more money working less (and not behaving like a crook), and if possible while enjoying the job.

Good luck,
Philippe


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:45
German to English
+ ...
Raise prices or find different clients Feb 13, 2007

I would either raise prices or find different clients. I find it hard to believe that $0.12 per word is the ceiling for any language. Are you working for any high-end agencies (agencies focused on only 1-2 languages and subject areas) or direct clients? Where are they located? Could it be that clients in Korea pay less (just a guess here!) You might try exploring those factors first.

Also, think about the skill sets involved in 1) translation and 2) running an agency. What do you excel at and love to do? I love translation, but I'm not too happy when I'm reading a lot of other translators' work, chasing down clients, and dealing with scheduling, etc. So I don't outsource much, because I'd rather be translating myself.

Philippe's and Patricia's comments are also excellent - I agree!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jackie Bowman

Local time: 04:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
Raise the rates immediately… Feb 14, 2007

… and raise them substantially, and tell new clients you’ll try to fit them into your schedule as soon as time allows.

Sounds like you’re doing great. Sincere congratulations for that. Sounds like there is a demand for your product. Sounds like you have a supply of your product. I believe I’ve read something, somewhere, about the interaction of supply and demand. I think there’s an applicable economic law or something. Perhaps I’m mistaken.

I can speak only whereof I know. I work in a particular language pair and I work in a particular field, and I would clean toilets before I would work for a translation agency … but in my pair, and in my agency-free universe, 12 cents a word is what clients pay when they’ve already approached their best freelancers and all their best freelancers said no. So they have to resort to the 12-centers, knowing for certain from the outset that they’re going to have to assign staffers to edit the translation. They get a cheaper freelance rate, but they have higher in-house costs. I believe I might have read an economic law about that somewhere. Could be wrong.

All best of luck to you. Sounds like you’re in an enviable position.


[Edited at 2007-02-14 02:36]

[Edited at 2007-02-14 02:36]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

What do you do when you have reached your max capability?

Advanced search


Translation news





TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs