Peter Linton wrote:
I suggest a totally different approach.
Proofreading, perhaps surprisingly, can be more risky than translating. So first of all, do a risk assessment. Check what the document will be used for. If it is for publication, for example a publicity brochure to be printed in 100,000 copies, then any mistake you fail to spot would be down to you, not the translator. Reprinting is expensive, and they might ask you to foot the bill. So you might want to turn this job down.
If you accept this job, and charge nothing, no money changes hands, and therefore there is no contract. That, I am told, gives you much better legal protection in the event of a dispute.
Another reasons for charging nothing can be summed up as 'brownie points'. The job will take you little time (I estimate 15-20 minutes), and you and your customer will probably spend more time on processing the invoice and handling the paperwork. So your customer will be doubly pleased to get the document proofread and to skip the admin.
For that reason, I often do small jobs at no charge. Sometimes the brownie points yield future dividends, sometimes not. In general, I find they do.
At the end of the day, it has to be your commercial decision whether to charge or not. But I just wanted to put forward some reasons for what sounds at first like an unbusinesslike approach.
Well, it's not for a company or anything, it's just for a private individual ... and I need every penny I can get at the moment, to be honest!