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Agency offers one third of the usual rate - what should I do?
Thread poster: Sherifabuzid
Sherifabuzid  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 20:20
Member (2006)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Jan 1, 2007

Hi there,

I was working with an agency without setting a specific rate. they are always changing the rat. Laster time they offered my 1/3 of the usual rate. that is good for me as a beginner, but what do you think should I stick to my rate ot not?

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-01-02 08:37]


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shfranke  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:20
English to Arabic
+ ...
Are you requiring a signed work order before you accept a project? Jan 1, 2007

Greetings.

Kindly verify whether you are requiring a signed work order -- which establishes your agreed-upon rates and related financial details -- before you accept a translation project?

It is hard to determine that critical point otherwise from your original post.

Thank you.

Regards,

Stephen H. Franke
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

[Edited at 2007-01-01 17:26]


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Fuad Yahya  Identity Verified
Arabic
+ ...
Pleae post your discussion on the furm "Money Matters." Jan 1, 2007

The Arabic form is for discussions about the Arabic language and related issues.

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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 19:20
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
FYI Jan 1, 2007

I moved the thread to the Money Matters forum.

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Sherifabuzid  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 20:20
Member (2006)
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Jan 1, 2007

Thanks alot,

I have already signed one befor, but we did not determine the rates.

Stephen Franke wrote:

Greetings.

Kindly verify whether you are requiring a signed work order -- which establishes your agreed-upon rates and related financial details -- before you accept a translation project?

It is hard to determine that critical point otherwise from your original post.

Thank you.

Regards,

Stephen H. Franke
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

[Edited at 2007-01-01 17:26]


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Sherifabuzid  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 20:20
Member (2006)
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Jan 1, 2007

Thanks alot Natalie, this is the first time I use this forum

Natalie wrote:

I moved the thread to the Money Matters forum.


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:20
English to Arabic
+ ...
Depends on the original rate, but... Jan 1, 2007

Assuming your original rate wasn't exceptionally high to begin with - one third would be way too low. Did you ask them why they suddenly decided to cut your rates that way?

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Sherifabuzid  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 20:20
Member (2006)
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Reducing rate Jan 2, 2007

I did not ask them, as they always say the rate of this job would be $000 per word as thebudget allows it. I think it was my fault from the begining that I did not set a minimum rate. don't you think that?

Nesrin wrote:


Assuming your original rate wasn't exceptionally high to begin with - one third would be way too low. Did you ask them why they suddenly decided to cut your rates that way?


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 18:20
Dutch to English
+ ...
Moving goalposts Jan 2, 2007

You say the client is continually changing the rate, is this always downwards or do they honestly pay more when the budget allows for it?

You need at very least to set a minimum rate, so that they know you're not interested in bargain-basement work. That said, I'm sure most of us do small favours for good clients from time to time. Just don't let the situation become abusive.

Don't set your minimum rate too low either. It should be your minimum rate, in line with industry standards for your language pair(s) and not dictated by the lower rates you've been offered.

[Edited at 2007-01-02 09:37]


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Sherifabuzid  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 20:20
Member (2006)
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Minimum Rare Jan 2, 2007

Thanks alot lawyer,

they are always changing it according to budget, sometimes more some times less. it think that is what I need to set a minimum ratt for the language pair.

thank you all for your kind cooperation

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

You say the client is continually changing the rate, is this always downwards or do they honestly pay more when the budget allows for it?

You need at very least to set a minimum rate, failing which you'll probably find the budget will be ever-decreasing.

Don't set it too low either. It should be your minimum rate, in line with industry standards for your language pair(s), not dictated by the lower rates you've been offered.


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 19:20
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
The problem of moving targets Jan 2, 2007

I was working with an agency without setting a specific rate. they are always changing the rate.


The problem you have to face, is how dependent you are on this specific agency. If they are above lets say 30% of your business, you depend too much - i.e. more than it's safe - on them. So were I in your position, Id think first about lowering their importance when it comes to your income.

Otherwise - and I talk from my experience - "It's as good as it gets".

[Edited at 2007-01-02 18:08]


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xxxSaifa
Local time: 19:20
German to French
+ ...
I would not reduce my rate Jan 2, 2007

Hallo Sherif,

You are the one who offers his services, like a hairdresser, a baker or a lawyer. You have your minimum prices for every language pair and you stick to them (like Nesrin, I am sure there are not too high)...

When you want have your hair cut, you have to accept the hairdresser's prices or you to look for another, cheaper hairdresser...
You will not tell him that your budget does not allow you to pay the price which is mentioned in the shop, right ?

I sometimes give a *little* discount to good clients for some reasons, but they must be good clients for years!

As good advice, I would say: never reduce your rate. When you have enough clients, try to rise your rates with your new clients. Rise your rates every 2-3 years (according to the inflation rate).

Good luck!

Saifa


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Sherifabuzid  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 20:20
Member (2006)
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Selling your self Jan 2, 2007

Thanks Saifa,

for your adivece. I really appreictt it.

Can you give me for some marketing materials for me as a begining freelancer? I would realy appreciate that.

Thanks again Saifa!

Saifa wrote:

Hallo Sherif,

You are the one who offers his services, like a hairdresser, a baker or a lawyer. You have your minimum prices for every language pair and you stick to them (like Nesrin, I am sure there are not too high)...

When you want have your hair cut, you have to accept the hairdresser's prices or you to look for another, cheaper hairdresser...
You will not tell him that your budget does not allow you to pay the price which is mentioned in the shop, right ?

I sometimes give a *little* discount to good clients for some reasons, but they must be good clients for years!

As good advice, I would say: never reduce your rate. When you have enough clients, try to rise your rates with your new clients. Rise your rates every 2-3 years (according to the inflation rate).

Good luck!

Saifa


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xxxSaifa
Local time: 19:20
German to French
+ ...
Marketing tip number 1: believe in yourself! Jan 3, 2007

Sherifabuzid wrote:

Can you give me for some marketing materials for me as a begining freelancer? I would realy appreciate that.



Hello Sherif,

I am sorry to disappoint you. I do not possess any kind of marketing materials. I am rather of the "old school", which means that I began working before Internet was born, and my approach of the clients may be quite different (old?!).

I will not tell you: Set up your own website, fill every field in your Proz profile... Of course, this may be useful as well, but I can tell you that this is not the most important thing, a lot of people like me do not even have a website.
But: it would be good to put on your Proz profile where you live (country) and which degrees you possess! Just in case...

The most important: 1) believe in yourself! I supposed you have studied a couple of years, which costed time and money. If someone tells you that you should sell your services as cheap as ice or pipas on the beach, there is something wrong with that person. Stay away.
Maybe he/she will tell you "that's the market". Well, I tell you that there are different markets. If you want to offer quality, you have to ask for a certain price.

Also very important: 2) be careful with the language you use.
For instance: you are not sending a "C.V." to clients, because you are not begging for working in an enterprise! You are the one who has something to offer. You are sending a "profile".
In this profile, try to convince the clients why they should chose *you*. Why are you the right person?

3) Translation business is not only Internet. There are various possibilities to look for clients.
Why not have a look at the businesses near you (your town, province...) Which industry is there? What about the yellow pages? Why not to try *everything*?

Good luck again.

Saifa


[Edited at 2007-01-03 10:24]


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Sherifabuzid  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 20:20
Member (2006)
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Grateful Jan 3, 2007

Hi Saifa,

I am realy grateful for all the support you have given me, it is realy great and helpful. .I have already met kinds of peoble you mentioned, but I think I am getting me self on the right way once I started my membership in this site, just as a begining.

Thanks again for all, and BYT I have studied for about 4 years, so I think also it has costed me alot of time and money.

Thanks

Saifa wrote:

Sherifabuzid wrote:

Can you give me for some marketing materials for me as a begining freelancer? I would realy appreciate that.



Hello Sherif,

I am sorry to disappoint you. I do not possess any kind of marketing materials. I am rather of the "old school", which means that I began working before Internet was born, and my approach of the clients may be quite different (old?!).

I will not tell you: Set up your own website, fill every field in your Proz profile... Of course, this may be useful as well, but I can tell you that this is not the most important thing, a lot of people like me do not even have a website.
But: it would be good to put on your Proz profile where you live (country) and which degrees you possess! Just in case...

The most important: 1) believe in yourself! I supposed you have studied a couple of years, which costed time and money. If someone tells you that you should sell your services as cheap as ice or pipas on the beach, there is something wrong with that person. Stay away.
Maybe he/she will tell you "that's the market". Well, I tell you that there are different markets. If you want to offer quality, you have to ask for a certain price.

Also very important: 2) be careful with the language you use.
For instance: you are not sending a "C.V." to clients, because you are not begging for working in an enterprise! You are the one who has something to offer. You are sending a "profile".
In this profile, try to convince the clients why they should chose *you*. Why are you the right person?

3) Translation business is not only Internet. There are various possibilities to look for clients.
Why not have a look at the businesses near you (your town, province...) Which industry is there? What about the yellow pages? Why not to try *everything*?

Good luck again.

Saifa


[Edited at 2007-01-03 10:24]


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