Informing clients about rates rise
Thread poster: eva75

eva75
English
+ ...
May 6, 2007

I would like to raise my rates. How much notice should I give my clients?

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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:54
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Two months' notice May 6, 2007

eva75 wrote:

I would like to raise my rates. How much notice should I give my clients?


Hullo Eva,
Having kept my rates the same for six years, I recently decided it was time to raise them. I gave my regular clients two months' notice of the increase and have not received any adverse reaction. They continue to send me work, but perhaps they'll suddenly stop when 1st June rolls around ... hope not!
Kind regards,
Jenny.

[Edited at 2007-05-06 16:52]


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lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:54
Portuguese to English
A month at most May 6, 2007

Hello Eva,

There's no reason why you should give clients more than a month's notice of a rate rise. The thing to avoid is raising your rates at extremely short notice because agencies need to know how much to quote on possible jobs (your fees plus their mark-up). This negotiation process might go on for a week or 10 days but not more than a month.

I wouldn't wait 6 years like Jenny before raising my rates. I know translation is a very competitive business and we are all slightly nervous about pricing ourselves out of the market, but you can be sure that the agencies you work for raise their rates more frequently than that.

I reckon to raise mine by the rate of inflation every 3 years, and it's never been a problem. If you have several regular clients, you might think about staggering your rate rises - raise then for one client initially, then when you've judged the reaction, raise it for 1-2 more clients before applying it generally. It's less nerve-racking!


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:54
German to English
Why? May 6, 2007

eva75 wrote: I would like to raise my rates.


Why do you want to do this? If you can give a good business reason, for example because you think that the value you add is worth more, you can do it with immediate effect.

[Edited at 2007-05-06 19:29]


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eva75
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Reason May 6, 2007

RobinB wrote:

eva75 wrote: I would like to raise my rates.


Why do you want to do this? If you can give a good business reason, for example because you think that the value you add is worth more, you can do it with immediate effect.

[Edited at 2007-05-06 19:29]


I work at a lower rate for this client, which is not justified, since I offer a high quality service. The client set the rate a year ago and I wasn't in a position to negotiate then (new to the subject area), but I am now.


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Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 20:54
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Why not? May 6, 2007

RobinB wrote:
Why do you want to do this?

Eva is the one supplying the service and she is the one in demand, why shouldn't she raise her rates? She's more experienced, she's more knowledgeable, shes's familiar with more software, the cost of living has gone up, there are a number of reasons.

Or maybe it's to pay for her new house in Italy:)


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:54
English to German
+ ...
Reason for giving notice May 7, 2007

Chinese Concept wrote:

RobinB wrote:
Why do you want to do this?

Eva is the one supplying the service and she is the one in demand, why shouldn't she raise her rates?

The way I understood Robin, he questioned the need to give advance notice.

Cheers, Ralf


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:54
German to English
Immediate effect May 7, 2007

eva75 wrote: I work at a lower rate for this client, which is not justified, since I offer a high quality service. The client set the rate a year ago and I wasn't in a position to negotiate then (new to the subject area), but I am now.


Excellent answer. You're in a position to either impose a price rise on your customer with immediate effect (if you think you can get away with that) or to negotiate a price increase. Either way, you appear to have a good justification for the rate rise and a position of some strength in the bargaining process.

Robin


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:54
German to English
Why not? Because May 7, 2007

Chinese Concept wrote:

Eva is the one supplying the service and she is the one in demand, why shouldn't she raise her rates? She's more experienced, she's more knowledgeable, shes's familiar with more software, the cost of living has gone up, there are a number of reasons.

Or maybe it's to pay for her new house in Italy:)


Eva has now given a good reason for her price increase. Excuses like a higher cost of living are not a justification for price increases, unless you live in a hyperinflationary economy where all prices are rising all the time.

However, it should be remembered that most of the classic rules of economics don't apply in the translation industry, for example standard supply and demand equations. This is probably largely due to the fact that the vast majority of translation buyers (end clients) don't actually know, or at least aren't really sure of, what they're buying, and the vast majority of translators are unable to explain satisfactorily what it is that they're selling. The result is deeply imperfect information that distorts the market mechanisms along the entire translation value chain.

Robin


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 13:54
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
can it be just without stating a reason? May 8, 2007

A very interesting topic. I am also considering it. Wanted to make it long ago, but have not found the "courage" to make that.

And what about a simple approach - just "putting the client to the fact" that the translator wants to raise the rates and that is it? Just without explaining the reason (letting the client understand that the work must be appreciated a little bit more than "before")? Why should one justify oneself like being somewhat "guilty" in the eyes of the client (inflation, family increase or other real or other reasons just for reasons)? If you are doing a good work (better than others), and the client really understands that, do you think it could be difficult to the client "to eat it up"? And well, if the "notification period" is too long, I think they can manage to find someone else for the "old rate"...?

Finally, one thing I remembered from a seminar on marketing psychology - there were 2 competing producers making the same product and selling it for the same price. One producer decided to cut down on the price to be "more competitive and attractive", the other did just VICE VERSA - increased the price (NB - the products they offered in reality were of the same real value, i.e. there was no actual difference). Guess which producer won the game ?



[Edited at 2007-05-08 02:57]


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