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raising the rates
Thread poster: MariusV

MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 02:23
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
Jun 10, 2007

Hello,

I think this topic has been already discussed (I would appreciate links of older discussions), but I wanted to start this again. And especially - in relation so some psychological aspects:

It is already a long time I want to raise my rates (life is getting much and much expensive in my country) and I consider to increase them at least by some 20%.

For the new clients I am already quoting the "new rates" (I am booked almost all the time, so nothing to lose if someone finds my services "too expensive").

But the problem here is with the existing clients - those with whom I have been cooperating for at least a couple of years, and especially for those, who provide me with the majority of work on a permanent basis (some 70 % of the total income)...

OK, if I raise the rates, and some of the clients who order a couple of dozen of pages per year will disapper, that would not hurt too much. BUT what to do with those "old good ones"? I have been talking to many colleagues who already raised the rates, and they say all of the clients who were happy with their work, mumbled a little bit and returned back after several weeks for the "new rate" and soon forgot about that. But for me, the rational side does not work (even having the fact that the market rates for my languages are going up rather fast and that the demand will soon reach the level when it will be bigger than the number of those people who can do these language pairs).

So, I am still having an anxiety with the followup questions in my head like "Won't they go to someone else?", "What if my decision appears to be too brave in the near future?", "What if I lose the majority of the clients where it took so many years and effort to have them?" and most important - "What will happen to my income?" (having in mind that 100 % of it comes from translation work)...

Has anyone did that already and could share some of the experiences. Esp. the psychological aspects how to say to yourself "Go for it now" and how to "prepare" the clients for this - to give some time (a notification in advance), or simply put them to the wall?










[Edited at 2007-06-10 03:09]


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:23
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
I understand your anxiety Jun 10, 2007

MariusV wrote:

Hello,

I think this topic has been already discussed (I would appreciate links of older discussions), but I wanted to start this again. And especially - in relation so some psychological aspects:

It is already a long time I want to raise my rates (life is getting much and much expensive in my country) and I consider to increase them at least by some 20%.

For the new clients I am already quoting the "new rates" (I am booked almost all the time, so nothing to lose if someone finds my services "too expensive").

But the problem here is with the existing clients - those with whom I have been cooperating for at least a couple of years, and especially for those, who provide me with the majority of work on a permanent basis (some 70 % of the total income)...

OK, if I raise the rates, and some of the clients who order a couple of dozen of pages per year will disapper, that would not hurt too much. BUT what to do with those "old good ones"? I have been talking to many colleagues who already raised the rates, and they say all of the clients who were happy with their work, mumbled a little bit and returned back after several weeks for the "new rate" and soon forgot about that. But for me, the rational side does not work (even having the fact that the market rates for my languages are going up rather fast and that the demand will soon reach the level when it will be bigger than the number of those people who can do these language pairs).

So, I am still having an anxiety with the followup questions in my head like "Won't they go to someone else?", "What if my decision appears to be too brave in the near future?", "What if I lose the majority of the clients where it took so many years and effort to have them?" and most important - "What will happen to my income?" (having in mind that 100 % of it comes from translation work)...

Has anyone did that already and could share some of the experiences. Esp. the psychological aspects how to say to yourself "Go for it now" and how to "prepare" the clients for this - to give some time (a notification in advance), or simply put them to the wall?










[Edited at 2007-06-10 03:09]


I understand your anxiety, Marius. I recently went through all these questions myself, but eventually decided to "bite the bullet".
I had maintained my rate unchanged for 6 years. I decided that that was ridiculous - as a Prozian pointed out, no employee would be happy to continue working without a rise for 6 years.
I gave all my clients two months' notice that I'd be raising my rate (by about 6%, not 20%!) as from 1st June. I felt nervous, just like you do, but it doesn't seem to have put anyone off - no-one complained, anyway - and work continues to come in at the same pace as before - so I'd say "go for it" - perhaps gradually, raising it first with the clients who don't send so much work and then, if that doesn't cause complaints, raising it with the "old faithfuls". This was also the advice of another Prozian, and it worked for me.
Good luck!
Jenny.


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 01:23
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Gradually Jun 10, 2007

is the key word here:
Gradually in percentage is wise, 8% now, 8% at Chritmas etc.
Gradually in the sense that you don't do it with every customer. Choose them according to your own taste, what they order, how they treat you, what they demand from you, how well and how fast they pay.

There is no law saying that you must charge every customer the same price.

Be choosy and go for it!

Mats Wiman


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Olav Rixen
Canada
Local time: 16:23
English to German
+ ...
Go for it Jun 10, 2007

20 percent is maybe a little too much, but it also depends on how long you have been working at the same rate. I don't know what the inflation rate is in your country, but (almost) everyone will have to understand that you have to adjust for it at some time, so it is reasonable to tack it on for every year you've worked at the old rate.
I have raised my rate by 11 % almost 2 year ago, and it really hasn't hurt me at all. In fact, I'm now busier than ever. There will always be agencies that only consider the cheapest translators, but do you really want to work with those and rely on them? If you consistently deliver quality translations on time, the 'good' agencies will appreciate that fact and continue to work with you, even at a higher rate, because they know what they've got in you. Besides, ober the long term the agencies will raise their prices, too.
So go ahead and raise your rate, making sure to give them at least a month's notice.


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:23
French to English
+ ...
Be flexible Jun 10, 2007

I think the key here is to be flexible. I raised my rates (after a long gap!) last year and most of my clients accepted without demur. However, a couple of clients did hold their hands up in horror; I'd only been working with one of these for just over a year, they send me lots of work, with no formatting issues and pay very promptly, so I was happy to let that one go, but I did say I would increase my rates this year - which I've now done. The other one, a direct client, said they really weren't happy with the increase, but we were able to reach a compromise in that I now charge them an urgent surcharge for translations required within 4 days - i.e. most of their requests! Honour was satisfied on both sides. In saying that, my increase was only in the region of about 5%.

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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
I negotiate new rates for new projects Jun 10, 2007

My rates are based on my estimated required time, so I negotiate them according to the peculiarity of each project. Along with the adjustments for the exchange rates I discovered enough opportunities to round up my quotations when the time had come.

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Nina Khmielnitzky  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:23
Member (2004)
English to French
Go progressively Jun 10, 2007

When I decided to raise my rate, I sent a letter to all my clients (direct ones) saying at that date, I will raise my rate by 1 cent. It doesn't seem much to them, but eventually, I'll do it again, so their rate will be the same as the one I quote to new clients.

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xxxamj_services  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:23
Proz Article Jun 12, 2007

Check out this Article on how to negotiate more:
http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/531/

It has very useful information!

Alicia


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