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Poll: How many regular clients do you have?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:17
SITE STAFF
Jul 15, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How many regular clients do you have?".

This poll was originally submitted by Elisabete Cunha

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Αlban SHPΑTΑ  Identity Verified
Albania
Partial member (2008)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Don't think this is the right place Jul 15, 2008

to publish the number of my regulars I am sure people will vote but I am not sure how many will participate in discussions. Clients will always remain one of my best hidden secrets.

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Sonja Allen  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:17
Member (2005)
English to German
Depends Jul 15, 2008

on what you define by regular. Some agencies you hear from only once or twice a year. Others you hear from 3 times in a month and then you hear nothing the next two months or more until they come again with one or several jobs. And yet there are those (my favourite) from which you get some job nearly every week.
I have many agencies I get repeatedly jobs from but when it comes to those that actually provide me with a nearly steady work flow there are just a few.


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:17
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
What does "regular" mean? Jul 15, 2008

What was it meant with "regular"? How often is "regular"?

[Edited at 2008-07-15 14:17]


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neilmac
Spain
Local time: 01:17
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I have 5 to 10 Jul 15, 2008

..who fit into the category of regular (definition: even; occurring at fixed intervals).
Some on a weekly basis, some more monthly, some maybe even only one or twice a year, depending on their needs, but they are all regular in the sense that they always come back, regardless of the frequency.

PS:) anyone still not regular could try some all bran...


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:17
Italian to English
+ ...
10-20 Jul 15, 2008

Only 2 or 3 whom I work for every month (or almost), but another dozen or so who contact me several times a year and have done so for several years. Both of these caegories include direct clients and agencies.

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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 00:17
Dutch to English
+ ...
5-10 Jul 15, 2008

I deliberately have 5 in the 'inner circle', collectively making up around 75-80% of my monthly income, in more or less equal proportions over the year. I've been working with each of these for quite a few years now and they normally pay within two weeks of invoicing, but in any event well within 30 days.

Requests are normally daily, but at least weekly. Obviously I can't take all the requests, but generally manage to take every second request at least by keeping them aware of my schedule.

The other 4-5 are in the outer circle. All pay strictly within 30 days and make up 20-25% of my monthly income. Requests are at least weekly. I have to turn them down more often, but make a point of taking at least one or two jobs a month to keep them active.

These are ready to be moved into the 'inner circle' if an inner circle client defaults, misbehaves, etc. Touch wood it hasn't been necessary since implementing this system.

I'm not interested in one-off jobs or working with clients who don't have a constant demand for my language pairs. Nearly all of these clients also specialise in legal/financial translations or are lawyers themselves, so it's a system that suits both sides.


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Elisabete Cunha  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 00:17
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Regular clients Jul 15, 2008

Hi there

My intention was not to disclose the number of regular clients that each of us has, but just to have an idea.
Of course the concept "regular" may have different interpretations according to each translator. For me a client is regular when he sends me at least one assignment each 1-2 months. That said, I have 10-20 who fulfill this criteria.

[Edited at 2008-07-15 18:01]

[Edited at 2008-07-15 18:21]


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:17
German to English
+ ...
Keep them happy and profit from it Jul 15, 2008

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

I deliberately have 5 in the 'inner circle', collectively making up around 75-80% of my monthly income, in more or less equal proportions over the year. I've been working with each of these for quite a few years now and they normally pay within two weeks of invoicing, but in any event well within 30 days.

Requests are normally daily, but at least weekly. Obviously I can't take all the requests, but generally manage to take every second request at least by keeping them aware of my schedule.


Same here. Weekly people, mostly. Some almost daily.

So if I understand the stats correctly (given the vague aspect of the question) very many work with a large but generally non-recurring client base?

Not the best way for a business plan. Marketing called for? If you have a client that you like working with, then be nice to them, give of your best, generate a sound working relationship. Maybe even turn other work down so that you can be on standby.

When you have time, think about ways of approaching profitable clients and go for it.

Maybe a bit of a risk, but think of it as an investment in the future. I did.

Cheers
Chris


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:17
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I find myself thinking Jul 16, 2008

my idea of regular wouldn't agree with the tax man's. Those take a long view of things...

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Ikram Mahyuddin  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 07:17
Member (2006)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
No need too much regular clients Jul 16, 2008

At present, I have 2-3 regular clients. Actually, that will be enough if they give me significant amount of jobs

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Catherine GUILLIAUMET  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:17
English to French
+ ...
The dangers of a too narrow circle of clients Jul 16, 2008

Good morning everybody !
I'm sincerely dumbfounded when I see the large proportion of you who have so few "regular" clients. I was like you some years ago : I had been working with one client for more than 13 years. This client represented approx. 65 % of my annual income.
When one of the 2 associates died suddenly, the survivor decided to stop every activity, in less than 2 weeks. So, I had to pay the very heavy French taxes and mandatory expenses (the latter been calcuated on the basis of your annual income of 2 years behind) while having lost more than the half of my normal income.
Believe me : it took me more 3 years to restore my situation !
Now, I have decided that I won't be any longer in such a situation, never! never!
So, I manage my business in order to work with several good clients (around 15).
Be careful, protect yourself against the backfiring effects of a too limited circle of clients.
Catherine


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 00:17
Dutch to English
+ ...
Eggs in baskets Jul 16, 2008

Catherine GUILLIAUMET wrote:

Good morning everybody !
I'm sincerely dumbfounded when I see the large proportion of you who have so few "regular" clients. I was like you some years ago : I had been working with one client for more than 13 years. This client represented approx. 65 % of my annual income.
When one of the 2 associates died suddenly, the survivor decided to stop every activity, in less than 2 weeks. So, I had to pay the very heavy French taxes and mandatory expenses (the latter been calcuated on the basis of your annual income of 2 years behind) while having lost more than the half of my normal income.
Believe me : it took me more 3 years to restore my situation !
Now, I have decided that I won't be any longer in such a situation, never! never!
So, I manage my business in order to work with several good clients (around 15).
Be careful, protect yourself against the backfiring effects of a too limited circle of clients.
Catherine


You're quite right Catherine, although I personally wouldn't be able to keep 15 different clients happy. It simply wouldn't work with my business model as the key to keeping the work flowing from lawyers (whose work is always urgent) is really trying not to turn down 'inner circle' clients twice in a row. Obviously it happens, but it's the exception to the rule.

In any case, we all have different situations, but it's important - as you highlight - not to have all your eggs in one basket. In my case, I spread the risk with the 'two-circle system'. If one stopped trading, I could easily take on more work from the remaining four members of the inner circle and then move an outer circle client in to gradually take their place.


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xanthippe  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:17
Member (2008)
Italian to French
+ ...
regular clients.... Jul 16, 2008

for me a regular client is a client who gives me at least 10 translations in a year.

I agree with Catherine (who gives an example of Pareto's law ....) : we have to avoid to have 1 client who represents more than 20 % of our incoming.

(as usually, sorry for my broken english .....)


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Satto (Roberto)  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 19:17
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
As a novel merchandising method, please send your client lists! Jul 16, 2008

We are currently managing a VIP listing with clients, please send me you client lists with all the details.

Thank you!

So..no lists here? What happened? My inbox isn't clogged with emails.

Just think for a moment how many people seem to fall into these "outrages" emails every day. I say this because of the myriads of spoof emails we all receive every day: Most from African countries "donating" funds or the UK lottery, we keep on winning, etc.

If these people weren't having so much success they wouldn't be so adamant sending hundreds of emails every day!

Just a reminder..why? because every once in a while I get a proz mail with these kind offers! Be aware!


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