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Poll: How many different clients did you invoice last month?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 17:51
SITE STAFF
Nov 3, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How many different clients did you invoice last month?".

This poll was originally submitted by Andrea Jarmuschewski

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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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Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:51
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
11 Nov 3, 2008

But that's rather an exception, it can vary a lot. My average would be from 6 to 8, I guess. But September was only 3, cause I was on holiday and did not take that many assignments.

PS: I'm a bit surprised by the high results for "2-4" so far, maybe it because the poll doesn't have many aswers yet, but I'd be curious to know whether this is a normal situation for those respondents or if this is rather an exception like in my case... I think I would feel a bit unconfortable if I invoiced less than 4 customers every month.

[Edited at 2008-11-03 14:04]


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Miranda Joubioux  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:51
French to English
+ ...
What's the point? Nov 3, 2008

I'm curious to know what made you ask the question.
I don't understand the point of this poll.
For a start it can vary a lot from month to month and it may also vary depending on your own situation, location, etc.


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Andrea Jarmuschewski  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:51
Member (2007)
French to German
+ ...
Curiosity ;-) Nov 3, 2008

Miranda Joubioux wrote:

I'm curious to know what made you ask the question.
I don't understand the point of this poll.
For a start it can vary a lot from month to month and it may also vary depending on your own situation, location, etc.


Well, the point is simple curiosity, and to maybe get a discussion started on what's habitual for peers. Sophie's answer was interesting to me.

I have invoiced 8 different customers last month, and when I check my excel-folder in which I consign my orders/invoices per month, I can see that that is fairly habitual. In September it was 9, in August 8 as well, in July 10 and so on.


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Nathalie White  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 01:51
English to French
+ ...
4 Nov 3, 2008

4 clients only... the reason being because I mainly work on long-term projects with regular clients and invoice them on a monthly basis only.

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Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:51
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Only 4 Nov 3, 2008

But I invoiced one twice (they like bi-monthly invoices). Does that make 5?

My other clients prefer monthly invoices.

Like Nathalie, I generally work for regular clients, but they usually generate a lot of smaller assignments per month. So, I had 10 projects for one client on one invoice, which isn't unusual for me. I only rarely have 1 project on an invoice, and those are larger projects.


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Andrea Jarmuschewski  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:51
Member (2007)
French to German
+ ...
Number of clients invoiced, not number of invoices Nov 3, 2008

Rebecca Garber wrote:

But I invoiced one twice (they like bi-monthly invoices). Does that make 5?

My other clients prefer monthly invoices.

Like Nathalie, I generally work for regular clients, but they usually generate a lot of smaller assignments per month. So, I had 10 projects for one client on one invoice, which isn't unusual for me. I only rarely have 1 project on an invoice, and those are larger projects.


So it's 4, not 5. Most of my regular clients prefer monthly invoices too. This seems to be a widespread habit?


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Nigel Greenwood  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:51
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
+ ...
12 Nov 3, 2008

These are different clients, three of them had 2 invoices, making a total of 15 invoices.

Nigel.


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:51
Italian to English
+ ...
7 Nov 3, 2008

I generally invoice 8 or 9 clients a month, but last month just 7.

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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 01:51
Dutch to English
+ ...
10 Nov 3, 2008

Looking at my annual list, it's between eight and eleven different clients every month. October was ten clients.

I invoice every client bi-monthly or monthly, depending on the accumulated total for that client by the 15th of the month. Nothing worse for me than receiving money in dribs and drabs. If the total for a particular client exceeds EUR 1,500-2,000 by the 15th, I invoice then to limit my exposure.

At least five of these - the 'inner circle' - appear on the list every month.

[Edited at 2008-11-03 17:19]


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 02:51
English to French
+ ...
9 this month Nov 3, 2008

Nearly all my clients are invoiced monthly.
This month, I had 2 invoices covering longer periods: international bank fees are the same for 100 or 3000 USD... The more I have left, the better... it's worth waiting a while.


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Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:51
English to Polish
+ ...
6 this month Nov 3, 2008

But this is highly variable, from 4 to 20+.
I also serve as sworn translator, so the number of invoices depends very much on the number of end customers approaching me any given month.


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Natalie Lyssova
Local time: 03:51
English to Russian
+ ...
Only 2 Nov 3, 2008

Only two clients invoiced last month, simply because at this stage I only work when I'm inclined to . Not that I don't need to earn my living, but I'm on a maternity leave and want to devote most of my time to my kids as long as they need it.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:51
Spanish to English
+ ...
2-4 is enough for me Nov 3, 2008

Maybe it doesn't sound like much but it depends on the amount of work from each one. I still have to issue another invoice for one of my clients - they sent me 2 urgent jobs on Friday so I'll bill them as October.
One of my regular client companies may send me things to translate from their commercial department, or the technical section, or even admin. I bill them for all these on a monthly basis, with a breakdown of who/which dept. ordered the translation. The same client started an online translating mode (for software strings) in July - I receive an email telling me that I have files waiting to translate, then I open them and translate them in situ (the interface is similar to Excel). Then I can either send them translated as they are, or if I have any queries or doubts about terminology, there is a "contextualise" option, which means the file is not accepted as translated until the issue is cleared up, for example, ambiguous abbreviations or regionalisms.
However, I have still not invoiced them for the work done this way since startup in July - I hope to work that out this week, admin is not my forte - but I still haven't decided whether to bill them on a monthly basis as I do for "normal" texts, or per certain number of files translated, for example every 50 files (some contain very little text). So far they owe me about 10K words for English and about 8K for Portuguese.
I also did 2 jobs for the regional govt in October, but for different departments, so I counted that as 2 because I have to bill them separately.
I just realised that one of the bills I issued was for work done in the 3rd quarter - I sometimes bill this particular client quarterly instead of monthly, depending on volume. If I only get 100€ of work from them in a month, I can't be bothered billing them so I wait until the end of the quarter.
All this is probably not very interesting, but I think it goes to show that it doesn't matter the number of clients you have, what is important is the amount of work you get from them. I also omitted to mention the work done in collaboration with translator colleagues, which I don't usually bill for unless they ask...


[Edited at 2008-11-03 21:32]


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 20:51
English to Spanish
2-4 Nov 4, 2008

I'm not sure that polls should have a "point", as people so often seem to require, but to me this is an interesting question to ask of freelancers.

Sophie, does your surprise stem from the fact that 2-4 clients doesn't seem to be a very diversified client portfolio and seems perhaps a bit risky? (I'm not sure I'm putting it right, I hope you get the idea behind my somewhat-mangled English). If so, I have to agree that it does seem a little tight (I mean, if one of them fails, the situation could become rather tricky).

Still, I answered in the 2-4 bracket because last month I invoiced only 2 clients, but both of them for quite big projects. Perhaps a better question would be "on average, how many clients do you invoice per month?" to get a more general picture that takes into account month-to-month and project-to-project variations.

Neilmac, I agree to an extent that what is important is the amount of work you get from yout clients and not the number of clients itsel. On the other hand, if I had 4 really regular clients who sent me a lot of work, I think it would still make me a little uneasy at times to wonder what would happen if one of them stopped requesting my services for whatever reason, since I would basically lose 25% of my client base...

Greetings!

[Edited at 2008-11-04 00:38]


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