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Poll: What is your greatest business challenge as a freelancer?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:53
SITE STAFF
Nov 18, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What is your greatest business challenge as a freelancer?".

This poll was originally submitted by Todd Field

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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Bulent Taylan  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 01:53
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
All of the above Nov 18, 2008

My answer is not listed in the given choices.

It is ALL OF THE ABOVE


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Karin Usher
Local time: 23:53
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
My option was not there either... Nov 18, 2008

I find that the most difficult task is to balance work and private life. Sometimes work takes over my family life and other times it is the opposite.

Very difficult to juggle it all when you have young children!!!


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Ma. Fernanda Blesa  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 19:53
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Administrative tasks Nov 18, 2008

For me it's all the administrative, non-translation related side of the business, I just don't like doing it... too bad it's essential if I want to get paid...

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:53
English to Portuguese
+ ...
All of the above Nov 18, 2008

It's a balancing act. I have a few others too, but most of them are country-specific.

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Josée Desbiens
Canada
Local time: 18:53
English to French
Maintaining a dependable customer base Nov 18, 2008

was my answer. In fact, once you remove out of your list those outsourcers that don't pay enough, don't give you enough time to do a nice job or send you texts in areas you are not specialized, there are not that much left...

I have been trying to maintain a dependable customer base for more than three years now but I always have to start over for reasons that are not linked to the quality of my work (agencies that don't have enough final clients, others that I had to leave because they did not pay or compagnies and organizations that only had one shut need for translation etc.). As for direct clients, that would offer me quite steady work, I never had to chance to "grab" one.

Translation is a jungle and sometimes I am really fed up to make faces as a monkey!!!!


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Catherine Winzer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:53
German to English
+ ...
All of the above Nov 18, 2008

Others got there before me, but that was my first thought!

Right now I'm overloaded with work, but there have been other times when the challenge was dealing with slow periods. I've never had anyone fail to pay, but a couple of clients have taken some time and I've started to wonder how to deal with it if the payment doesn't come.

I actually clicked on "low rates" in the end.


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andres-larsen
Venezuela
Local time: 18:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Managing erratic income flow in spite of my low rates Nov 18, 2008

Managing erratic income flow in spite of my low rates as I currently have few translation outsourcing vendor customers abroad

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Chun Un  Identity Verified
Macau
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Managing work overloads Nov 18, 2008

Being a translator, interpreter and editor, I find my workload overwhelming from time to time.

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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:53
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Balancing Nov 18, 2008

Karin Usher wrote:
I find that the most difficult task is to balance work and private life. Sometimes work takes over my family life and other times it is the opposite.
Very difficult to juggle it all when you have young children!!!


I agree with Karin. Trying to balance work and the family has always been the biggest problem for me being a committed workaholic with a full schedule. Problems start when something unexpected happens such as customers sending extra files (just a few forgotten pages (10!) ) or illness or even silly things like my oven that died. It has just taken me 6 weeks to find time to go out and look for a new one, luckily the hob was still working. My kids are old enough to fend for themselves and even offer to cook sometimes when things are really tight (probably because they know that is the only way they are going to get something decent to eat!).


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:53
German to English
+ ...
Work-life balance & saying no Nov 18, 2008

Definitely. Work-life balance. Saying no. Scheduling time for sports and recreation.

Gillian Scheibelein wrote:

I agree with Karin. Trying to balance work and the family has always been the biggest problem for me being a committed workaholic with a full schedule. Problems start when something unexpected happens such as customers sending extra files (just a few forgotten pages (10!) ) or illness or even silly things like my oven that died. It has just taken me 6 weeks to find time to go out and look for a new one, luckily the hob was still working. My kids are old enough to fend for themselves and even offer to cook sometimes when things are really tight (probably because they know that is the only way they are going to get something decent to eat!).


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 18:53
Balancing Nov 18, 2008

Balancing between private life and job, and balancing among translation job and other jobs is the biggest problem I have been facing.

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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Late/non-payers Nov 18, 2008

The biggest invoicing challenge I had last year was for the smallest bill I presented to a direct client (a public administration).

If it weren't for the fact that I needed it to square the books and present tax payments, etc, I would have let it go.

It took months of emails, phone calls, and so on to get a response and solve the problem.

The worst of all is that they recently had the nerve to write me and ask me to do a new job. I referred them to a translation agency I've worked for, which is also bad at paying on time. I was more than happy to play matchmaker for the two of them. I saw the arrangement I worked out between them as a “Godzilla vs. King Kong or Alien vs. Predator” type of situation. Now they can hassle each other instead of me.


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Caroline Rösler  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 18:53
Member (2008)
English to German
+ ...
Balancing work and private life, me too! Nov 18, 2008

Karin Usher wrote:

I find that the most difficult task is to balance work and private life. Sometimes work takes over my family life and other times it is the opposite.

Very difficult to juggle it all when you have young children!!!



I agree with Karin. I have two little children and life is difficult to plan during this period just as the work load which is really unpredictable.


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Sara Senft  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
They're all tough Nov 18, 2008

All of those tasks are difficult for me. I'm still getting established, so I have the extra challenge of getting and maintaining regular clients.

--Srta Sara

(who needs to start preparing for an interpreting assignment she has in less than 3 hours!)


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