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Poll: What percentage of your income is generated by your most important client?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:57
SITE STAFF
Mar 30, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What percentage of your income is generated by your most important client?".

This poll was originally submitted by Marie-Helene Hayles

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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Dan Marasescu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 06:57
Member (2003)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Interesting results Mar 30, 2006

But one option is missing: I don't have a main client. I have several clients sending me important volumes.

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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:57
Italian to English
+ ...
That's why I put in N/A! Mar 30, 2006

I'm fascinated by the results - I would never have expected so many of us to be relying on one large client. My most important client accounted for about 1/3 of my income last year, but so far this year has been well over half - it remains to be seen whether this volume remains constant for the whole year or not.

As for translators with several important clients, I put in "N/A" for that and other possibilites (such as lots of very small clients).


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:57
Dutch to English
+ ...
7 main clients who send me regular large volumes Mar 30, 2006

Dan Marasescu wrote:

But one option is missing: I don't have a main client. I have several clients sending me important volumes.


I am in the same situation as Dan.


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:57
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Never rely on a single source of work Mar 30, 2006

I have always considered unwise to rely on a single major source for my work. I consider ideal to have, on yearly basis, 3-4 regular larger customers and 4 to 6 minor customers.

The reason is obvious: if a single source of work gets as important as 60%-70% or more, in case it dries up, for whatever reason, my activity would almost grind to a halt for months.

Last year I had 70% of my work from just 3 customers, and all the rest from about 12, regulars and occasional one-off requests.

be safe
Gianfranco




[Modificato alle 2006-03-30 09:07]


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 06:57
English to German
+ ...
same here Mar 30, 2006

Gianfranco Manca wrote:

I have always considered unwise to rely on a single major source for my work. I consider ideal to have, on yearly basis, 3-4 regular larger customers and 4 to 6 minor customers.

The reason is obvious: if a single source of work gets as important as 60%-70% or more, in case it dries up, for whatever reason, my activity would almost grind to a halt for months.

Last year I had 70% of my work from just 3 customers, and all the rest from about 12, regulars and occasional one-off requests.

be safe
Gianfranco




[Modificato alle 2006-03-30 09:07]
I go with Gianfranco. Additionally also I have seen how the work gets more and more complicated, while price being almost constant. The customer puts a gun at you. It is better to maintain safe distance. Best Brandis


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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 00:57
German to English
Percentage of income provided by a single client Mar 30, 2006

... is how I interpreted the poll question. This might mean the volume of work supplied by a single client, other things being equal.

I work with a relatively small number of clients who regularly send me work, and I turn down as many jobs as I accept. If one of my clients goes out of business or decides I'm too expensive, I might suffer a temporary drop in income, but I generally don't depend on a single client to provide more than 25% of my income. This figure may fluctuate during any given quarter, depending upon whether I've taken on large projects or not.


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:57
Member (2003)
French to Italian
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Me too Mar 30, 2006

Additionally also I have seen how the work gets more and more complicated, while price being almost constant. The customer puts a gun at you. It is better to maintain safe distance. Best Brandis


I have 4 main clients and 8-9 smaller clients I prefer for the reason already explained by Gianfraco and Brandis

By bye Angio

[Edited at 2006-03-30 18:17]


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:57
German to English
+ ...
Common business sense Mar 30, 2006

Gianfranco Manca wrote:

I have always considered unwise to rely on a single major source for my work. I consider ideal to have, on yearly basis, 3-4 regular larger customers and 4 to 6 minor customers.



[Modificato alle 2006-03-30 09:07]


How true!

I was really surprised to see the results.

The 'best customer' may, of course, vary from year to year.

I prefer to work with people I know and trust. A small and selected client base which is carefully extended. If one of them were to 'go walkabouts', it's not a disaster.


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:57
Italian to English
+ ...
I agree, best not to rely to heavily on a single source Mar 31, 2006

Even though my most important client is an agency, 90% of that work comes from a single end client.

But I'm not too worried, as I get offered more work than I can handle from other sources too - so if something catastrophic did happen, I should be able to get my work volume up again without too much trouble.

[Edited at 2006-03-31 09:18]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 06:57
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I know, I know! But... Mar 31, 2006

I know should not rely on one major client, but in fact I do!

A second is pushing its way up, and in February for the first time my second largest client actually provided more than 50% of my income, and in March the two biggest are about 50-50.

On average at least one completely new client contacts me every month, and at least one other occasional client sends me a job.

I regularly say no thanks when I cannot meet their deadlines because I am simply too busy, and many come back later anyway.

I have stopped worrying about the two big clients. Both are group agencies with offices in several countries, and both offer me more work than I can take on. They pay on the dot and are helpful, and although their rates are not princely, they send TMs where appropriate, or I build up my own, and I know their end clients, so I can concentrate on doing their jobs well. There are big advantages in having such good relations with them.

Although I work in a niche language pair, I cover several sections of the market, and it would take a real doomsday situation for both those clients to dry up as sources of work.

And at the end of the day, financially I could survive a couple of months with no work at all, so if I did lose one of the two big clients I could perhaps work up other clients and get back on track.

Not everyone is that lucky, and it has taken time for me to get here, but now I'm just taking care not to rock the boat!

Have a nice weekend everyone!



[Edited at 2006-03-31 12:32]


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