How much risk do you take? How to minimize risk with new clients with no previous record?
Thread poster: veratek

veratek
Brazil
Local time: 04:52
French to English
+ ...
Dec 4, 2010

Are you willing to take a risk with a client that advertises a job, but has no record on ProZ? How can one minimize the risk of taking on a new client, with no record, who may present problems once the job is finished? Do you evaluate the client by its type of business, country, etc? Do you ask for any references?

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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 14:52
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Due diligence Dec 4, 2010

A number of methods can be our "due diligence" via Internet. I met with many new clients who are much better than existing clients. "Red flags" are what we can count on against risks.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


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Vadim Kadyrov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 10:52
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
Some reccomendations Dec 5, 2010

In case such a company does not have any blue board records, and it is form Russia/Ukraine/India/China, I would strongly advise you not to start working for them without at least 40-50% of advance payment.

In case they don`t agree to do that, don`t bother and pass them by.


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John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
Part payment in advance Dec 5, 2010

If you can find no information about the firm then simply ask for part payment in advance. Their response will tell you what you need to know about the ethical values of the individual or firm.

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Theo Bernards  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:52
English to Dutch
+ ...
A fixed set of rules helps minimizing the risks Dec 5, 2010

veratek wrote:

... Do you ask for any references?



In one word: no. I maintain a strict non-disclosure principle and don't give references so it would be unfair to ask for them. Here's my standard procedure for vetting new clients:

1. Check the contact details
2. Type in the client's name followed by the word 'scam' in Google and Bing to see if relevant results appear on the first page
3. Look at the website, check the Whois records and grab a screenshot
4. If there is an IP-address: check it via an IP-address lookup service to see if the location matches with the Whois details and/or what the client says
5. check all blacklists on translator portals I can access (I have no access to the Blue Board of Proz)

This usually does the trick for me, although I am sometimes tempted to skip a step or two. If I have any doubts about a client I take on limited assignments and/or ask for partial or full advance payment. That is often a good method to eliminate the fishy ones.

Hope this helps!


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:52
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
ProZ Wiki article on the topic Dec 5, 2010

http://wiki.proz.com/wiki/index.php/Risk_management_for_translators_and_interpreters

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apk12  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:52
English to German
+ ...
Upfront payment, yes Dec 5, 2010

John Rawlins wrote:

If you can find no information about the firm then simply ask for part payment in advance. Their response will tell you what you need to know about the ethical values of the individual or firm.


Absolutely. It's a common practise in freelance business - not only in translation - to ask for upfront payment if there is indeed no verified information about the outsourcer to be found.

For middle size projects, it can be 50%, for larger projects, these can be milestones (like 30% upfront, another 30% upon 50% progress and the final 40% upon final delivery of the last files).


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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Set a credit limit. Dec 5, 2010

Mine is GBP 1,000, and it applies to all my customers.

I'm doing a very large job at the moment, and we've agreed that I invoice them every time their balance reaches that amount, and they pay immediately. As John says, if they're a good company they'll understand your position.


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Mr Florida
Local time: 03:52
German to English
+ ...
Credit limits are ok Dec 6, 2010

... Mine is GBP 1,000 ... I invoice them every time their balance reaches that amount
You bill one client three times a week?

[Edited at 2010-12-06 16:37 GMT]


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