Enlarging my activities
Thread poster: Philippe Danjoux
Philippe Danjoux  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:20
English to French
+ ...
Oct 6, 2011

As my partner is Graphic designer, I thought it might be a good idea to add something more to my job as a translator and to offer to potential clients services in graphic design and layout of their documents.

Do you think such an offer would be useless or there is no market at all, or maybe the market is already restricted or whatever? Would the project justify an investment in the software needed (Adobe Creative Suite CS 5.5)?

I have been working as a freelancer for ten years, starting with ProZ in 2001, and my activity is well established, but I work mainly for translation agencies whereas the graphic part of text processing is on the part of the final client, I guess, or of large agencies managing both aspects (translation and layout).


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David Turnbull
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:20
Italian to English
Potential for multilingual typesetting Oct 6, 2011

Hi Phillipe,

Sounds like a good idea to me. Translation agencies (in my experience) often need to typeset the translated document before returning it to their customer.

You will need to ask your agencies whether they do this and find out which programs they use. (I would guess InDesign.)

You can present this as a value-added service to your clients (and they to theirs), as you will prevent any errors being made when (non-linguist) typesetters or designers transfer the bare text to their publication.

Good luck!


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 20:20
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Return on investment Oct 6, 2011

I did what you will try. Since DTP software and hardware prices are high (with frequent change in versions of application programs) in my country, my service fee was set rather high and I had few clients. I find DTP is not truly in the translation market segments and I switched back to concentrate on translation. My ROI was really bad.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:20
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Clarification Oct 6, 2011

Please do not take this as plain curiosity. I will explain later. When you say "my partner", are you meaning a spouse/another kind of stable, long term personal relationship, or a business partner you perhaps share an office with?

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Philippe Danjoux  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:20
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Clarification Oct 6, 2011

I thought that was a good idea. What I envisaged was an addition to my current activities, but still independent so that my partner (to reply to Tomas, personal relationship) could also find other clients of her own. It was just a partnership with me having something new to offer to my clients while she could take advantage of my own network to support her own activity. I would only have to buy the sofware, which wouldn't be a problem to me in a couple of years.

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:20
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Some suggestions Oct 6, 2011

Philippe Danjoux wrote:
I thought that was a good idea. What I envisaged was an addition to my current activities, but still independent so that my partner (to reply to Tomas, personal relationship) could also find other clients of her own. It was just a partnership with me having something new to offer to my clients while she could take advantage of my own network to support her own activity. I would only have to buy the sofware, which wouldn't be a problem to me in a couple of years.


Good. I think it is also a good idea. However, I would recommend to keep things professional between you and your partner about this. Hence:

- Agree upon work rates in advance, agree upon the range of services available, agree upon working times at which you can ask work from her. Why? Because work is work, and you don't want to end up in work arguments with a person you love.

- Let your partner calculate the quotation when a customer of yours asks for DTP work. Do not estimate the effort or delivery time yourself. If possible, use email to communicate with your partner about these things, even if you are sitting 2 meters apart. Why? You want to set and document reasonable expectations when you quote on work you do not master.

- Keep customers separate: your partner will work for your customers through you, and you work for your partner's customers through your partner. Why? This way all customers keep receiving the same service they are used to, and if something should happen between you and your partner in a more personal level, your work (as well as her work) will not be severely affected.

- If you will not use the software yourself (your partner will, I reckon), it is your partner who should foot the bill in my opinion. This way, she will be able to exploit the software the way she sees fit, and will continue to develop her career with the software. If you want to buy her the software as next Christmas' present, for her birthday or an anniversary, that's perfectly alright, but in any case the tools she uses must belong to her fully and you must express that in writing if possible (a nice gift card for instance?). Why? Because it is healthier for your relationship if your partner does not owe you any financial favours in relation to her business.

- Never use your partner's work computer for your work, or viceversa. Why? You don't want to mess around your partner's working tools and potentially jeopardise her other work.

Maybe I am a bit overzelaous about these things, but I really think that, if you want to partner with your partner (on a business level of course), the healthiest way to do it is do it professionally.


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Philippe Danjoux  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:20
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Wow ! Oct 6, 2011

Of course, you're right on nearly everything. The only thing is the acquisition of the software, but that should be settled by a simple donation after some months developing her business and mine. I never use her computer anyway, and she never uses my computers.

I see on your profile that you have Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign. Do you use these software regularly?

Now, for finding clients for her (I've already have more than I can chew for the translating part, and I don't have much research to do in this).

Thank you all!!!

Philippe


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:20
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Donations... in writing please! Oct 6, 2011

Philippe Danjoux wrote:
Of course, you're right on nearly everything. The only thing is the acquisition of the software, but that should be settled by a simple donation after some months developing her business and mine.

Sounds good, but even if this sounds like I am completely nuts, I would suggest that you go to talk business to some place where you never talk business (maybe a new cafetería you can choose for these discussions) and agree upon when, how, and by whom will the donation be done. Put the agreement in writing, making sure that it is clearly recorded as a donation and not a loan. Business is business! Keep your personal relationship healthy with these little things. (I still think it will be better for you to give her the tools as a present, even if step by step, as separate tools.)

Philippe Danjoux wrote:
I see on your profile that you have Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign. Do you use these software regularly?

Yes, indeed. Actually I am lucky since I have someone in the office who is a wizard in these things and takes care of it all. I only use them when I have to do or check something when the DTP person has left already. The tools are used as an additional service for our translation customers, although we sometimes also do pure DTP work.

[Edited at 2011-10-06 17:28 GMT]


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Philippe Danjoux  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:20
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Oct 6, 2011

Thank you, Tomas.

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