Newbie question: What to do when we get a job?
Thread poster: Abd Rahman
Abd Rahman

Local time: 07:36
Malay to English
+ ...
Oct 19, 2011

Hi there, I'm still new to this. I got my first job and it's just a 6 words for a signboard! Anyway, I don't plan to bill the client on this, but is it usual for translators to bill client even for 6 words? Also, must there always be a PO as I noticed there is a column for PO# in the invoice. Where to I read about the steps one must take once one gets a new job? Sorry... a bit blank.

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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:36
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Some thiings to bear in mind Oct 19, 2011

1.- There should always be a signed contract (if with an end-client it should be your contract, if with an agency it will usually be their contract), if it is going to be a recurring client, you can sign a contract which covers all future jobs, this is always the case with agencies. The contract should include things like rate, delivery date, delivery format, payment terms, penalties for late payments, dispute resolution mechanism, etc.

2.- If working with an agency there should be a PO (no need for PO with end client, the contract serves as your PO). The PO will give the details of the job, such as languages, rate, deadline, etc.

3.- You need to have a minimum rate you charge regardless of project size. I personally make it the equivalent of 30 minutes of my time.


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SBlack
French to English
+ ...
Never work for free Oct 19, 2011

Welcome to the profession.

Set a minimum fee precisely for jobs like these. Check out some profiles for ideas of an acceptable minimum fee.

PO means purchase order, and you do not prepare it: the agency does. Do not work without a purchase order, which is your contract with the agency proving they agreed to your price estimate and payment terms. If you have no PO, you cannot sue a non-paying agency for payment.

I would suggest contacting your local translators' association or chamber of commerce to learn how to issue a quote.

Also, read some books on business, geared towards the service industry. Remember that as a translator, you are not the agency's occasional employee, but rather a service provider.


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Eliane Albuquerque  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:36
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
what is a PO? Oct 19, 2011

what is a PO?

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Jānis Greivuls
Latvia
Local time: 01:36
Member
English to Latvian
+ ...
PO Oct 19, 2011

Eliane Albuquerque wrote:

what is a PO?


Purchase Order (or Work Order)


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Abd Rahman

Local time: 07:36
Malay to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
do i have to request PO or is it normally given? Oct 19, 2011

thanks guys. So I should expect a PO from them before proceeding with the job, or if they don't email it, I ask for one?


SBlack wrote:

Welcome to the profession.

Set a minimum fee precisely for jobs like these. Check out some profiles for ideas of an acceptable minimum fee.

PO means purchase order, and you do not prepare it: the agency does. Do not work without a purchase order, which is your contract with the agency proving they agreed to your price estimate and payment terms. If you have no PO, you cannot sue a non-paying agency for payment.

I would suggest contacting your local translators' association or chamber of commerce to learn how to issue a quote.

Also, read some books on business, geared towards the service industry. Remember that as a translator, you are not the agency's occasional employee, but rather a service provider.


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Abd Rahman

Local time: 07:36
Malay to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Oct 19, 2011

thanks, will keep these in mind

Alex Lago wrote:

1.- There should always be a signed contract (if with an end-client it should be your contract, if with an agency it will usually be their contract), if it is going to be a recurring client, you can sign a contract which covers all future jobs, this is always the case with agencies. The contract should include things like rate, delivery date, delivery format, payment terms, penalties for late payments, dispute resolution mechanism, etc.

2.- If working with an agency there should be a PO (no need for PO with end client, the contract serves as your PO). The PO will give the details of the job, such as languages, rate, deadline, etc.

3.- You need to have a minimum rate you charge regardless of project size. I personally make it the equivalent of 30 minutes of my time.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:36
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Bill for it Oct 19, 2011

Abd Rahman wrote:
I got my first job and it's just a 6 words for a signboard! Anyway, I don't plan to bill the client on this, but is it usual for translators to bill client even for 6 words?


Yes, it is normal to bill a client at least for 1 hour's work (even if it is just 6 words). Once you are established, you can do small free jobs for very regular clients, or if you feel like it. Or, sometimes I get queries from people (sometimes clients, sometimes private people), that aren't really jobs but simply language related queries that I don't mind answering quickly, so I don't charge for that either. But your normal course of action should be to charge money for work that you do.

Also, must there always be a PO as I noticed there is a column for PO# in the invoice.


The PO is the purchase order, and companies that regularly buy translations will usually issue one. It is essentially a formal confirmation of all of the job details, and some clients attach it and some clients paste it in-line in the e-mail. It is basically the client saying "go ahead, do this, and I promise to pay for it". You can create your own purchase order for use with clients who don't send you a purchase order, so that you can send it to the client and then the client can simply say "yes, I accept your summary of what we have agreed the job is".

I suggest you use full words, i.e. "purchase order" when asking for one, because not everyone knows what the abbreviations mean. For example, the PO is called a "work order" in some places, so that client would not know what a "PO" is unless they've heard about it before.


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Sushan Harshe
India
Local time: 05:06
English to Hindi
+ ...
I love work; it fascinates me! Oct 20, 2011

I love work; it fascinates me; I can sit and watch it for hours!

Hi Rahman,

I think as a new beeeeeee; you should not think about POs, WOs, Invoicing, Rates, Payments Conditions, Minimum Rates, types of translations, Number Domains and....bla, bla, bla..; because this may just confuse you or may make worried.

First get established in this world of professionals, and unless you get your hands burnt, you can't!

And, than there will not be any questions of this kind.

Welcome Aboard!!

Sushan


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Abd Rahman

Local time: 07:36
Malay to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
PO Oct 20, 2011

Thanks Samuel. So if the amount is like $0.60, I assume we just consider that as something they owe till we get a bigger job from them, as they can't pay such a small amount.


Samuel Murray wrote:


The PO is the purchase order, and companies that regularly buy translations will usually issue one. It is essentially a formal confirmation of all of the job details, and some clients attach it and some clients paste it in-line in the e-mail. It is basically the client saying "go ahead, do this, and I promise to pay for it". You can create your own purchase order for use with clients who don't send you a purchase order, so that you can send it to the client and then the client can simply say "yes, I accept your summary of what we have agreed the job is".

I suggest you use full words, i.e. "purchase order" when asking for one, because not everyone knows what the abbreviations mean. For example, the PO is called a "work order" in some places, so that client would not know what a "PO" is unless they've heard about it before.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:36
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
No, don't let them "owe" you Oct 20, 2011

Abd Rahman wrote:
So if the amount is like $0.60, I assume we just consider that as something they owe till we get a bigger job from them, as they can't pay such a small amount.


If it is a very regular client and you receive several jobs per month, that you can add up on a single invoice, then you can do that -- add them up. But generally it is not a good idea to let a client "owe" you something until his next jobs comes along. It is bad for your bookkeeping (and the client's, too).

If the amount is $0.60, then write on the invoice "Minimum fee, $25.00" and don't mention the lower amount at all.

Remember, you have to tell the client from the beginning that he's going to pay $25.00 for the small job, otherwise he might reject your invoice.


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Abd Rahman

Local time: 07:36
Malay to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
minimum amount Oct 20, 2011

ok lesson learnt. Next time, I will send them a PO immediately upon confirmation, stating minimum rates too! Consider the 0.60 my tuition fee. Thanks man!

Samuel Murray wrote:

Abd Rahman wrote:
So if the amount is like $0.60, I assume we just consider that as something they owe till we get a bigger job from them, as they can't pay such a small amount.


If it is a very regular client and you receive several jobs per month, that you can add up on a single invoice, then you can do that -- add them up. But generally it is not a good idea to let a client "owe" you something until his next jobs comes along. It is bad for your bookkeeping (and the client's, too).

If the amount is $0.60, then write on the invoice "Minimum fee, $25.00" and don't mention the lower amount at all.

Remember, you have to tell the client from the beginning that he's going to pay $25.00 for the small job, otherwise he might reject your invoice.


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