Starting Off: Setting Rates, Proforma Invoice, Etc.
Thread poster: Connor Chess

Connor Chess
United States
Local time: 07:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
Nov 28, 2018

Hi,

I recently had a client reach out to me requesting a proforma invoice/charges delivery time. This will be my first client through you all. I am excited but not sure how to proceed. Can you give me some guidance as to how to follow up.

What I do know is that my rate for: words per minute is min: 00.07 max: 00.15 / hourly is: min:35.00 max: 42.00. She is also requesting that I proofread as well, and that I add on the additional charges to the final price estimate. Rev
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Hi,

I recently had a client reach out to me requesting a proforma invoice/charges delivery time. This will be my first client through you all. I am excited but not sure how to proceed. Can you give me some guidance as to how to follow up.

What I do know is that my rate for: words per minute is min: 00.07 max: 00.15 / hourly is: min:35.00 max: 42.00. She is also requesting that I proofread as well, and that I add on the additional charges to the final price estimate. Revision/proofreading rates: per word (.03-.07).

These all depend on the deadline which she hasn't told me, and I'm not exactly sure how long it will take. Do I air on the safe side? Do I drop my prices because this is my first client? Just need some guidance starting off. I've scanned the document and it is long but not too complex.

Thanks for your help.
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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:36
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
see other forum Nov 28, 2018

There's a forum on this subject: https://www.proz.com/forum/getting_established-15.html

Also, you'd better proofread your work. Better not to err, but if you have to, don't air.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:36
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Congratulations, but do take care Nov 28, 2018

Connor Chess wrote:
What I do know is that my rate for: words per minute is min: 00.07 max: 00.15 / hourly is: min:35.00 max: 42.00. She is also requesting that I proofread as well, and that I add on the additional charges to the final price estimate. Revision/proofreading rates: per word (.03-.07).

Having a range is fine for a first contact. However, a job quote needs a fixed rate, so the client knows how much it will cost. This is why it's so important to see and assess the text before quoting. I see you've got that covered.

I find it odd that you mention paid proofreading. She's paying you extra to proofread your own work? That's normally part of the translation process. It's not a good idea to deliver typos, after all! Clients only normally pay extra for a "second pair of eyes", in other words if you engage a proofreader. Although that isn't an unusual request, not from a direct client at any rate, you do need to be careful about agreeing to it. You will be contracted to pay the proofreader. If the client is late paying you, or never pays (hopefully that won't happen, but ... ), you will actually be out of pocket.

These all depend on the deadline which she hasn't told me, and I'm not exactly sure how long it will take.

Clients sometimes give their deadlines, and sometimes ask when you can deliver.

As this is a new client, you first need time to thoroughly check them out. Visit the Scam Centre on this site and see if this offer resembles any of the well-known scams, then scan the recent threads in the Scams forum, and then check out the ProZ.com Wiki on risk management for translators. Even when you've performed all the checking suggested there, you might want to do some more. Don't let yourself be scammed. Once you're happy, make sure that everything is put in black and white and agreed, as that constitutes your contract: general stuff such as client details for the invoice, payment method, payment period, etc., plus job-related details: per-word rate, volume, files to be received/delivered, any formatting needed, specific terminology to be used, etc. That all needs to be taken care of before work starts.

You'll need to allow enough time to translate the text and proofread it yourself. Work on a sample number of words or work for a set amount of time, and then extrapolate, if it helps you to estimate what's needed. Then you need to add in time for other activities -- marketing and emails even if you don't have other paid jobs. Then you should preferably add in some time to allow for time away from the text before going back for a final read through (overnight is best). You need to allow a good chunk of time for a proofreader to do their work, and to be late delivering it! Finally, always allow some contingency as power outages, lack of internet connections, etc. are a fact of life.

I personally would advise making sure you have ample time for any new client's job. Rushing into working for a new client can easily end in tears. Once you have an established working relationship with a client then you can start cutting corners.

Do I drop my prices because this is my first client?

No, don't reduce your per-word rate. Instead, be prepared to take as long as it takes to produce a quality, fit-for-purpose translation. That will mean you'll be working for a lower per-hour rate until you speed up.


Teresa Borges
Walter Landesman
Connor Chess
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:36
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Recently reported scam Nov 28, 2018

Connor Chess wrote:
I recently had a client reach out to me requesting a proforma invoice/charges delivery time.


The "proforma invoice" and "charges" sounds very similar to a recently reported scam:
https://www.proz.com/forum/scams/330580-does_this_sound_like_a_legitimate_inquiry.html
(asking for a pro forma invoice and/or charges is by itself not suspicious, but check out that thread)


Walter Landesman
Connor Chess
 

Connor Chess
United States
Local time: 07:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the Help! Dec 1, 2018

Thank you all for your help! I appreciate the guidance.

 

Werner Pfarr
France
Local time: 16:36
New user
French to German
+ ...
Received the same document from melanieland77@gmail.com Nov 3

Thanks to everyone here for sharing your experience. I received the same document for translation to German from melanieland77. I'm glad I didn't provide any bank account information yet, and haven't spent too much time on starting to translate the text...

 


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