Raising your rates - should you inform all clients?
Thread poster: LegalTransform

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:47
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sep 24, 2011

I will be raising my rates next month for new clients and clients who only provide me with occasional work. In particular, I am going to double my minimum fee. My question is whether or not I should inform my other clients about this change. I can see both the pros and cons of doing so.

Something like: Effective October 1, 2011, my minimum per-word rate for translation will be increased to x.xx and my new minimum fee will be increased to $150.00. However, due to our excellent and long-term relationship, my rates for xxxx will remain the same.

[Edited at 2011-09-24 13:18 GMT]


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:47
Member (2004)
English to Italian
So... Sep 24, 2011

are you going to reveal the names of your clients to everybody? Or, if you are sending individual e-mails, what's the point in informing them that you are raising the rates for other clients, but not for them? It would just sound "funny"... or, at least, I would find it strange, i.e., look how nice I am being to you...

[Edited at 2011-09-24 13:28 GMT]


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:47
Hebrew to English
Not sure.... Sep 24, 2011

Jeff Whittaker wrote:
However, due to our excellent and long-term relationship, my rates for xxxx will remain the same.

[Edited at 2011-09-24 13:18 GMT]



I would caution you against including the last line (if the statement was meant for a mass mailing) because despite the fact that you have good reasons for keeping your rates the same for those clients with an excellent and long-term relationship, to those clients who you intend on charging more, they might see it as unfair favouritism and they may question your logic, i.e. some clients may feel they have a better relationship with you than you think of them and might question you as to why they aren't on this VIP list.

Just a thought...


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:47
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Peremptory Sep 24, 2011

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

I will be raising my rates next month for new clients and clients who only provide me with occasional work. In particular, I am going to double my minimum fee. My question is whether or not I should inform my other clients about this change. I can see both the pros and cons of doing so.

Something like: Effective October 1, 2011, my minimum per-word rate for translation will be increased to x.xx and my new minimum fee will be increased to $150.00. However, due to our excellent and long-term relationship, my rates for xxxx will remain the same.

[Edited at 2011-09-24 13:18 GMT]


This all sounds very peremptory, Jeff - and comes at an inexplicable time of year. I don't know what your clients are like but I hope they'll go along with this.

The way I do it is, I leave my most important (i.e. regular) clients alone for as long as I can, and for others I slightly increase my rate on a job-by-job basis. Then when enough time has passed (say, 2 years) for my regular clients not to be able to reasonably object, I inform them that I've been holding my rates down for them but that increasing costs, inflation, etc. mean that as of [date] I shall be increasing my basic tariff to [the absolute minimum increased rate]. I do this on a case-by-case basis and not to everyone.

I don't think a 360° loud-hailer announcement would work for me. I might lose some clients. I hope it works for you.

[Edited at 2011-09-24 13:36 GMT]


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:47
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for the responses Sep 24, 2011

This would be an individual letter sent to each company and not a mass mailing. You are probably right and this would only lead to confusion and hurt feelings.

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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:47
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Great idea Sep 24, 2011

Tom in London wrote:

The way I do it is, I leave my most important (i.e. regular) clients alone for as long as I can, and for others I slightly increase my rate on a job-by-job basis. Then when enough time has passed (say, 2 years) for my regular clients not to be able to reasonably object, I inform them that I've been holding my rates down for them but that increasing costs, inflation, etc. mean that as of [date] I shall be increasing my basic tariff to [the absolute minimum increased rate]. I do this on a case-by-case basis and not to everyone.



That is a great idea and certainly better than a cold letter! But should I gradually increase my minimum fee as well? My main goal is to try and transition away from multiple (and sometimes time-consuming) smaller jobs (unless they are for customers who also provide me with a lot of larger projects).


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:47
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Rate as a throttle Sep 24, 2011

Well, if you are raising your rates for new customers and low-volume customers, it means that you feel that you have plenty of interesting work overall and are not really interested in more work unless the extra effort pays financially. It is also possible that your past years of work have been very profitable for you and you now need less money for debt, mortgage, and a retirement scheme, and that you have an urge to "have a life".

If I was in this all-favourable position (not yet), this is what I would do: I would have a nice coffee outside with a list of customers and the income they produced over the last years. I'd mark the customers I love to hear from (the ones who always respect my work, pay on time, pay a reasonable rate, send well-prepared jobs) in green and the customers I'd prefer not to have to deal with (the ones who never schedule anything, send complicated work for little money, pay late consistently, or have been rude to me occasionally) in red, and raise the rates to all the red ones. After some months, or a year perhaps, and based on how my income has evolved, I would think about raising the rates to the green customers who mean a smaller figure, and so on gradually upwards over a period of two-three years until I am sure that I am in the exact position I want.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:47
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Rate as a throttle Sep 24, 2011

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Rate as a throttle...


Good points! There is also the issue that in the past you could juggle five-six projects all at once because deadlines were not as tight. Now that deadlines are becoming shorter and shorter, if you agree to work on one project, you often find yourself in the position of having to turn down other potentially more profitable work due to time constraints. Sometimes I get frustrated when I am working on a "difficult" project and I am forced to turn away "easier" work or a translation that would be perfect for me because I cannot meet the deadlines. Of course, that is the nature of freelancing...

[Edited at 2011-09-24 13:56 GMT]


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Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 02:47
Japanese to English
Not so fast Sep 25, 2011

If the price increase only applies to occasional clients, I wouldn't send them an e-mail. I'd wait for the next time they contacted me for a job and then tell them what my new rate is going to be. If they want to cancel the project at that point it's up to them, but I figure most people will stay.

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