Poll: How many regular clients do you have?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 02:59
Apr 27, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How many regular clients do you have?".

This poll was originally submitted by Bruno Depascale. View the poll results »


Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:59
Turkish to English
+ ...
Other Apr 27, 2011

I once calculated that about 93% of my business is from repeat clients, i.e. clients who were making at least their second order. So, regular clients make up the bulk of my business. However, to answer this question in terms of a precise number, one first needs a definition of 'regular client'. How frequently does a client have to place an order to be deemed regular?


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
6-10 Apr 27, 2011

But I agree with Tim, it depends on how you define "regular".

Apart from academics/universities, which I class separately from my "business" or other area clients, I have 5 or 6 longstanding non-agency customers of over ten years who regularly send me work, although at different intervals. The type of work received from them has changed over time, for example one firm no longer send me their technical manuals, which I believe are now done in situ in their different country bases worldwide as the company has gradually expanded, so now I only do their executive and marketing material, catalogues and press notes etc.

I'm digressing and need to get back to work. Just to sum up, I have no trouble balancing my "regulars" and other clients, although I do always try to give precedence to the former. Variety is the spice...


Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:59
German to English
+ ...
Again, it's about defining regular! Apr 27, 2011

I have a 'hard core' of around 6-12 customers from whom I receive work virtually every month. But I also have another 20-30 customers for whom I do one or more jobs a year. Sometimes the former morph into the latter, sometimes it is the other way around.


Laura Garcia Mesa  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:59
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
how regular is regular Apr 27, 2011

Hi poll!!
Yes like all of you the definition of regular is key.
How regular is regular?

I have two "super regular" who send me small projects on a daily basis this has been going on for 3 years. I call this regular.

Then there is another bunch of "regulars" that send me big projects once a month (on average) but the demand pattern is not as clear as for the above.

Always interesting to hear from you all!


Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Probably just 2 Apr 27, 2011

I get most of my work from 2 agencies, that is I work for them every week, then I have about another 3-4 agencies who I work for less often, every month or two or maybe even three. Then I have some direct clients who send me work about twice a year.


Amandine Added  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:59
Member (2010)
English to French
+ ...
depends on the meaning of regularity Apr 27, 2011

Well, I have one really regular client that sends work at least once in a week but I have 3/4 clients that send offers at least once in a month or couple of months and 2/3 I work with twice a year. All in all when I have worked with a client 3/4 times I'd say he's regular but a regular client one day can become a irregular one and the reverse is also true.

[Edited at 2011-04-27 13:02 GMT]


Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:59
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
Definitions Apr 27, 2011

It's funny how our comments on these polls are so often about how things are defined. It shows how sensitive we are as translators to potential ambiguity, our worst enemy!

My personal definition of a regular client is one that sends me work on repeated occasions over the months or years, but it can be very occasionally, very frequently or anything in between.



Teresa Borges
Local time: 10:59
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Regular clients Apr 27, 2011

make up the bulk of my business and some of them have been with me since 1985...


Local time: 05:59
Some are more regular than the other Apr 27, 2011

Since this year I have been mainly working for 3 clients, but have also taken jobs from other less regular ones.

Even the less regular clients had been very active in the past, and maybe in the future again. who knows?


Local time: 11:59
English to French
+ ...
Other Apr 27, 2011

Teresa Borges wrote:

make up the bulk of my business and some of them have been with me since 1985...

... is my case too but their number varies each year: some organise a world conference or have a huge publication every 3 years only, but they regularly come back even though not ever year.
Some years I have to turn down several because I have plenty or too much work from others, but we keep in touch and I work for them again when requests from elsewhere are getting scarcer.

I make monthly invoices (1 invoice/client) and notice that their number was 41 in 2009 for instance and 91 in 2008, for a total yearly amount that was nearly the same.


DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:59
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Other ... Apr 27, 2011

I voted other, like so many others, I need boundaries to define regular ... there is a difference between regular and frequent.

The question made me curious though - so I check my statistics, to exclude all the 'non-regulars', since starting as a freelance (start 2004) I have about 80 different clients.
6 are on my 'black list' - whether I worked for them once or more than once in the past - I will not work for them again - either they owe my money, pay late, or otherwise have dubious business practices. (For the 2 who still owe me money - if you are reading this - Helloicon_smile.gif ! I am still out here and I am looking for you ...)

Another 8 I have only worked for once.
Another 4 are new clients this year - so whether I worked for them once or more than once - it is too early to say whether they are regular or not.

So, by process of elimination: I have approximately 60 repeat clients, 20 or so frequent = (5 - 10 per year) and less than 10 very frequent = (more than 10 x per year).
Don't know which is the correct answer for regular ...

[Edited at 2011-04-27 17:22 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-04-27 17:22 GMT]


JaneD  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:59
Member (2009)
Swedish to English
+ ...
My 11-15 doesn't seem so bad... Apr 28, 2011

I am always worried that I have too few regular clients, but it seems that I am in fact on the upper end of the scale - that's interesting!

I'd be really alarmed if I only had a couple; what happens if one of them goes to the wall?


Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:59
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
About 5 very regular plus many other repeaters Apr 28, 2011

I just now looked at my file of clients. There are 53, and 5 are pretty regular; 10 more have come back several times.

Some clients had projects that met a finite need - for example, about 20 articles for a large monograph. Others I have lost because they have gone out of business, retired, etc.


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