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Poll: How many active clients do you need per month to feel comfortable about your basic expenses?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 13:33
SITE STAFF
Oct 23, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How many active clients do you need per month to feel comfortable about your basic expenses?".

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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:33
Member
German to English
+ ...
No set number Oct 23, 2011

I don't need a specific number of clients in order to feel comfortable in any given month, I need a specific level of income. And that can come from any number of clients.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 21:33
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Likewise! Oct 23, 2011

Mary Worby wrote:

I don't need a specific number of clients in order to feel comfortable in any given month, I need a specific level of income. And that can come from any number of clients.


 

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:33
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Taxes Oct 23, 2011

Taxes in Brazil are so high that you never feel comfortable about basic expenses - nearly all your money goes to the Government.

 

Manuela Junghans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:33
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
I totally agree... Oct 23, 2011

..with Mary and Teresa.

If one client sends me sufficient work in any given month that will do me. However, this is a rather unlikely scenario. Usually I work for a good selection of clients during a month.

Have a nice Sunday everyone!icon_smile.gif


 

Sonia Maria Parise  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:33
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It is a question of workload. Oct 23, 2011

I agree with Mary, Teresa and Manuela.
It could be just one client, with the right amount of work!


 

Gennady Lapardin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 00:33
Italian to Russian
+ ...
much more than 15 to feel comfortable basically Oct 23, 2011

Being completely agree with ladies and gentleman above; and taking into account networking reality "everybody does everything," so you hardly get an average daily job larger than 15 to 20 conventional pages through a network; and also desperately aiming at at least 8 fully free days, it's easy to calculate how many typical clients (=leftovers/diamond dust of source client) or how many generous and wealthy few does one need. My first appreciation is around 200 calls a month (in the network), or a couple of respectively aggregated calls would suffice.
o-ops! very important! from each of them firm guarantee of their solvency, for basic safety too

[Edited at 2011-10-23 18:16 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-10-24 06:42 GMT]


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:33
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
It's not "quantity" but "quality". Oct 23, 2011

Sonia Maria Parise wrote:

I agree with Mary, Teresa and Manuela.
It could be just one client, with the right amount of work!



A single client, who provides me with a new project even before the current project is finished (on time, of courseicon_smile.gif ) will do. Although it's always good to have a second client with just as many projects.icon_biggrin.gif

To completely feel safe, some more clients with smaller or medium size projects would be nice. Just to be on the safe side, never knowing how things might develope.

[Edited at 2011-10-23 10:17 GMT]


 

David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 22:33
German to English
+ ...
I would be worried Oct 23, 2011

if only one client were to send me one albeit lucrative job in the month - cos where have all the others who I'll need next month gone?

 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:33
Hebrew to English
Don't put all your eggs in one basket... Oct 23, 2011

Even if one client were to provide me with enough work (doesn't happen in my case) to sustain me financially, there's always the danger of putting all your eggs into one basket.

I wouldn't feel comfortable relying on one sole source of the majority of my income, what would happen if the work flow suddenly dwindles or dries up?

I think the ideal situation is a range of clients (say 5/6+) providing a steady medium flow of work, that way the loss of one or two wouldn't be crippling and would give you the opportunity to replace them by finding new clients.

However, how often do we live in ideal situations? Not often I'd guess.


 

Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 22:33
English to German
+ ...
Number of clients... Oct 23, 2011

... is of no importance. It is the size of the jobs that matters. This can be just one job or twenty jobs, depending on their size.

 

Interlangue (X)
Angola
Local time: 22:33
English to French
+ ...
Number of clients? Oct 23, 2011

I get paid per line/word/hour/job, not per client. The amount of work I get done pays the bills, not the number of clients!

 

Tina Colquhoun  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:33
Member (2005)
Danish to English
+ ...
On the contrary... Oct 23, 2011

Rolf Kern wrote:

... is of no importance. It is the size of the jobs that matters. This can be just one job or twenty jobs, depending on their size.


It is of great importance for the reasons Ty Kendall sets out above...

Tina


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 22:33
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
If they are regular clients, the number doesn't matter Oct 23, 2011

Ty Kendall wrote:

Even if one client were to provide me with enough work (doesn't happen in my case) to sustain me financially, there's always the danger of putting all your eggs into one basket.

I wouldn't feel comfortable relying on one sole source of the majority of my income, what would happen if the work flow suddenly dwindles or dries up?

I think the ideal situation is a range of clients (say 5/6+) providing a steady medium flow of work, that way the loss of one or two wouldn't be crippling and would give you the opportunity to replace them by finding new clients.

However, how often do we live in ideal situations? Not often I'd guess.


That is so true! My biggest client went bankrupt last year, but by sheer luck I lost less than many colleagues. When payments from that agency got really shaky, I was working on a book for a once-only client, who paid as agreed. Now I have a mixed bunch, many of whom come and go, and sometimes come again in waves. Most work comes from clients I have worked for previously, but one or two new ones appear each month.

I write up to ten invoices a month, with one agency always on the list, plus I am not sure how many others who turn up at intervals. Some specialise in Scandianvian languages, while others do not have translations from Danish more than once or twice a year, and only contact me when they do. There are three to five separate jobs on many of my invoices.

Like others, I think the volume of work is far more important than the exact number of clients.
I would worry if only one offered me work for a whole month (unless I had warned all the regulars I was on holíday, and even then a few PMs usually forget!)


[Edited at 2011-10-23 12:18 GMT]


 

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:33
Flemish to English
+ ...
All volumes big and small Oct 23, 2011

In the ideal word: 2-3 clients, who together represent a volume of 30.000 words at 0.10 minimum with no reductions for the use whatever tool and payment on delivery or at the end of the month.
All volumes big and small are welcome, but when on the one hand you have to chase payment and on the other hand a lot of bills have to be paid, what's the point of translating a big/small volume.

[Edited at 2011-10-23 12:55 GMT]


 
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