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Poll: Do you monitor yearly income increase/decrease per client?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 01:11
SITE STAFF
Jul 25, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you monitor yearly income increase/decrease per client?".

This poll was originally submitted by Mariam Osmane. View the poll results »



 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:11
Member (2006)
German to English
No Jul 25, 2012

And I cannot see why this should be useful?

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Jul 25, 2012

I don't really "monitor" my clients at all. They come along when they come. I might sometimes realise "I haven't heard anything from X for a while", but that's about it. Clients are like buses...

[Edited at 2012-07-25 09:11 GMT]


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Kind of Jul 25, 2012

We maintain an awareness of how much work we get from different clients and occasionally remind them that we exist, but we don't track it actively as we have little say in how much they send us.

We're also lucky enough that the volume of work we do for most clients depends on how much we can accept rather than how much they want us to do.

So while I do love statistics, they tend to be a bit meaningless in this case.

The answer would be different if we acted as an agency, of course.


 

Pascale Pluton  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:11
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
Yes Jul 25, 2012

I think it is important

when one particular client regularly accounts for a very large part of your income, it might become dangerous because if you loose that client, you may get into financial troubles. It might also mean that you are too busy to accept new potential customers and this is also dangerous.

There is a rule in economy stating that 20% of your clients account for 80% of your income. If you monitor your earnings per client, you are able to prioritize.

Besides, it is nice to know whom your most important clients are when it comes to sending cards and other business gifts.

My two cents...icon_smile.gif

Pascale


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 17:11
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No Jul 25, 2012

This is the kind of accounting analysis done by companies of a certain size and upwards with someone employed full or part time to fill in spreadsheets and present sales/income breakdowns to management.
Basically, everyone on this site is an individual with limited time and resources, and probably not interested in accounting, unless this work is outsourced to a CPA.

So, I'm wondering why a question like this is posed when the overwhelming majority of answers would presumably be "No" (as of this post, 607 votes 74.8% No). Slighly bemused icon_confused.gif

Anyway, at the end of the day, I'm happy just knowing if I'm making more for working less. icon_smile.gif

Made small edits and updated poll results so far

[Edited at 2012-07-25 23:42 GMT]


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 10:11
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
No Jul 25, 2012

Clients come and clients go, and I do make an effort to keep in touch with the ones I would like to work with again.

But I have so many that I am not strongly dependent on any particular one. (Been there, done that... One big client dropped me, and one went bankrupt!)

There are several I would miss, but the statistics would be time consuming and meaningless!


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 09:11
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No! Jul 25, 2012

What for? My accountant does the books and might call my attention to this or that, but I have no control whatsoever on whether my clients need my services or not...

 

Vibeke Degn-P  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 10:11
Member (2010)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Yes, of course Jul 25, 2012

It's called managing my business. For every client I record factors like price, amount of work, when work comes in (by month), size of projects and so on. It helps me compare, prepare and feel safe. I encourage everyone to do it, because it helps you see the "long lines" in every cooperation.

 

xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 10:11
English to French
+ ...
Sort of Jul 25, 2012

Not the increase and/or decrease, just a record (amount invoiced each month => rough idea of volumes).
Started doing it on a regular basis after I had to go carefully through the papers of one whole year in order to reply to a call for tenders of the EU, and kept the habit since.

This also allows me to know where I stand at any given time: must I work more to reach my yearly target? Can I afford to take a break? Can I afford to invest and how much? What is the proportion of EUR/USD jobs this year?


 

Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:11
Member (2009)
French to English
Yes Jul 25, 2012

I find the information fascinating. As others have stated, I check to see what percentage of my business is with any one client or type of client. For example, am I seeing more or less clients from Europe? These little bits of information help me plan for the future and direct my marketing efforts more efficiently.

 

Bérangère
Spain
Local time: 10:11
Member (2010)
English to French
+ ...
Yes Jul 25, 2012

Like Pascale, I think it's important to prioritize your work and to avoid depending on one big client (this happened to me once, the agency closed down suddenly and I had difficult times finding new clients afterwards).

Also, it enables me to determine what I want for the next year: more euro or dollar clients? more long projects or small easy ones? what's more profitable for me?, and so on.


 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:11
English to Spanish
+ ...
Mixed responses Jul 25, 2012

In my early years as a translator, I ran my invoicing through Quattro Pro 4.0, a nifty DOS 5-friendly database program that was very easy to use and adapt. I had "inherited" a copy (my former boss gave it to me, so there!) and applied the same model used by my former employer (an interpreting agency in New York).

In this model, it was possible to track different revenue streams from different services and/or clients. In my case, I adapted it to track how much money I was earning from legal, financial, technical, medical translation, etc. Two years later, I built a piechart that I inserted in my otherwise thin resume. It made an impression.

But then I migrated to Windows and stopped using Quattro Pro in favor of Quicken and Quickbooks (the latter I soon abandoned —overkill accounting for translators).

I agree with the majority: clients come and go, we don't have a solid lock on anyone. Many times, we are as familiar with the client as their latest project manager. I prefer to manage business relationships, not percentages. Percentages are useless for a business of my size.


 

DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:11
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
No ... Jul 25, 2012

I have one speadsheet for paid/unpaid invocies which contains all relevant info on projects, invoices and payments - so theoretically I could, but I don't.

 

Anne Bohy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:11
English to French
My software does it for me Jul 25, 2012

Whether an accounting software (QuickBooks) or a project management software (TO3000), I have always had a software to handle this kind of data.
Such tools have nice reporting capabilities, which I don't care about usually, but once in a while, it's nice to click on a button and get one of these...
After some years, I can sit back and spend a little time considering how I ran my business, and what I should improve!


 
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