Poll: How much of your income comes from your regular clients?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 09:27
SITE STAFF
Oct 1, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How much of your income comes from your regular clients?".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:27
Spanish to English
+ ...
76%-100% Oct 1, 2012

Glad to find myself in the top bracket again. Thanks goodness for regular, direct clients!

None of my direct clients were solicited; all came to me by recommendation or happenstance, which is why I can't offer any advice about how to build up a client portfolio, other than platitudes like "always do your best" ...


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 02:27
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
New clients vs regular clients Oct 1, 2012

For the sake of discussion, let's assume that "client" and "customer" are one and the same thing in this poll. (For me, client is "end client" - noone in between or beyond.)

I'm not exactly sure what this poll is getting at since, if after a few regular transactions, any new customer becomes a "regular customer" anyway.
Is the poll trying to find out the percentage of translators continually living off work from a perpetual string of new customers, i.e. they have a highly volatile and fluctuating customer base/portfoilo?
Or, is it trying to find out the percentage of translators with direct clients?

Maybe this poll begs the question, "At which point does a new customer become a regular customer?"

Two hours into a quick poll with only two comments. Either the net is down or others are just as confused as me.

I'm still scratching my head. Could anybody put me out of my misery?


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:27
Spanish to English
+ ...
My take on it. Oct 1, 2012

Julian Holmes wrote:

For the sake of discussion, let's assume that "client" and "customer" are one and the same thing in this poll. (For me, client is "end client" - noone in between or beyond.)

I'm not exactly sure what this poll is getting...

I'm still scratching my head. Could anybody put me out of my misery?


I assumed that someone wants to gauge how many of us work with agencies rather than "regular" clients, which I understand as people I deal with directly, not through an intermediary, although as usual, I may have got the wrong end of the stick. I dislike working with agencies in general and I know a lot of people are desperate to build up a portfolio of direct clients who may provide work on a regular basis, but unfortunately I don't have the key. It's like asking a lottery winner how they achieved it...


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 02:27
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
My take on it Oct 1, 2012

neilmac wrote:
I dislike working with agencies in general and I know a lot of people are desperate to build up a portfolio of direct clients who may provide work on a regular basis, but unfortunately I don't have the key. It's like asking a lottery winner how they achieved it...


@neilmac
Thanks you your input!

I used to work with end clients (direct clients) a lot, but over here this means regular trips and visits to the clients' office even for paltry, trifling matters.
My customer base comprises only intermediaries who are very well organized, capable and reliable -- and provide me with regular work. They do all the running around and interfacing with the end client, which leaves me free to do what I do best -- focusing and concentrating on big, involved documents and working my nuts off to deliver them decent translation.

Oh, BTW, now that we now have a discussion going, if noone else is going to chip in, maybe we could discuss the merits of red vs. white wine.

And, about that lottery thing ...


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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:27
Spanish to English
+ ...
Customer vs client Oct 1, 2012

Is that what the confusion is about? At least in economics a distinction is made between a customer and a client. A customer is someone you sell a standardised service or product to and a client is someone that you sell a customised solution to. Applied to translation, both agencies and direct clients are clients. We don't have customers as each translation is different.

I work almost entirely for agencies, for direct clients occasionally but they don't tend to need translations on a regular basis. I have 2 really regular agencies and I consider about another 5 to be regulars too. Clearly I don't set the bar too high for becoming a regular client. It may even have more to do with how I rate the agency. I like agencies that just sent the work on to me without any fussing and for me to send it back without any fussing.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 17:27
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Could it be... Oct 1, 2012

... new customers versus repeat customers?

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Denise DeVries  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:27
Spanish to English
+ ...
clients or other job Oct 1, 2012

I had to take a part time job outside my home because my clients were taking too long to pay. This accounts for about half of my income. Was that the question?

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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:27
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
What are "regular" clients? Oct 1, 2012

I voted 11-25%, but I assumed this meant clients who send me business regularly every week or every quarter. If you include repeat business, I would have put it much higher.

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Jose Arnoldo Rodriguez-Carrington  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 11:27
English to Spanish
+ ...
Both agencies and direct clients can be "regular clients" Oct 1, 2012

I took the question to mean "regular" when a client, whether it is an agency or a direct client, sends you work regularly, or at least once in a while, vs "new clients" for whom you may have worked once or twice.

If I understood the question correctly, then I am in the 75-100% bracket, since most of my "new" clients continue sending me work.

[Edited at 2012-10-01 15:41 GMT]


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vixen  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 19:27
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
My interpretation Oct 1, 2012

I have assumed "regular clients" to refer to clients (either direct or indirect) that require my services on a regular basis. I have only a few clients but they are providing me with a steady flow of work and therefore a fairly steady income.

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Patricia Daehler  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:27
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
Agree with Jose Oct 1, 2012

I mostly work with agencies. I consider them "regular clients" if they send me work a few times a month or more. If an agency only sends me work once a year or twice a year, I don't really consider it a "regular client".

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:27
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
<75% Oct 1, 2012

I don't have any problem with "regular." If they come back several times a year, I think of them as regular. However, with some exceptions, I tend to get larger documents from my really regular clients. They also pay me better. Therefore, they account for well more than half my income, but not more than 75%.

Good question, by the way! My financial adviser is always urging me to keep an eye out for new clients, because anything can happen--through no fault of my own.


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