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Poll: What do you do when a client asks you to specify your own deadline for a project?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 08:53
SITE STAFF
Jun 16, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What do you do when a client asks you to specify your own deadline for a project?".

This poll was originally submitted by Edward Potter. View the poll results »



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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 17:53
Member (2008)
English to Italian
other Jun 16, 2014

does thi happen?

Sometimes you get the question: "when can you do it?" my reply is: "when do you need it?"
and then I accept (if I can) their deadline


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
First of all Jun 16, 2014

I look out the window and check for flying pigs

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Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:53
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
It has actually happened to me! Jun 16, 2014

It has actually happened: the "ideal" client who told me his primary concern was quality and so I was to take the time I needed (he also sounded just like George Clooney... what else?).

So the file stayed at the bottom of the pile for longer than he deserved and I finally realised I would have to set myself a deadline, which I then took a fiendish delight in not honouring in order to polish the file just a bit more.

From then on I told him I needed a deadline and I just gave myself an extra day for polishing than I would normally. He paid handsomely and his files were really interesting so he was worth it (sorry, these slogans just keep popping up. Must be Monday morning!)


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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:53
Member
German to English
+ ...
It depends Jun 16, 2014

The amount of time I give myself is often proportionate to how much I want the project. So I'll give myself an awful lot more leeway for a nasty, low-rate, fiddly job ... sadly this often means I don't get the job! Whereas I'll put myself out a lot more for good payers and favourite customers.

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Gudrun Maydorn  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:53
Member (2008)
English to German
+ ...
As Gianluca Jun 16, 2014

Gianluca Marras wrote:

Sometimes you get the question: "when can you do it?" my reply is: "when do you need it?"
and then I accept (if I can)


[Bearbeitet am 2014-06-16 08:43 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 16:53
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Jun 16, 2014

I make my calculations, on the basis of 1,500 to 3,000 words a day, depending on the length and complexity of the text, plus sufficient time for revision and proofreading. Then I add on 1 or 2 full days for any contingency and I will propose a deadline that allows me more than enough time to complete the project. In 30 years I have never delivered late and I am known to submit my translations quite often ahead of deadline!



[Edited at 2014-06-16 16:26 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 17:53
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I give a realistic suggestion with some leeway Jun 16, 2014

It certainly happens for me quite often, and that is the way it should be!

My regular clients know I nearly always have several things in the pipeline, so when they mail or call me with a job, they tell me if it is urgent. Otherwise they are prepared to negotiate.

They may mention a date, but if I can't do it by then or just feel it is tight, I always suggest when I can deliver. Very often they can extend the deadline a little.

Then I can sit and polish the results and deliver what they want.

It means I have my TMs up to date and can drop everything else if someone sends 500 words, preferably delivered yesterday... But I do NOT live in a constant state of panic.

Like Mary Worby, I send jobs I don't really want to the end of the queue. But that means I might get them anyway! So if I am seriously unwilling to take them on, I firmly say no.

Make clients respect the fact that you need time and you have a life. It pays in the long run.


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 00:53
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes Jun 16, 2014

Chris S wrote:

I look out the window and check for flying pigs


Yes, it is a rare occurrence - like the proverbial blue moon.

As with all jobs/projects I tack on an extra 15 to 20% timewise to the deadline because the old maxim 'things never go as planned' holds true in a lot of cases. I have had the unfortunate experience of large projects getting progressively complex and more difficult with each passing chapter, which is both time-consuming and incredibly stressful.
So, I assume that the unexpected will happen, which rapidly gobbles up any remaining time and makes the sword of Damocles seem as if it is hanging by an even thinner thread.


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Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 18:53
English to Russian
+ ...
the loosest deadline Jun 16, 2014

It's simple: if deadline is negotiable, I try to get the loosest possible (usually I deliver early, I want to be secure just in case), and if deadline is not negotiable I either accept it or not

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Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:53
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
easy deadline Jun 16, 2014

I don't accept jobs with a deadline that is likely to be too tight, so when I am asked to indicate how long it will take me (happens to me about once every one or two months) I indicate a deadline with some leeway.
In some cases I never hear anything about the project again, in some cases they agree, in some cases they either tell me 'sorry, that is too late for us' or try to negotiate a tighter deadline.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 16:53
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, it does... Jun 16, 2014

Gianluca Marras wrote:

does this happen?

Sometimes you get the question: "when can you do it?" my reply is: "when do you need it?"
and then I accept (if I can) their deadline


I have 2 or 3 regular clients who are always willing to wait when I'm not immediately available...


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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 17:53
Member (2008)
English to Italian
different thing Jun 16, 2014

Teresa Borges wrote:

Gianluca Marras wrote:

does this happen?

Sometimes you get the question: "when can you do it?" my reply is: "when do you need it?"
and then I accept (if I can) their deadline


I have 2 or 3 regular clients who are always willing to wait when I'm not immediately available...


Oh well this is a different situation, and that happens to me too, regular clients who wait if I am busy, but they never say, "ok I need this translation, when can I have it?" they give me a deadline, and if I am busy they ask when I can do it, but they never start without a clear idea of their deadline.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jun 16, 2014

Depends on client and my current workload. I usually try to keep things tight, as you never know when the next job will come in, but it's always nice to have some leeway.

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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:53
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Usuallly what happens is this... Jun 16, 2014

Wednesday afternoon:

Client: How much and when?

To self: [well, it's Wednesday afternoon, if I started today, I could possibly finish by the end of day Friday if I worked the rest of the day and all day and night on Thursday and then all day Friday, but if I take the weekend that will allow me some breathing room and ability to take my time and not rush, but if I quote Monday, they may ask for Friday, so I'll quote Tuesday and then accept Monday.]

To Client: I can return it to you first thing Tuesday morning.

Client: Oh, we were hoping to get it back Thursday afternoon.

To self: [Why didn't you just say that in the beginning?]


[Edited at 2014-06-16 15:14 GMT]


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