Poll: Do you accept long-term offers that keep you too busy to work for your regular clients?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 22:33
SITE STAFF
Jul 29, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you accept long-term offers that keep you too busy to work for your regular clients?".

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 14:33
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes, I accept long-term offers... Jul 29, 2015

BUT I make sure I can take on other work at the same time. Otherwise, it would be like shooting yourself in the foot.
I've had long-term projects pulled at the very last minute - I've lost income on the project that was offered and other job/projects I had to decline to make room for the 'big' one that the client 'promised' me.

As a result, I'm very wary when a client dangles the proverbial carrot in front of me. Once bitten, twice shy!


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 06:33
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Jul 29, 2015

I do accept long-term projects (I'm working on one right now), but I've always managed to keep working for my regular clients, I just say no to potential new clients...

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 07:33
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Other Jul 29, 2015

Most of my regular clients send small jobs, so I can usually fit in a certain number along the way. If I accept really long-term offers, then I insist on a long enough deadline to allow me to work for regular clients as well.

In my scheme of things, a 20 000 word job taking two weeks is a comparatively long-term offer, and if necessary I do turn down jobs from other clients in those two weeks. With anything longer than that, I get worried!

I am just finishing this year's book, which has been in the background for months.... I may have lost one client over it, but they were hanging in the balance, with short deadlines and their own CAT they were trying to persuade me to use! They seem to have dropped me finally.

That is precisely why it is necessary to have time for the best clients, because good regular clients are always the ones you earn most from!

You do your best for them, but don't need to go 'marketing' for them; you know what they want, so you spend less time negotiating; and all their NDAs and paperwork are in place, so you save time on administration...


 

Nigel Greenwood  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:33
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, I do... Jul 29, 2015

One of my 'sporadic' clients always offers me long-term projects (basically interpreting assignments), but these allow me the time needed to continue with my regular clients. That way using evenings and weekends I manage to keep up with everything.

Have a great day all of you.


 

Luiz Barucke
Brazil
Local time: 03:33
Member (2013)
Spanish to Portuguese
+ ...
No... whenever it's possible Jul 29, 2015

I believe huge long-term projects should offer a higher rate than normal ones, because they may make you deny jobs from other clients. With a regular rate, I prefer not to accept huge projects, once I'll be working anyway, and with different clients and subjects.

 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:33
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jul 29, 2015

I have done so all too often, to my great regret. I just finished one yesterday that caused me enormous grief, as I had to refuse some very nice work from my regular clients.

I love it that Luiz says they should pay more, instead of less. It's about loss of income in the end. Most people don't understand all that's entailed in taking on a long project. It has been an uphill battle to persuade clients that these jobs deserve *at least* the normal rate. They all seem to think we are sitting around waiting for them to call us and keep us busy.

Another new question, and a good one!

[Edited at 2015-07-30 07:12 GMT]


 

ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:33
Member
German to English
+ ...
Make room Jul 29, 2015

I usually make sure that deadline schedule allows some time for other work, especially if it is not for a main client.

 

Henry Schroeder  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:33
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
How is long-term defined? Jul 29, 2015

I welcome long-term projects because they absolutely guarantee full capacity, but I'm not completely sure what is meant by this - 20,000 words, 50,000 words, 100,000 words.

If I can't work for regular clients for a few weeks, it's no problem.

If I can't work for them for 6 months, that's a little different.

I would think this only applies to work with outsourcers/translation agencies as well. If you have a direct client, you must be paid sufficiently to outsource some of the work.

[Edited at 2015-07-29 15:15 GMT]


 

Anthony Baldwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:33
Portuguese to English
+ ...
sure Jul 29, 2015

If we're talking "long-term" that stretches over 6 to 12 weeks (I've never seen anything longer/larger than that), but I'll schedule that work during the week days, and keep evenings and weekends open for the small stuff that filters in from the regular clients, who still need me regularly (the academic institutions and law firms who hire me regularly. I can't completely abandon them, especially the schools).

 

Jose Arnoldo Rodriguez-Carrington  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 00:33
English to Spanish
+ ...
Long term is not the same as a big job Jul 29, 2015

Henry Schroeder wrote:

I welcome long-term projects because they absolutely guarantee full capacity, but I'm not completely sure what is meant by this - 20,000 words, 50,000 words, 100,000 words.



I think we shoud distinguish between a huge job, with many thousands of words, that will take a long time to complete, and a long term job where the client sends you regular jobs for a certain project.
I work with some agencies that send me work regularly for ongoing projects that can go on for several months or more. Those jobs are usually not very large and I can accept other work. That is a completely different thing from ONE big job.


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:33
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Never happened Jul 30, 2015

I regularly accept long-term jobs, and they have never interfered in the other jobs. You must negotiate the deadlines in a way that you can do both. If necessary, we must work on weekends or late at night, but never ever let regular clients down because of a big job. You tell the "big" client you can translate 2500 words per day from Monday to Friday, then you still have 1500 words per day without changing your working hours, or even more, considering overtime/weekends.

[Edited at 2015-07-30 15:47 GMT]


 


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