Poll: How many active clients do you have at the moment?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 22:53
Jul 3, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How many active clients do you have at the moment?".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jul 3, 2017

My main direct client sends me work pretty constantly and I bill them each month. I also have a few other direct (non-academic) clients, but they send me work less frequently, perhaps only a few times a year. Then there are what I call my academic clients, i.e. universities and related institutions, of which there are about half a dozen, which also send me work sporadically, both translation and revision/post-editing/proofing.
I'm currently only working with one agency on a regular basis, but I've told them I can't accept any work until at least September, as I have a backlog of work to catch up on. So, depending on how you define "active", I suppose I have about a dozen clients.

[Edited at 2017-07-03 08:17 GMT]


Teresa Borges
Local time: 06:53
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
More than 10... Jul 3, 2017

7 are very regular customers (direct clients and agencies) invoiced every month of the year like clockwork; the workflow for a good number of other clients is much more irregular.


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:53
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Depends what you mean by active clients Jul 3, 2017

Clients come and go. I have invoiced about a dozen different clients this year, and said sorry, I'm on holiday to a couple more who send work now and then.
One sends a big job once a year, but has done so for four years and said she was looking forward to next time.

I am slowing down the pace - I have told several last year that I was retiring, and actually asked three or four to remove me from their databases... One then tried to recruit me again - a new PM discovered I was not on their list!

If you mean clients I am actually currently working for, then just one, but I am not officially back from my holiday yet!


Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:53
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
6 to 10 Jul 3, 2017

But I have 70 in my system.

Of course, as Christine says, it depends on what you mean by "active." I'm counting the ones I've heard from in the last few months.

[Edited at 2017-07-03 09:35 GMT]


Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 07:53
English to Russian
+ ...
6 to 10, but it's hard to count Jul 3, 2017

Sometimes it's hard to define what constitutes a single client. For example, one of my clients has two different invoicing entities, and another one has four; for every individual job, the PM tells me which company to invoice. Conversely, my biggest client is an international agency that acquired lots of other agencies over the years, and each of their offices interacts with me separately, but the invoicing is all merged.


Mariam Osmann
Local time: 08:53
English to Arabic
+ ...
7 regular Jul 3, 2017

If "active" means clients who send work regularly.
Few other are occasional; once every other month or every few months and sometimes it's about one time a year!


EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:53
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
So many people answering 2-5!? Jul 3, 2017

Which means their business is very fragile, I would be frantic in such a situation. For me, "active" is a client I have worked for over the last year - about 40 of these. 75% of my revenue ("significant clients") since the beginning of this year comes from 13 clients.


suew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:53
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
The difficulty of diversifying Jul 3, 2017

I don't disagree with Eva, and am very conscious of how exposed I am if I suddenly lost one of my very few clients. But when you get to the status of preferred translator with an agency or direct customer, it's very difficult to turn away any work that they send and thus to make time/room to win over, and then work for, other customers (given that I'm already working 30 - 40 hours a week). It seems to me to be an unsolvable problem and the biggest risk of being a self-employed sole trader...


Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
Semantics Jul 3, 2017

Some of my colleagues call them regular clients, others call them longtime clients. What are the criteria to classify a client as active or inactive?

That's the problem with polls: they're slogans in question format.


Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:53
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Tricky. About 12. Jul 4, 2017

It's hard to define what an "active client" would be, and this makes the poll a bit tricky.
This year, I provided services to 32 clients, but they can fit into one of the four different categories that follow:

1. Active and regular: Clients that have been working with me for a long time and send jobs regularly (at least once a month);
2. Active and occasional: Clients that I have also worked with for some time, but send me jobs at irregular intervals, and always show up again (let's say, about 5 jobs per year);
3. Active and seldom: Clients that I've know for a while, which disappear and all of a sudden appear again (let's say, one or two jobs per year);
4. New clients: Clients I have worked with for less than 4 months, and I'm not sure how frequently they'll send me jobs or if they will actually send me more jobs or not.

I consider all these as "active clients", and all others as "inactive". But I still don't know what number I would consider. It's certainly not 32, since many of these may not show up for the rest of the year or even forever.

So I'm considering clients I have ongoing jobs or outstanding invoices with to reach the count of 12.


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Poll: How many active clients do you have at the moment?

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