Poll: If you lost your two top clients suddenly, would it be difficult to recover economically?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 19:06
SITE STAFF
Jan 13

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "If you lost your two top clients suddenly, would it be difficult to recover economically?".

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Vadim Kadyrov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 05:06
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
Years of freelancing have taught me Jan 13

not to take jobs/projects worth a week (or more) of my total attention, especially from new clients. Sure, there are some exceptions, but the general attitude should be clear here - don`t put all your eggs in one basket.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 03:06
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes and no Jan 13

I have a large customer base, but most of my regular work comes from my 3 top clients. If I were to lose them, it would be quite a blow, but my experience is that I would recover. When I started out translating some 30 years ago, I had just a single excellent client: a Belgian translation agency who gave me regular work (circa 150 pages every month) very well paid and on time until suddenly for no fault of mine their contract was cancelled and I found myself with no work at all, but the fact is that I am still here…

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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:06
Member (2012)
French to English
No Jan 13

We don't rely on my income.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:06
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes and no Jan 13

I have a pension and Social Security from working as an in-house translator. I have arranged my life so that I could survive a drop in freelance income (which would happen if I lost my two top clients), but it wouldn't be an economic disaster.

My strategies, in order, would be to (1) shake the tree vigorously to see if any more nice fruit would fall, (2) market myself at lower rates, or (3) accept that it's time to stop working so hard.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:06
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not any more Jan 13

For about 20+ years I had one top client accounting for 2/3 to 3/4 of my income. A paradigm shift made them shrink to a small fraction of what they were. It took me about 7-8 years to recover the level of income I had with them.

Now I don't have "top" clients anymore. Of course, all my clients are "top", and I treat them as such, however their demand fluctuates erratically, so my goal is to keep a viable number of them.

Clients not deserving "top" treatment are usually one-night-stands.


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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:06
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
No Jan 13

As José Henrique says - my two top clients represented together about 20% of my revenue last year, and I keep refusing plenty of work.

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Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:06
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
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A bit scary Jan 13

That has always been one of my main concerns. Although, I manage things in that plan B direction.

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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:06
Member
English to French
Yes, but no Jan 13

From my experience 10+ years ago, losing business is not lethal : I can afford to dump an agency customer that means about half of my income when they don't accept my rate increase. I'd have to look at my bank statements more closely for a couple of months, but I've noticed that free time refills reasonably quickly. And the draft generated by my increased availability mitigates the blow: I can take on all the assignments that I used to turn down for lack of time.

Since even "smallish" agencies (i.e. the good ones) can provide you a constant stream of work, my main source of income comes from a handful of them. If TWO of my "top" ones had the weird idea of trying their luck somewhere else at the same time (it won't happen, but let's think of it as a textbook case), I'd lose a sizeable part of my turnover and I'd have to react promptly to fill back non-working periods and keep the business sustainable.

I also diversify buying small flats whenever I can and renting them! Better return than anything bankers and insurers can try to sell you.

Philippe


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
Of course! Jan 13

Otherwise, why would I call them top clients?



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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:06
Member (2007)
English
+ ...


Posted via
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Short-term problems Jan 13

If both my top clients disappeared then, yes, that would be a blow. Unfortunately here in Spain we pay €300 every month for social security, whatever we earn, as well as accountancy fees.

But I'm a firm believer that when one door closes, another opens - unless you hold it shut. So I'd just look for replacement clients. Maybe go back to teaching, or start offering voiceovers. Whatever.


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ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:06
Member
German to English
+ ...
No Jan 13

I'd say I have four main clients plus others who give me work on a regular basis. I think others would take up the slack if I lost two. To lose one client may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
Carelessness? Jan 13

ventnai wrote:

I'd say I have four main clients plus others who give me work on a regular basis. I think others would take up the slack if I lost two. To lose one client may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness


If one loses more than one major client (or simply a client) and that's considered carelessness, aren't we lumping all kinds of diverse circumstances into one category? What if two clients decided to go elsewhere for translations? What if two or more went bankrupt or insolvent?


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:06
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes and no Jan 16

I have been doing jobs for an average above 60 clients per year. Out of these there are four that are very representative in terms of percentage of my income. If I lost any of them, I would have a hard time recovering, and I would likeliy have to accept some jobs below my regular rate that I regularly dismiss. And one of them represents about 20-25% of my income and sends me jobs almost every day. This one would be a BIG loss, but still not a case of desperation. The only catastrophic case would be loosing this best client and one of the other big-4 in the same month. That would be scary.

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Texte Style
Local time: 04:06
French to English
just a joke! Jan 18

Mario Chavez wrote:

ventnai wrote:

I'd say I have four main clients plus others who give me work on a regular basis. I think others would take up the slack if I lost two. To lose one client may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness


If one loses more than one major client (or simply a client) and that's considered carelessness, aren't we lumping all kinds of diverse circumstances into one category? What if two clients decided to go elsewhere for translations? What if two or more went bankrupt or insolvent?


Ventnai was just recycling a famous Oscar Wilde line

https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/please-analyze-following-quotation-lose-one-parent-438655


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