Poll: How would you rate your overall business skills?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 18:28
SITE STAFF
Feb 16

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How would you rate your overall business skills?".

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:28
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Average Feb 16

I manage my time so that I deliver my work when it's due, maintain very good relations and communicate well with my clients, and have a decent system for keeping track of my work and the payments therefor. I don't accept work that I'm not competent to do, and I don't work for ridiculous rates.

I keep organized files and I can find records on any work I've done for the last 15 years.

[Edited at 2018-02-16 08:38 GMT]


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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:28
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
I do the same Feb 16

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

I manage my time so that I deliver my work when it's due, maintain very good relations and communicate well with my clients, and have a decent system for keeping track of my work and the payments therefor. I don't accept work that I'm not competent to do, and I don't work for ridiculous rates.

I keep organized files and I can find records on any work I've done for the last 15 years.

[Edited at 2018-02-16 08:38 GMT]


but as far as I know any of my colleagues, this is far above average. Most translators I know are messy.
Now I look at Muriel's text again - in fact, I do more than that. I keep statistics - revenue per month, per client, per language pair, per source/target language, per type (translation/proof, in the past also interpreting), local/export; I keep track not only of my work, but also of any contacts with prospects - when they contacted me, when I answered, what they wanted, what I proposed if anything, and the result, why it didn't work if applicable. Besides my general client DB, I keep a DB of agencies listing their conditions and special requirements. And I can find not only "records of any work...", but also the work itself (archived on an external disc), but only about 10 years back - the older files are no longer compatible.

[Edited at 2018-02-16 09:11 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 02:28
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Average Feb 16

I’m very organized, I’m a good time manager (I'm known to deliver often ahead of time), I communicate effectively with my clients, I have a flexible attitude, I like solving problems, but I lack sales and marketing skills and my bookkeeping/accounting skills are minimum (that’s why I have an excellent accountant)…

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:28
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Average to poor Feb 16

The business side doesn't interest me, and for a long time I was reasonably happy as an employee. Luckily my husband has far better business skills, and spent his working life in administration so that people who were experts in other fields - production, design, engineering - could do what they did best as the bank advert said.

He backs me up, and so do the best of the PMs and bureaus I work with. A big thank you to them!

I have translated enough blarney, bullshit bingo and sound advice about business to know I have to take it seriously, so I do. But I am not particularly good at it.


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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:28
Member (2008)
English to Italian
average Feb 16

1) I do not know all the translators around the world
2) those I have worked with have taught me a lot of things

From a "business" point of view... I am still here after 15 years.. so I guess I am good at something, not better than anyone else.


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Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:28
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
Snap! Feb 16

Christine Andersen wrote:

The business side doesn't interest me, and for a long time I was reasonably happy as an employee. Luckily my husband has far better business skills, and spent his working life in administration so that people who were experts in other fields - production, design, engineering - could do what they did best as the bank advert said.

He backs me up, and so do the best of the PMs and bureaus I work with. A big thank you to them!

I have translated enough blarney, bullshit bingo and sound advice about business to know I have to take it seriously, so I do. But I am not particularly good at it.


I too worked very happily in an agency. As I was the most productive, I was allowed to refuse any jobs I didn't feel like doing, the boss came down very heavily on PMs who tried to bully me into taking a job. It was wonderful not to have to bother with negotiating deadlines or rates, and just focus on translation.

As a freelancer, I'm good at negotiating since I have a clear sense of my worth. I deliver a well-polished translation every time. After that, things tend to fall apart somewhat. I hate billing and admin and while I do have a half-way decent system in place I admit that I don't use it properly.
The other day someone actually had to ring up to ask for my bill oops!

My partner works in an accounting firm so he has the skills to help me out. I try hard not to get to the point where I have to ask for help, because then I get despondent about my incompetence. I just about manage that most of the time, but there's a fair amount of muddling through.


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:28
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Pretty good Feb 16

I have worked as admin and operations manager (including business admin, HR, IT, services, procurement, legal, finance, logistics, sales admin, etc.) in five multinational companies for 20 years. I'm not modest regarding my business skills.

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