Poll: Which of these two do you prefer to make up your income?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 03:06
SITE STAFF
May 9

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Which of these two do you prefer to make up your income?".

View the poll results »



 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:06
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Other May 9

Both options are no good

I would say 4-5 big (regular) clients + a few smaller


 

Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:06
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Various smaller clients May 9

I prefer to make up my income from various smaller clients as it helps to spread the risk in the event that one of them should go bust or decide to pay late that particular month.

 

mona elshazly  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 13:06
Member (2016)
Italian to Arabic
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


A mix of big and small clients May 9

A prefer a mix of big and small clients

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 11:06
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other is missing... May 9

Why can’t I have both? I have 3 big clients (one is really big but not regular) and a lot of smaller clients (at least one of these was a big one but over the years things have changed...).

 

Ana Vozone  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:06
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Various smaller (but regular) clients May 9

Once upon a time... back in 2004, I had two (very big) clients that represented probably 95% of my income: a EU body which had sent me around 150 pages a month for over a decade, and a monthly contract with a large advertising agency in Lisbon that I had been working with for 25 years, since 1979.

The EU body adopted a new online job assigning system, for which I was approved but not in a favourable position (mine was one of the highest prices per page) so, suddenly, I was unable to get any of their jobs. And the advertising agency went into financial difficulties and decided to terminate all its freelance contracts.

These two "losses" happened in the same week!

So, I had to go and find new clients... the market had changed immensely in the meantime, and most of the new clients I found were not prepared to pay the rates I was used to. I was lucky to have previous work certificates and recommendation letters to prove my previous experience of 25 years, and these were very useful in securing new clients.

I have since built a new client portfolio, smaller in volume of regular work, and it is going fine. But it took me quite a while to recover. And I honestly believe the market has not become any better, it has become worse, with new clients expecting much more (different CAT tools, faster turnaround, lower rates) for less.

So, no more of having one or two big clients, I do not recommend this model at all...


 

George Simon  Identity Verified
Venezuela
Local time: 11:06
Member (2017)
Spanish to English
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Two or more big clients. May 9

Two or more big clients who can provide a continoys work load.

 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:06
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Regularity is more important May 9

I wll take work from any clients great or small if I have time, though I prefer regular ones of either kind. But I think we had a poll on regularity a few days ago.

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:06
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other May 9

As long as they pay on time and respond to queries etc, I don't mind how big or small they are.
Apart from my academic/university/research clients, only 2 of my private sector regulars are medium to large and operate internationally. The others are small businesses, "legacy" clients from last century when I was starting out.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:06
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Several smaller - though not necessarily small - clients May 9

I had the experience... for 20+ consecutive years, 60~75% of my income came from one local client. Then a paradigm shift came by, and they turned into a once-or-twice a year client.

It took me seven years to rebuild a client base that consistently provided me with the same level of income. Some ten years after that client left my to-do list, I still haven't got used to all others who don't uphold a firm policy of always paying all suppliers within two business days from delivery, like they did. I have few - and occasional - clients who do it, in order to enjoy the generous discount I offer for COD.


 

Gibril Koroma  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:06
Member (2017)
French to English
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Small is good but big is better May 9

The big guys tend to be more regular and stable in my experience. The smaller guys tend to show up when you least expect them Which is nice. So both categories are my friends.

 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:06
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Neither one is fine May 9

The ideal situation is to always have a few big and good clients and several small clients that come and go.
If you only have a few big clients, any of them that disappears will represent a big loss.
If you only have a bunch of small clients, you have no idea what income you can expect next month, and you'll never go too far beyond a certain limit. Plus, insecurity will always be around you.
I've been through both situations, and I can guarantee they are no good.
Since 2013, I've been keeping my 2 to 5 good big clients and as many small clients as I can. Last year, I provided services for 87 different clients, but 70% of my income came from the largest (and regular) Big-4.


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:06
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
A mix May 10

I currently have three big, regular clients and a number of smaller ones. I often worry when I have to turn down jobs from less regular clients. I fear that I have too many eggs in one basket. But on the other hand, it would be folly to turn down work from the hands that feed me best.

On the other hand, I couldn't sustain my business with small clients only because the volume wouldn't be reliable.

It has to be a mix of both.

But we need definitions here. I'm assuming that 'big' means regular with repeated assignments that add up to goodo money and 'small' means not regular with only occasional assignments. Size would be determined by frequency of repeat business.



[Edited at 2018-05-10 04:49 GMT]


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:06
Member
English to French
What's big? May 10

I understand "big" as giving you plenty of work. But one or two main clients seems too little.
All my "big" clients are smaller agencies, but they send me enough assignments for full-time work.
From repeat experience, large international word factories are not worth my attention.

Philippe


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:06
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
How do you define big? May 10

I'm not sure how you define big: is it a big client, like a household name? or someone who gives you a lot of work?
In my experience the household names are big enough to bully. They may have enough work to keep you very busy but they feel they are above negotiating, they only dictate.

My favourite clients are the ones for whom I am their "go-to" person. The ones that ask intelligent questions to keep me on my toes, and who have a genuine passion for their job, I find I feed off their passion when I translate their documents.

The best mix for me is as many different clients as possible, to spread the financial risk as others have said, and also because I love variety, working on a fashion press release then on a menu then on an art exhibition catalogue, or a website for organic cosmetics.


 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: Which of these two do you prefer to make up your income?

Advanced search






Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2019 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2019 has evolved to bring translators a brand new experience. Designed with user experience at its core, Studio 2019 transforms how new users get up and running and helps experienced users make the most of the powerful features.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search