How much should a remote, freelance project manager earn per project?
Thread poster: Nathanael Fourie

Nathanael Fourie  Identity Verified
Member (2015)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
Sep 11

Hi guys

I was recently approached by a company who'd like to make use of my project management services on a project-by-project basis, where I'd be working for them as a remote, freelance project manager. We'd sign a contract of sorts and off we'd go...

I like the idea, as I've wanted to work in the mentioned role/capacity for a number of years and now I'm finally being offered my "dream job".

So the deal goes like this: once all the vendors in the project
... See more
Hi guys

I was recently approached by a company who'd like to make use of my project management services on a project-by-project basis, where I'd be working for them as a remote, freelance project manager. We'd sign a contract of sorts and off we'd go...

I like the idea, as I've wanted to work in the mentioned role/capacity for a number of years and now I'm finally being offered my "dream job".

So the deal goes like this: once all the vendors in the project have been paid what they charged, I would get 30% of the remaining profit from the project budget, i.e. if the budget (that which the end client pays) was €2000 and the sum of the vendor costs is €1000, then I'd get €300 and the company I managed the project for would get €700.

Now, being a business owner myself, I know that a lot more goes into achieving various business objectives than usually meets the eye, so if I really knew what the behind-the-scenes time and effort was and what the other resources invested were that was needed in order for my client to source and secure the projects with their direct clients, I might end up taking my hat off to them in a show of respect, but it still strikes me as a bit odd that on any given project I'd only rake in 30% of the profits when, give or take, I would have done most of the work needed to make that respective project happen.

What I was also told was that I could have full access to the end clients if I wanted. That, in turn, means even less effort and time put into the project by my client and more responsibility and stress on my end.

To my mind, a 50/50 split of the profits would be a good place to start and, then, the more I'd end up taking over the contact with and strain of dealing with the end clients my 50% would rise to 70% or 75%, seeing as my client would then, in essence, would be doing "nothing" compared to all the work I'd be putting in.

Am I dreaming, with my head in the clouds - or are my thoughts sober and grounded?

What are your guys' experiences with working on other people's projects?
What would your fair share of the profits be?

Looking forward to your feedback! 🙂
Collapse


 

IrinaN
United States
Local time: 01:20
English to Russian
+ ...
It's as simple Sep 11

as a 3-dollar bill.

This policy is no news in our business. Nathanael, they will turn you into a 2-centers hunter, because the only way to stay at 50% of the budget is to pay as little as possible to the translators, and skip on serious editing. If you just care about quality, you'll be continuously torn between your own pocket and your conscientiousness. If you will be fully responsible for the quality, than it's a catch-22.

There is only one honest way to save on tra
... See more
as a 3-dollar bill.

This policy is no news in our business. Nathanael, they will turn you into a 2-centers hunter, because the only way to stay at 50% of the budget is to pay as little as possible to the translators, and skip on serious editing. If you just care about quality, you'll be continuously torn between your own pocket and your conscientiousness. If you will be fully responsible for the quality, than it's a catch-22.

There is only one honest way to save on translators but not that much anyway - to know your pool of translators and pick exactly the right people to minimize editing efforts and other risks; to pick people capable of producing a turnkey or near turnkey products in a specific field (s), including fairly simple DTP, and then charge the client for editing, proofreading and formatting based on calculated page/word/hour rates established in the contract with the end client. It's not cheating, the job will be done to the required criteria.

Say, you are about to turn in a 200-page project. The contract stipulates 50/hour to the editor for 5-6 pages/hour, while in fact your translator did the job that required no more than 1 hour for 8-10 pages. 20/hour for average complexity DTP - 12-15 pages/hour but the file is already almost perfect, just a few touches. Here is your money. But such people do not work for 2 cents. They want their true share too. Are you supposed to be the one assigning the translators and editors? Actually, you won't believe how easy it is to manage a project when you have a decent budget and top people:-) the project manages itself most of the time. Delivering champagne on a beer budget is what causes strain and loss of sleep.

And yes, you are dreaming - 30% is pretty much all you'll get, if the projects will be handed to you to manage. Hunting a project down, negotiating and closing the deal is what has to be done before you come into picture. No business owner gives away 75% of the profit:-). Why would they need that project in the first place? If you are supposed to/can bring them new clients too, than it's a different story on a case-to-case basis.

Good luck, but think twice:-)



[Edited at 2019-09-12 00:09 GMT]
Collapse


Vanda Nissen
Jorge Payan
Teresa Borges
 

Vanda Nissen  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 16:20
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
Well, Irina has said it all... Sep 12

Just to add, when I worked as a PM, there were not many projects where you could get a 50% margin unless you are indeed after lousy translators. For larger projects margins are even smaller - clients are very good at negotiating it:), and yes, I really doubt you will get 50-50 because as Irina has pointed out - ads, business expenses, accounting are more expensive than project management.

IrinaN
Teresa Borges
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Really Sep 12

Although possible image damages occasionally may be even more lasting and expensive, I would correct the quote as:
Unlike most self-proclaimed freelancers, No business owner gives away 75% of the profit

 A decent PM able to carry out a project [let alone draw it up!] can do it without agencies and spongers, easily getting 40%-80%+ of the budget.


 


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


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

How much should a remote, freelance project manager earn per project?

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 »
PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »



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