I use proz’ invoicing feature. The tool is just brilliant (internet-based service) Best thing is that you also have reports. These reports are easy to understand. You can see for example, which is your best paying client, you see per month and per client, who you should keep and who you also can renounce on.
As far as I see, this year I had 44 clients. To 19 of them I only invoiced once. Sadly 2 of these 19 gave me bad feedback on my translations, which means the end of our collaboration.
I am not ashamed of this, on the contrary. One of these clients showed me the proof-read translation, I truly believe, that my version was better, but I chose not to work for this client again, since it seemed to me, that the original idea behind the claim was not to pay me or pay me less. In fact, when this client understood, that my invoice has been already paid by their administration office, they quit claiming anything on the translation (I offered to help them, even after the payment, but they never answered my email again).
In the second case I had a translation, where the client happily accepted the first 35 000 words and paid for it, then the marketing material, which was a ppt file and arrived only later to me and to them has been claimed to have been machine translated by me. Well…you can’t really convince them from your right, since they don’t speak Hungarian and never gave me the choice to speak directly to the end-client…anyhow their proofer also works on my translations in another agency, where I just got selected as preferred translator with her 5/5 rating, so…you see…one needs to have really strong back to work in this industry.
So, I wanted to see my reports, because I was offered a new collaboration by a new agency and they pay me 1/3 more, than the first agency, I started to work for back in 2009 (and I also kept this legacy price since then). It is always hard to ask for more money, since the agency easily can just say no.
I had to look at my reports to understand, how they are ranked among my clients. It turns out, that this agency is one of my most regular clients, I invoiced them EVERY MONTH this year, but during the year they paid me only 0,6% of my yearly income.
I translate this for you: This agency disturbs me regularly with low paid and small jobs, which I even have to invoice at the end of every month. The time invested into this agency is clearly more, than I get out from this collaboration. During the years they also got very cocky, they regularly ask me to control translations for free, to give them a sentence for free, give them a quote for a new translation – which never turns into an assignment.
What can I do? Dropping them is not a good choice. Letting them know, that I grew in the past years – also thanks to them – and I only can accept better paid or longer jobs, might help to let them understand, that they risk to lose their reference for Hungarian.
Och, yes..I also saw something else on this report: my best client, who actually almost stopped sending me material, due to higher workload into Hungarian, why they chose to hire an in-house translator and sending me just some proofing, (and for whom I also had the same legacy rate, since they gave me a lot to do), well…they paid me actually “only” 44% of my yearly income. I know, it is a lot, but still…I could easily survive even without their contribution.
Reports….yes, they are helpful! Next week I talk about my expenses reports and will try to overlap the two 🙂