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Poll: Are you in a situation in which a single client accounts for a significant part of your income?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:16
French to English
+ ...
Definitely not Apr 27, 2016

I've just, coincidentally, written a blog post on this very subject: https://clairecoxtranslations.wordpress.com/2016/04/25/eggs-in-baskets/ which just goes to show that even if you've been working in the profession for many years, it's still sensible to make sure you maintain links with a broad range of clients and constantly keep on the lookout for new ones. Every... See more
I've just, coincidentally, written a blog post on this very subject: https://clairecoxtranslations.wordpress.com/2016/04/25/eggs-in-baskets/ which just goes to show that even if you've been working in the profession for many years, it's still sensible to make sure you maintain links with a broad range of clients and constantly keep on the lookout for new ones. Everyone experiences quiet times now and again - especially if you've been working on biggish projects for a while and saying no to other clients, or if you've been away on holiday. It's only too easy to become complacent and stuck in the groove of working for your favourite clients, but even the best clients can go out of business or be taken over. PMs may move on, government departments and big international organisations may be required to go to tender and your rates/face may no longer fit....Collapse


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:16
Member
English to French
Yes Apr 27, 2016

I've always worked with a small pool of returning agency customers. Over the past 5 fiscal years, TO3000 tells me that 10 customers accounted for 93% of my income.
Although this core of customers has changed over time, I seem to always end up with an agency accounting for more than 50% of my income, hence unbalanced income streams.
However, I don't feel the least threatened by this situation. It's only loyalty at work. Of course it goes against basic principles of risk management, b
... See more
I've always worked with a small pool of returning agency customers. Over the past 5 fiscal years, TO3000 tells me that 10 customers accounted for 93% of my income.
Although this core of customers has changed over time, I seem to always end up with an agency accounting for more than 50% of my income, hence unbalanced income streams.
However, I don't feel the least threatened by this situation. It's only loyalty at work. Of course it goes against basic principles of risk management, but hey, a full schedule matters more at my scale than meeting high-flying rules.

Philippe
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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:16
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Apr 28, 2016

Many times I do have a single client that represents the largest slice of my income. And many times, the whole is well split between up to five clients. It depends on the month, but the curve would certainly be full of ups and downs.

 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 23:16
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Unfortunately, Yes Apr 28, 2016

This happens when you 'shed' a client or two and you are left with this 'all the eggs in the same basket' situation.
It's times like this that you have to either drum up more work from other existing clients or find new clients.


 

Hege Jakobsen Lepri  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:16
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Doing my taxes as we speak Apr 28, 2016

And it turns out that last year I did have one client account for 21% of my income. This is a new client, in a field I'd been trying to get into for years (academic publishing) and I've been turning down other work to accommodate the needs of this one client. But I don't see this as a weakness, rather the result of strategic planning and marketing. (I invoiced 30 other clients too, though)

[Edited at 2016-04-28 02:08 GMT]


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:16
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes-ish Apr 28, 2016

I have two clients that I rely on heavily. They both pay very well and send me large jobs. I get a lot of work from other clients (I have a roster of more than 60 clients), but they tend to be small and not as well paid.

 
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Poll: Are you in a situation in which a single client accounts for a significant part of your income?

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