|On call: doctors and translators.|
The German-speaking blogosphere recently saw an interesting discussion about pricing models for translations centered around whether should you should charge by the line/word or by the hour/project, which is an important topic, as is pricing in general. While the jury is still out on this one (we personally like the hour-based approach for certain projects and have written about this issue extensively), Dagy recently had a very unique request from an advertising agency client that we'd never had before: they asked her to provide a quote for her availability for possible translations, six days in a row, including the weekend.
After consulting with her favorite business partner, Dagy decided to charge EUR 500 per business day and EUR 750 for every day of the weekend, plus a slightly discounted rate per line for any translations. In exchange, she guaranteed permanent availability and the fastest possible completion of all translations, every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Even though we've worked hard on developing and insisting on professional rates for our services, Dagy did fall into the stereotypical self-exploiting freelancer trap with one thing: she didn’t even think about including a lunch break in her quote. We've made many business mistakes, and we usually don't make the same one twice, so next time we will definitely contractually set a lunch break. Lesson learned!
The client happily accepted after zero haggling. Dagy had to cancel quite a few appointments she had scheduled during those days, but it certainly paid off. Most days, she received no translations. On two days, she did a lot of translations, which had a nice impact on the final invoice. While Dagy did feel a little limited in her daily activities, she was certainly happy with what ended up being a highly lucrative week. During her stand-by times, she also proofed several hundred pages of a German-language annual report, which is per se a major project, and also worked on a wide variety of other client projects.
We believe this experience goes to show that even very unique pricing models are possible in our industry and that clients are prepared to pay adequate prices for extraordinary services. Why not keep that in mind next time you negotiate with a client?
By the way: what Dagy ended up translating were documents regarding a highly confidential company acquisition by a large European company. The estimated purchase price was in the billions. It does feel nice to have been part of such a major deal, even to a very small extent.