Time-Saving Tip of the Week

As busy entrepreneurs, it's important that we maximize our time, as our time is the only resource we truly have. We are constantly looking for ways to do this, and found one that has been really helpful.

Just like many of you, we provide formal quotes for project for all clients. We create these quotes by using a Word template with an integrated Excel table for the cost breakdown. The quote is fairly elaborate, comes with information on payment terms, terms and conditions, delivery time, etc. Even though it's a template, it takes around 15 minutes to do a full quote. We have now realized that, instead of doing a full quote for every inquiry, it's a better option to e-mail the potential (or existing client) and say: "The cost for this would be XXX. If this works for you, we will e-mail you a formal quote for your approval." In many cases, this weeds out the folks for whom the price doesn't work, and saves us 15 minutes of our time. Think about it -- if you do, say, 2 quotes a day for interested parties who do not end up using your services, you have used up 30 of your minutes from that day. Instead, run the document through a word count software (AnyCount, or Word will do for simple, text-only documents), and give the customer a price. If they are interested, you can proceed with making the quote. Don't forget to obtain formal approval (for instance, by having the customer sign the document and scan/fax it) before you proceed. However, you can easily waive this last step for repeat clients, as we routinely do.


Unknown on July 30, 2009 at 6:23 PM said...

I think that this is a great idea. Especially for those of us who fall at the higher end of the spectrum, I think it saves everyone's time to say, as you suggested, "It would cost X, if that is within your budget I would be happy to prepare a detailed quote/terms of service for you." I also mention any other "deal-breaker" terms, for example if the client would be required to pay a deposit before I start work. Personally I think it's good for both the translator and the client.

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The entrepreneurial linguists and translating twins blog about the business of translation from Las Vegas and Vienna.

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