Business Tip: Indicating Validity of Quote

Happy Friday, dear readers! Before we head off into our holiday weekend here in the US, we wanted to share a quick and easy business tip that can have major impact on your workflow.

It's about something relatively simple: including a specific date on your price quote that indicates how long the quote is valid. This is especially crucial for time-sensitive projects for which you might have to reallocate time from other work. Please note that this applies to direct clients, as most agency clients traditionally ask linguists to sign the agency's purchase order (to which you can, of course, also make changes and/or additions).

Consider the following scenario: your client calls on June 28 and says she needs the translation of a contract by July 5. This is a bit tight with the holiday weekend, but you are willing to make it happen (with surcharges, of course), as she is a great client. In your quote, it's essential to include that you need the client to confirm the project by a specific time and day. Otherwise, it could happen that you never hear from the client, you take on other projects, and then on July 4 (Independence Day!), she calls you to tell you she wants the project by the original deadline, July 5. That's obviously not a good scenario, so you should do everything you can to prevent it.

Here are a few ways to do that.

In your price quote, include something to the effect of (please note that we are not lawyers, so if you want specific legal advice on the language to use, please contact an attorney):

The present price quote is valid until ____________ at ____ am/pm. This quote shall be null and void unless the client has confirmed it in writing by signing at the bottom of this document by _____________. 

In order to meet the client's deadline, this project must be confirmed in writing by ________ at _____ am/pm. The translator can only guarantee the agreed-upon delivery time and date of ______ at ____ am/pm if the client sends back the signed price quote by ______ at am/pm. If no confirmation is received by that point, this quote shall be null and void. 

What do you think, dear colleagues? Do you have any other and better ways of handling this? We have found that putting all these things in writing make for much smoother business transactions and for happier providers and clients.

Free SDL Webinar on June 27: The Art of Networking

Networking at the BP17 conference in Budapest, Hungary.
Please join us for another free webinar on in-person and virtual networking, presented by Judy, and organized and hosted by our friends over at SDL. It's free for everyone, and you simply sign up with your e-mail address. Judy's last webinar for SDL on June 8 had more than 800 sign-ups (thank you!), and we would love to "see" you at this one as well. Consider signing up even if you cannot attend the live session, as all who registered will then receive a link to the recording a few days after the webinar.

Networking is such a crucial part of our profession -- and of any profession, actually -- yet as linguists we oftentimes neglect it. You can only grow a business if you grow your circle of influence, and Judy will share a few ways to do this, both offline (meaning in person) and online. One hour isn't nearly enough to talk about this important subject, but we will address many key points.

Here's the link again to sign up. Looking forward to it! 

Open Thread: Are Interpreters Superstitious?

This elk has been to several trials.
Today we would love to hear from our fellow interpreters, regardless of their field: do you have a good-luck charm? Are you superstitious about certain things? For instance, do you always use your left hand to hit the microphone "on" button in the booth? Or do you wear a favorite suit/scarf/pair of shoes/lucky underwear for high-profile interpreting assignments? Do you always start a new page in your notebook for each interpreting assignment? What are your quirks -- call them superstition or not?

In general, our manicure is one of our main secret interpreting weapons. Feeling good about our nails, as trite as it sounds, makes us feel confident. In addition, we do have some favorite items of clothing, in particular a black power suit for Judy that she bought in Vienna, and yes, some lucky charms in the form of small stuffed animals. The newest addition is this little guy (an elk) that Judy picked up in Oslo, Norway. 

Please share your stories with us, dear fellow interpreters! Just leave a comment below. 
Join the conversation! Commenting is a great way to become part of the translation and interpretation community. Your comments don’t have to be overly academic to get published. We usually publish all comments that aren't spam, self-promotional or offensive to others. Agreeing or not agreeing with the issue at hand and stating why is a good way to start. Social media is all about interaction, so don’t limit yourself to reading and start commenting! We very much look forward to your comments and insight. Let's learn from each other and continue these important conversations.

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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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