I, Helen Eby, am an independent contractor. I have an assumed business name and a website. What does that mean?
I do all my own work. With peer review for accuracy. In my invoices, the money designated for services provided by my partner in the review/translation team goes straight to my colleague as soon as my client pays. I do not profit from the work of others.
In service to accuracy, I work as collaborative translator/reviewer team on every project. My client pays one check. As colleagues, we have been splitting the bill as collaborators: 10% to the team administrator, and the other 90% goes ¾ to the translator, ¼ to the reviewer.
The 10% for project management is an acknowledgment that dealing with the client and finding that client is a bit of extra work. Almost half of that goes away when the client pays by credit card and the credit card company takes its fee…
My clients know this is how I split things, and they often know who is on what role based on subject expertise or availability. I am always on one of these two roles, about 80% of the time on the translation role.
When I am hired for interpreting work, I do my own work. The only time I would put others on my bill is as booth partners. In that case, it would be the same deal. 10% for project management, and split the rest evenly. We are equal partners.
I send my colleagues the client invoice, so they can submit the invoices for their portion when we are done with the job. There are no contract clauses that say they can’t contact anyone. As a matter of fact, they are often in contact with the client during the translation process.
Attorneys work with this level of transparency as well. They let their clients know exactly who is on the project and what each person is going to get paid for what. I have been doing this for years, and my clients and my colleagues have developed respect and understanding for this model. When I adjust my prices, I discuss them with my colleagues before making those adjustments.
Some have asked me why I do not move into subcontracting other translators for work, or move into subcontracting interpreters. That simply takes a whole different way of thinking, and I like the transparency and trust of this model. I would not want to be divided between doing my own work and subcontracting to others to make a profit. The profit section would gradually encroach on my work, until I was doing less and less of my own work. This is what I have seen with people who follow that path. They eventually become language companies, subcontracting in languages they do not know. I am not ready to do that. When clients ask me whether I do that, I tell them that I am not competent to supervise other languages, any more than a brain surgeon can oversee a foot surgeon. That makes sense.
I am a solopreneur. I do my own work, and do not hire others to do it. This is the Gaucha Translations way. I am an independent contractor, a freelancer with a business name.