When I started my business, I knew that I wanted to set an example in ethical conduct. I would not sacrifice quality for quantity. I also went into business to earn a decent income while controlling my time, precious time I could dedicate towards my family.
In the beginning, we began by working with agencies. The agencies provided work volume and very little profit. In order to make a decent living it was necessary to work for as many agencies as possible and subcontract the work. Since I needed to build a good name, I hired quality interpreters. Quality comes at a price, so I often made very little or no profit on the subcontracted jobs.
We stayed very busy while the stress level went through the roof for very little profit. It was time for the next step. It was time to work smarter, not harder. Direct work was needed, better-paying clients than the agencies. Gradually I picked up new accounts, and as I slowly began to raise my rates, agency work began to dry up.
It seemed like a leap of faith when I raised the rates on the last agency. We had worked together for a long time and it definitely have volume. Sure enough, the assignments discontinued. I believed that all the free time I would have from the huge gap they would leave would allow me time to keep developing new clients.
What I did not expect was that work volume would continue as though we had not lost them. This is all still just a little confusing, but I’m not complaining.