Freelance professional skills workshop – learn the techniques to make you and your business thrive

By Sue Leschen, 29 and 30 April 2021, 10am – 4pm both days

Who is this workshop for?

Most language professionals are not naturally entrepreneurs and have to acquire the know-how to set up, maintain and enhance their businesses. This two-day workshop with Sue Leschen is for all freelance interpreters and translators working into and from English – both experienced and starting out – who are running their own businesses in today’s challenging and competitive climate.

Course Outline

Day 1

Part 1: Business Plan

  • Essential to have a (realistic) plan “A”
  • Just as important to have a plan “B”
  • Services offered by business
  • Aim(s) of business
  • Annual SWOT review of initial plan “A”
  • Business structure: sole trader or limited company

Part 2: Money

  • Accounting systems
  • Accountants or DIY?
  • Keeping receipts  
  • UK Taxes: Income Tax, VAT
  • Non – UK taxes?
  • Estimates, Invoices, Quotes, Receipts
  • Fees and basis for charging for translation; source/ target languages/ 1000 words, characters, line, hourly rate
  • Fees and basis for charging for interpreting ; per hour, minimum 2 hours, half – day, full day , travel time, paid breaks
  • Supplementary charges; preparation and research,  conversion to PDF, anti – social hours charge
  • Deposits, discounts and payment by instalments
  • Currency and exchange rates
  • Cash flow: feast or famine
  • Bad, late and non – payers; daily interest
  • Debt collection: Blue Board: Small Claims Court
  • Running businesses not charities
  • Pro bono work – does it pay?

Part 3: Clients

  • Mass and premium market
  • Direct and indirect clients
  • UK / Europe
  • Pareto Principle 80: 20
  • Client obtention and retention
  • Difficult and demanding clients

Part 4: Colleagues

  • Good and bad
  • Networking
  • Collaboration: proof readers and  translators
  • Collaboration for sourcing work; Business Language Boutique: Bournemouth Translators and Interpreters  (40 languages) ; Interpreters Collective
  • Home alone office or co – work space with colleagues and/ or other professionals?

Part 5: Time

  • Time management 
  • Time is money
  • Prioritising and procrastinating
  • Time wasters
  • Tempus fugit (time flies) and Carpe Diem (seize the day)
  • 24/7 “always on” culture
  • Work/life balance

Part 6: Terms and Conditions of Business

  • Own
  • Client’s
  • CIOL Model Terms and Conditions – Interpreters
  • CIOL Model Terms and Conditions – Translators
  • CIOL Specimen contract – Interpreters
  • CIOL Specimen contract – Translators
  • The art of negotiating terms and conditions with clients

Part 7: Non – Disclosure Agreements (NDA’s)

  • To sign or not to sign an NDA that is the question?
  • Standard NDA clauses: non – solicitation of client’s clients

Day 2

Part 8: Marketing – traditional and social media

  • Profile and credibility in marketplace(s)
  • FTF networking at professional events
  • Business cards, brochures and biros
  • CV’s – relevancy
  • Websites; DIY or professional
  • LinkedIn profiles
  • Facebook pages
  • Twitter
  • Instagram pictures
  • YouTube videos
  • All marketing must be legal, decent and honest and not misleading

Part 9: Positioning and Branding of business

  • Setting up your stall in the marketplace(s)?
  • Developing your own brand; Dior or Primark?
  • Exploiting niche markets

Part 10: Generalists, Specialists and Experts

  • Which are you?
  • How many specialisms can any one LP have?
  • Becoming a Go To expert
  • Pros and cons of being a generalist, specialist or expert

Part 11: Professional Conduct and ethics

  • CIOL Code of Conduct (2017)
  • General principles of professional conduct
  • Common breaches of  Code
  • Regulation and sanctions

Part 12: Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

  • Staying up to date
  • Targeting the right CPD
  • How much, how little CPD?
  • Investing time and money in CPD
  • Free CPD
  • Maintaining visible CPD Record

Part 13: Protecting you, your business and the public

  • Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Legal expenses insurance
  • Insuring home office/ equipment
  • Duvet days - Sickness insurance  
  • Rainy days – Income Protection Insurance
  • Retirement pension(s); State and private
  • Backing  up work in case of IT failure
  • Insuring Remote Interpreting (RI) 
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks; Standard, Enhanced
  • Security Check (SC) and Counter Terrorist Check (CTC)

Part 14: Professional membership organisations, networks and mentoring

  • What they can do for you
  • What you can do for them
  • Language specific organisations
  • Subject specific organisations
  • Adopting a mentor

Part 15: Mindset

  • Can do mindset
  • Persevere and try again
  • Accepting constructive criticism
  • Entrepreneurial


Two-day ticket: CIOL member




Two-day ticket: Non-member




One-day ticket: CIOL member




One-day ticket: Non-member


How is it delivered?

The delivery of this workshop will be online and you will receive joining details one week before the start of the workshop.