Mobile menu

Has the economy ever affected your business?
Thread poster: Sonja Allen

Sonja Allen  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:05
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
Jan 2, 2008

I have been working as a freelancer only for 2 1/2 years and so far, the amount of work I have received has been going up steadily. But now with all the concerns about the economy slowing down (US sub prime crisis, high oil prices etc) I wondered if any major economic crisis/recession would seriously affect translation businesses too. I would therefore like to know from translators who have been in the business for many years if they have ever experienced any major fluctuations in their workload. With that I do not mean the occassional slow week or month but any longer lasting slowdowns.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:05
English to Arabic
+ ...
Stopped dealing with US clients Jan 2, 2008

Maybe not a MAJOR effect, but due to the US economic slowdown you mention, I have stopped dealing with US agencies (two of them very regular clients), because it's no longer profitable for me to work for the old $ rate, and they were unwilling to pay as much as I expect to be paid by UK agencies.
It hasn't really slowed down my business, but I was disappointed to lose one long-term client in particular.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Maciej Andrzejczak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 07:05
Member (2005)
English to Polish
+ ...
Dealing with US$ paying clients Jan 2, 2008

In fact, getting payments in USD becomes a serious problem now, given this dramatic drop of USD value. The only way out I see now is to convince the American clients to accept settlements in Euro. Some of them find it acceptable.
Regards
Maciej


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:05
English to Dutch
+ ...
Agree with what's said above Jan 2, 2008

The clients I have that pay me in USD are now paying more than they used to in USD, but converted to EUR, that price still is the absolute minimum I'm willing to work for, even after raising my USD rates.

A couple of years ago, EUR and USD were practically equal. These days it's a 35% difference. It's really hard to find clients who are willing to accept a 35% raise in less than two years.... (According to the conversion tool I use, USD 1 = EUR 0,65 at the moment). And I wouldn't be surprised if this is going to become even worse.

I'll have to brush up my negotiating techniques, or try to expand my European client base...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

abufaraz
Pakistan
Local time: 11:05
English to Urdu
+ ...
Change of Government Policies Jan 2, 2008

Sonja Allen wrote:

I have been working as a freelancer only for 2 1/2 years


I am also in this business (its online aspect) for almost the same period and have not felt any particular economic hardship until last month. I used to receive most of my translation work from UK and USA but as you also may be aware that the UK government has changed the policy for translation for its local councils recently. So I am expecting a recession in receiving jobs from UK in future. I have faced similar situation from a permanent client from US who used to give me work from the Education Department of one of its states.

Such circumstances, you will appreciate, do affect economically.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Dinny  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 08:05
Italian to Danish
+ ...
No big deal Jan 2, 2008

No major fluctuations, it is more a less a question of putting your ear to the ground, feel what is building up and adapt as quickly as possible to the new situation, like in this moment the US dollar dropping. Unfortunately, right now it means tough negotiations with US clients and eventually you decide (or they do) to loose some connections. In the meantime you have naturally been building on your "New Euro countries" and found new clients who are accepting to pay the "average European rate" rather than the "low European rate".
I guess the key word here is never to drop your marketing efforts, always spend some of your time on building new contacts (even if you actually do not have much time to offer to them) rather than living happily with the ones you already have.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:05
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Has the economy affecte business? Jan 2, 2008

I understand your very valid concerns.

I do not have a lot of clients in the US, but the dollar dropping the way it has definitely has made me think about the issue. I do not have a solution other than to tell you to market your services in different countries, not just the US.

I must say though that I have not given up my long-standing US clients because of this. However, I must admit that they are not a large group.

I have had to raise my fees but have always tried to be reasonable and they have accepted it. I don't think that I would feel good about raising my rates so drastically - to get it up to the Europeran standard would indeed mean rasing them about 35%. That would be too much.

My clients have weathered with me through the years and I tink that it is not more than reasonable that I do the same for them as long as I can.

I hope that things will pick up again soon.

Happy New Year!
Lucinda


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nadja Balogh  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:05
Member (2007)
Japanese to German
+ ...
Recession, not just a low USD Jan 3, 2008

Hi Sonja,

I believe your main concern isn't "only" the low conversion rate of the USD. Instead you're wondering about how much some kind of recession (regional or worldwide) might influence our workload as translators.

Well, I'd love to know too... but apart from the oil crisis in the 70ies (when I was still a baby) or regional upheavals, maybe there's simply not much on what everbody could base their experiences on.

Anyway, though I'm not well versed in economy at all, I would guess that any slowdown of the economy would affect translators as well, naturally.

Nadja


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Crystal Samples  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:05
French to English
+ ...
What about the Middle Eastern languages? Jan 3, 2008

I'm surprised that none of the Arabic or Farsi speakers have commented, because since 9/11 I'm sure their business has increased considerably.

Also, anyone who specializes in military/defense translation would have been affected by such an event.

Crystal Samples


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:05
English to Arabic
+ ...
Arabic speakers Jan 3, 2008

Crystal Samples wrote:

I'm surprised that none of the Arabic or Farsi speakers have commented, because since 9/11 I'm sure their business has increased considerably.

Also, anyone who specializes in military/defense translation would have been affected by such an event.

Crystal Samples


I'm an Arabic speaker - but I only started fulltime freelancing in 2002, so I can't really talk about the immediate effect of 9/11 on translators' businesses. However I can say that most of the work I do is - at least apparently - completely unrelated to 9/11, the war on terror, military issues etc. Unless in a roundabout way, business interest in Arab countries increased dramatically after 9/11.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Has the economy ever affected your business?

Advanced search


Translation news





LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »
memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs