Seasonal Slump?
Thread poster: Tegan Raleigh

Tegan Raleigh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:29
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
Jan 31, 2006

I had business almost non-stop from last March to December. Then, after the holidays, I've only heard a few times from my regular clients, with fairly small jobs. Has anybody else experienced a serious decline in business this January? I hope I'm not the only one. Last year it seemed to be the same-- and business picked up in February, then really took off in March. I remain hopeful, but am still kind of mystified by the change in the pace.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:29
German to English
Going at it hammer and tong Jan 31, 2006

I think you're just having bad luck right now. Chin up!
Kevin


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Steven Sidore  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:29
Member (2003)
German to English
Last year yes, this year no Jan 31, 2006

For what it's worth, I had that same slump you're describing this time a year ago. Good for getting the diss done, not good for the pocketbook. This year's busy busy busy, so just keep rustling for clients and eventually they'll come.

Good luck!

Steven


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:29
A welcome change Jan 31, 2006

My experience is similar to yours, Tegan, but the change in pace has been welcome, as I had a bad bronchitis at the end of last year, holiday season visitors, and a lot of deferred house work... Now, I am taking it easy, and waiting for the pace to pick up again. True, I also feel that pang of "what if my clients do not call me again?", but then the phone rings, or an e-mail arrives, and I have a new job to chase those thoughts away!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ingo Dierkschnieder  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:29
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Same here Jan 31, 2006

Business was quite slow here as well, with loads of small jobs but no large projects. I had the same situation you described last year, with January and February being really slow and business recovering in March. By the way, I experienced the same when I was working in a translation agency where it was all due to business being very strong up to Christmas and then, when everyone's skint after the holidays, experiencing a slump.

Good luck
Ingo


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tegan Raleigh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:29
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
cleaning out the refrigerator Jan 31, 2006

It's good to hear from you all.

On the bright side... the break has given me the opportunity to do things that always took last priority, such as cleaning out the refrigerator.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:29
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I think work is very slow in January and February Jan 31, 2006

The reason seems to be that most translation agencies are very small, or family-run, and the owners of these agencies can't afford to outsource work after Christmas till about Spring (so they do it all themselves). In Germany at least, there do not seem to be many large agencies.

I came back from Scotland after the New Year expecting to have hardly any work at all for two months. Actually, I have had plenty, mainly from lawyers (things seem to be brisk with the Court cases in January) - but I have noticed the marked absence of enquiries from agencies this month, and can't help wondering when the enquiries from the agencies will start to come in again regularly. Meanwhile I am just thankful that the lawyers have kept me busy.

What I did last January and February was to write applications to a lot of agencies, and then I did, as a result of those applications, have jobs that I would not have otherwise have had during the course of the year - in June or October, for example. I seriously believe that it is no time to ignore business and spring-clean the house if the work is not coming in. Any extra work later in the year that results from applications sent in January and February will usefully top up the income after a poor start to the year.

Astrid


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:29
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Seasonal Slump Jan 31, 2006

I would not mind a bit of time off. My house is a mess, kids run wild, paperwork is piling on the floor in the corner. I could really do with some free time and I was counting on it as last year it was really quiet in January. Instead I have been working non-stop, even with a nasty chest infection and only did my tax return at the last moment because otherwise I would be fined. I do not even have time to play Tomb Raider with the kids on weekends anymore!! And I just had enquiry about a job for the whole February.

I would advice you to enjoy the free time, use it wisely (why not send your CV to agencies indeed) and have nice time before it gets hectic again, as it most definitely will.

Cheers,
Ines


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gabriella Ambs-Wettstein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:29
English to German
+ ...
No need to worry Jan 31, 2006

Hi Tegan
I worked like hell between Christmas and New Year. I was up all night on December 31, 2005. Just a glass of champagne at midnight with my husband and back to work. I finished my last big translation (10.600 words) 2 days ago. It's a little more quiet now but I'm sure that won't last for long.
Don't worry, look after yourself and have a good time.
Kindest regards
Gabriella

P.S. That reminds me, my refrigerator needs a clean too...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Anil Gidwani  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 16:59
German to English
+ ...
Spending budgets Feb 1, 2006

Many companies in the US draw up their annual spending budgets in January, and annual project plans are also given the finishing touches in January. Translation projects are presumably included in these spending budgets, so February would be when things usually start picking up pace.

I wonder if the same holds for European companies. A lot depends, I would think, on the definition of the fiscal year (Jan-Dec in the US, Apr-Mar in India). Any idea whether the fiscal year for European companies is Jan-Dec or some other period, and is it uniform across all countries of the EU (as one would assume)?

Having said that, I have not found January to be a slow month uniformly, although this January certainly has been.





[Edited at 2006-02-01 06:54]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:29
Dutch to English
+ ...
Same here Feb 1, 2006

Burrell wrote:

I would not mind a bit of time off. My house is a mess, kids run wild, paperwork is piling on the floor in the corner. I could really do with some free time and I was counting on it as last year it was really quiet in January. Instead I have been working non-stop, even with a nasty chest infection and only did my tax return at the last moment because otherwise I would be fined. I do not even have time to play Tomb Raider with the kids on weekends anymore!! And I just had enquiry about a job for the whole February.

I would advice you to enjoy the free time, use it wisely (why not send your CV to agencies indeed) and have nice time before it gets hectic again, as it most definitely will.

Cheers,
Ines


Same here. Absolutely crazy. Maybe it is a UK thing?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Carolyn Brice  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 22:29
French to English
+ ...
Maybe you UK people need to outsource... Feb 1, 2006

... to the rest of us experiencing a slump?

Just an idea

I'm only starting out anyway, so I have yet to experience the hectic bit. But it still does seem that this month is sloooow. What with the wintery weather, it's getting a little miserable too.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, isn't there?

[Edited at 2006-02-01 10:36]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:29
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Random business flow Feb 1, 2006

I have never really identified any annual pattern in about 5 years of freelance work. Personally I experience random periods of no work followed by random periods of continuous work, with no pattern whatsoever.

Clearly any single freelancer has a view too restricted of the market to be able to identify a global pattern. To identify patterns and market trends it would be necessary a survey, repeated at regular intervals and involving thousands of individuals, and yet even this would have no meaning for anyone experiencing, at personal level, the opposite random trend...

Gianfranco




[Edited at 2006-02-01 15:51]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxsarahl
Local time: 04:29
English to French
+ ...
Same here Feb 1, 2006

January is usually slow for me too, but I welcome the break from my usually hectic schedule. I use that time to relax, catch up on things, and take all the jobs I usually decline. The latter is good PR, I take a chance on 1 or 2 new clients during the slump, and it usually works out.

I'm not sure about US companies, but I found French companies are usually busy all month preparing for their tax returns and sending out W2's.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:29
French to English
+ ...
me too! Feb 2, 2006

Marijke Singer wrote:
Same here. Absolutely crazy. Maybe it is a UK thing?


Quite possibly - I've been crazy busy since returning from holiday on Jan 3rd - for British and French agencies and a couple of direct clients in the UK. Just about got my tax return in on time, though (while neglecting the washing up).


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 »

Seasonal Slump?

Advanced search







SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »
PDF Translation - the Easy Way
TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation.

TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation. It also puts your translations back into the PDF to make new PDFs. Quicker and more accurate than hand-editing PDF. Includes free use of Infix PDF Editor with your translated PDFs.

More info »



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