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Poll: On balance, has 2009 been a good year for your business?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 03:56
SITE STAFF
Dec 6, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "On balance, has 2009 been a good year for your business?".

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A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Maria Drangel  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 12:56
Member (2007)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Mainly yes! Dec 6, 2009

Jan-June was a disaster, after that I have been so busy that I expect to have made as much money as I did during 2008, when I was busy almost all the time during the whole year!

The perfect for me year would be 1 busy month 2 calm weeks and then busy month again, but I guess one can never choose.

I am glad to hear that most of my collegues have had a good year as well!


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Dec 6, 2009

In line with the world economic crisis, I have had a pretty bad year, with a roughly 30% drop in income compared with 2008.
However, it's not totally been an annus horribilis, since I have managed to stay afloat (pay bills, eat, sleep and travel, etc) without desperately soliciting new clients or diversifying my activities.
Let's just hope that 2010 sees an end to the recession and "normal service will be resumed as soon as possible"...


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Ken Fagan  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:56
French to English
I'd like to suggest Dec 6, 2009

that everyone answering these "how's business?" polls should be required to agree to receive an injection of sodium pentathol 30 min before answering the poll...

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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:56
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
not too bad! Dec 6, 2009

ken...lol!

there were definitely some slow periods due to the recession. Then for a while I had to cut down on jobs due to an illness in the family. Things have picked up in the latter half of the year and I have also have some new clients. It did start out quite slow but even with the recession, it was not that bad. Lately I've been very busy and it seems things will probably continue to improve. Although it will slow down soon for the holidays and January is usually slow.


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Ken Fagan  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:56
French to English
3 people have had the injection Dec 6, 2009

Hats off to Maria, Neil & Marlene: all 3 said 'yes' to the sodium pentathol before answering. Proof that it can be done.

Now, if we could find a way to motivate the 46% who said that "2009 was a good year for business" (I guess that these are the same people who told us, roughly a week ago, that they were "working too hard" and, approx. 10 days ago, who told us that they "intended to raise their rates in 2010")...


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 12:56
English to French
+ ...
I am lucky Dec 6, 2009

... and quite aware of it! My lucky star protected me just as well as after 7/11.
This year has not been the best ever (was 2003, moneywise) but on the higher end of average with 90% of that best ever (2005 being the lowest, with 70% of the best ever, for a variety of reasons).


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Steve Booth  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:56
Member (2007)
English to Arabic
+ ...
started off well Dec 6, 2009

The calendar year started off well but took a downturn with the new tax year and stayed fairly low. Picked up a new client in September which I am really enjoying working for but overall possibly the worst year financially since I branched out as a freelancer.

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Rocio Barrientos  Identity Verified
Bolivia
Local time: 07:56
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not poll related.... Dec 6, 2009

Ken Fagan wrote:

that everyone answering these "how's business?" polls should be required to agree to receive an injection of sodium pentathol 30 min before answering the poll...


But thanks to this poll I found my college friend!!

Hi Ken ---- How are you???

I do hope you remember your Bolivian friend!

Warmest greetings

Rocío


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:56
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Rather lousy Dec 7, 2009

Until October, it was my worst year ever (since 1992). A lot of really small jobs, a couple of decent ones, but no one wanted to part with the big bucks, and I was consistently outbid. Then I started to get a nice run of work in October, and November was great. I've learned my lesson, however: I'm going to stick to a very frugal lifestyle and salt my year-end earnings away so I will have a cushion in case things don't spring back next year.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:56
Member (2006)
German to English
Best ever yet Dec 7, 2009

This year had been / was the best ever yet and also find myself ver fortunate for this. Hope 2010 keeps up

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Ken Fagan  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:56
French to English
Hi Rocio/everything is relative Dec 7, 2009

Hi Rocio,

Yes, it's me, although 1) it was an MBA, not a college program and 2) you may find me to be slightly more attractive than before.

Folks, these polls don't really mean very much, as everything is relative.

Example: I know 2 translators who make EUR 20 K /month during non-recession years. This year they've averaged EUR 10 K/month: for them, 2009 has been an awful year; yet the vast majority of people reading this will never even come close to making EUR 10 K/month.


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 12:56
English to French
+ ...
Indeed Dec 7, 2009

Ken Fagan wrote:

Folks, these polls don't really mean very much, as everything is relative.

Example: I know 2 translators who make EUR 20 K /month during non-recession years. This year they've averaged EUR 10 K/month: for them, 2009 has been an awful year; yet the vast majority of people reading this will never even come close to making EUR 10 K/month.


Do they really stand alone or are they acting as an agency/PM and have others translate for them? Aren't your comparing apples and oranges?

[Modifié le 2009-12-07 07:14 GMT]


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Ken Fagan  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:56
French to English
they stand alone Dec 7, 2009

(zero sub-contracting)

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Michaël Temmerman  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 05:56
English to Dutch
+ ...
yes, a very good year Dec 7, 2009

This is a very good year. As always, I had some slower periods, but those were always followed by very busy periods. I do feel the crisis, but not in my workload. The kind of work I get has slightly shifted to more EU work and less financial assignments (banks do suffer from the crisis).

Ken Fagan wrote:

Folks, these polls don't really mean very much, as everything is relative.
Example: I know 2 translators who make EUR 20 K /month during non-recession years. This year they've averaged EUR 10 K/month: for them, 2009 has been an awful year; yet the vast majority of people reading this will never even come close to making EUR 10 K/month.


In the example you give, the fact that those translators are still making 10K a month isn't relevant, if you ask me. What matters is that they had a 50% income decrease. Based on that percentage, the 2 translators you're talking about had an awful year due to the crisis and that was what the poll was about.

Just how much a translator earns, depends on so many factors, like the languages involved, the country where the customers are based, years of experience, direct customers or agencies, quality of the translator, rate negotiation skills of the translator, holidays, etc. In some countries, like Belgium, a gross monthly income of 10K isn't all that unattainable. Taken into consideration our cost of living, the fact that we don't build a decent pension as a freelancer, a yearly holiday (non-paid of course) of only one month in total, the very steep social charges and tax rates and also given the income of other independent workers (accountants, lawyers, plumbers, etc.), 10K isn't all that insanely high (at least not for Dutch native speakers), while in the vast majority of the other countries, 10K may even seem almost "unethical".

So we shouldn't use absolute numbers when discussing this subject.


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