Here is a guest post from our good friend Ofer Tirosh over at Tomedes
A freelance translator’s recession survival kit
The economy is down big time, and it seems that survival would be bleak for quite some time to come. Almost everybody has been affected by this ongoing financial crisis and language translators are obviously not immune.
So how does a language translator tide over such times? Keep reading…
- When it comes to crisis situations, one can either prepare for it beforehand, and try to avoid the after-effects or one can try to minimize damages. Most people hit by the recession would find themselves in the later situation. So they should begin by taking steps to minimize the damage.
- The early measures should obviously include cutting down on expenses that don’t really matter. Most translators would have already started doing that. So we need not go into any more details regarding that. However, one thing that every language translator should definitely revise is their tax planning. The first thing you should do is hire the services of a good tax consultant and begin minimizing your liabilities.
- Coming to the main area, your business – work offers must have dwindled down to alarming levels, which is probably why you are reading this piece.
Question – Why aren’t you getting work like before?
Answer – Because your clients do not have sufficient money to pay you.
Solution – Lower your rates! It’s alright to receive less pay for the work you do, rather than not receiving anything at all. You can always go back to charging your regular rates once things are hunky dory.
- This is the age of specialization, you can always do something better than others. Highlight that area. Market your niche. Let your existing and potential customers know that you are a specialist in a certain area of translation.
- You can go beyond the above strategy by developing your strength in selected areas of language translation that are in demand during this recession. Translating legal documents for example. The recession has resulted in the rise of legal issues and there would be lots of people requiring help translating their legal documents. If you do not normally do legal document translations, go ahead and try it out. Learn it. Adaptability is the key to success!You can also try learning new languages or develop your skills in languages you already know but are not confident enough to work on.
- Provide a comprehensive translation quote which apart from the cost includes turnaround time (delivery date), price, and quality (with proofreading or without). This would help the client make a quick decision, hopefully in your favor. These are just a few basic reminders, which a number of you dear readers might already be following; I just thought it would be helpful to bring them all together at one place. All the best!
Check out www.tomedes.com for a wide variety of translation jobs.
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