Developing healthy business amid slow times What you can do to prosper when slow times seem endless

Greater than 2 minutes, my friend!

Dry spells to suit translators? How can such a thing, dreaded the most, be called for? It’s only natural that one tries to evade troublesome periods in business, but like with illnesses, there are certain things which you can’t control. When it hits you, you should try to make the best of it. Turn a hiatus into a gradually developing healthy business.

Occasional meetings with dry spells

The first meeting with a dry spell can be horrendous. Every other meeting will be less so, if we know how to take advantage of them. This we won’t know unless we actively try to overcome it. No translator should be ashamed to be visited by such periods – it is considered an integral part of our business, just like non-paying clients mentioned in the previous post, which also sought to enumerate the ways to alleviate the agonizing dry spells.  It’s important to develop a healthy business and maintain a moderate rise after a temporary fall.

Summer is officially over. No sunny weather and temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius can point to the opposite. The school is opening its doors and regularly employed people are returning to their workplaces. A dry spell may well come because of the holidays, but if it persists into autumn or winter, it shouldn’t worry you too much if you have done a good job with clients prior to the slackening of business. But what should you do if you find yourself within this burdensome period?


Well, you may want to start with yourself and not run after new clients. Why not invest in webinars (especially if they are offered at a lower rate in the summer), teaching you how to be a successful freelance translator, e-mail marketing, even getting to know a new CAT tool?

This summer I attended my first paid seminar held by Robert Gebhardt on Udemy’s webpage. Driven also by a discount, I decided to lend my ears to an expert in my field. Lending ears should never be too difficult. One should be objective and gauge his or her competence and skills, should constantly work on oneself to become the translator one would want to hire him/herself.

Robert doesn’t work with most of the languages I work with, but his story was worth hearing. He went to talk about things which I already knew, but I still gave him chance to steer me along paths I hadn’t taken yet. In the 3 hour seminar I noted down some things, which is good. If you note down something, then it’s a guarantee that you are interested to acquire it. If you don’t, then you think you know everything. Even if the most things were known, there’s nothing better than to have another person’s viewpoint on the same subject, which may lead to re-evaluating and rethinking your own take on it. Repetitions are also good, no matter how boring and time-wasting they may seem, but if you are aware of them being something that you already know, then it’s just beneficial, because you can be sure that you were at the right places to hear and know of them earlier.

Return to books

If dry spells continue to plague you, it’s always good to know that you can return to more books and even start thinking about specializing (if you haven’t done that earlier). Read books on two or more subjects that you would like to cover in the future, gradually becoming an expert in the terminology, which will help you to waste less time on searching for specific terms, needed during translation.

Mariann Makrai

About Mariann Makrai

Living in Croatia, born in Szekesfehervar, Hungary. As if that wasn't enough, added two more languages. Now juggling with four balls of fire, minding not to be burned too much.

4 thoughts on “Developing healthy business amid slow times What you can do to prosper when slow times seem endless

  1. Thank you for the interesting article, Mariann! Self-education is a must-do during dry spells. I could recommend Robert Gebhardt’s tips for translators on his YouTube channel – useful and free of charge!

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  2. This is a great piece. Thank you for sharing your ideas. Last summer, I started to learn Trados and it paid me back with amazing clients and made my work easier. I do believe that continuing education for translators is crucial so I made a list for any course I come across to join it later on.

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