I refuse to let this "credit-crunch-economic-downturn-recession-depression-crack-of-doom-disaster" get to me. No way Jos´e!
First off, my phone hasn't been ringing any less. There are still lots of people wanting to set up new businesses. In fact, I think that given a bit of time, there will be an increase in business as more and more people set up small businesses offering more agile and cost effective services to businesses struggling to survive.
I'm definitely aiming a little higher too - I want to get more "proper" design work, creating stuff for clients who are beginning to baulk at the cost of their design or ad agencies' services. I'm a one-man-band. I don't have to pay account managers, secretaries, receptionists and others. And if I did recruit (and I just might be doing that soon) I'd be looking for freelances who I'd pay by the job, without having to increase my charges to the client.
Now more than ever, clients are going to demand value for money. And that's where us small guys come in. Many of us are hugely experienced, quick and burdened with mortgages we have to pay - at all costs. We're genuinely hungry. Unlike salary men and women, we have to work hard. We cannot loaf or pull sickies. We know the real cost of a holiday (earn nothing and pay for flights and accommodation). In short, we represent real value for money. Sure, there's a dearth of account handlers etc, but how many clients need an account manager when they can go direct to the source?
In times of economic hardship, those businesses that increase their marketing activities are more likely to survive - and can even overtake their competitors. Carefully chosen freelances or boutique agencies allow businesses to continue marketing whilst saving on costs. We are also very likely to increase the freshness and vibrancy of the work as the lines of communication shorten between the creative at his Mac and the client-side Marketing Director.
Yes, the economy is in trouble. Yes, we will all feel the effects. But life goes on. People still have to buy and sell at any level. Business will follow the path of least resistance. Small businesses are that path. Embrace us!
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