Micro (Marko) Economics
I am a consultant. Brand, design and creative work are my area of focus. My shop is a one-person business. So, when I’m busy, the economy is great. When I’m slow, the economy is bad.
Last year sucked.
The previous year, my first as a solo practitioner, was great. 2010 started off phenomenal. First quarter eclipsed all of last year. Now that I’ve popped out the other side of a pretty incredible amount of work, there is nothing in the pipeline. Who am I kidding? There’s no pipeline. I’m the pipeline. I got nuthin’.
Suddenly the economy sucks again.
In reality, business is picking up. I can tell by my own business and what other business people tell me about theirs. Although, you never know how things are really going with anyone else. When you are self-employed, the only true indicator you have is your own short-term horizon. That’s the most immediate metric.
I’m confident that projects are out there that will ultimately appear on my radar, require a proposal, be accepted, commenced, completed, billed, and banked. During that time the economy (my business and personal perspective on it) will be great – again. As soon as projects are complete and there is a lull between them, the economy will be weak, poor, bad – again.
It was ever thus. Thankfully lulls magically occur to coincide with the beginning, middle and end of lake season in Minnesota, and then pheasant hunting season in the Dakotas. So, I’m not complaining, just commenting on the volatile nature of the economy when you operate a one-person business.
I’d make a poor economist. My assessment would be completely based on my current (daily) workload. It would toggle between the extremes of “great” and “bad”.
Fortunately it all averages out to simply be “okay”. Which, relative to the current national business climate is – well – okay.